For years, Cowboys fans carried a massive grudge against the Hall of Fame. The perception grew, with some justification, that a bias existed against older Cowboys greats. The mysterious black balling of Rayfield Wright when he faced a simple up-or-down vote in 2004 drew outrage from beat writers outside of Dallas, who felt he had been treated cruelly. Randy Galloway, the dean of Metroplex scribes, coined the term "Cow-bias" and inspired a campaign which questioned the Hall's voting and its transparency.
And what has ensued in the years since the push?
A flood of Cowboys into the Hall. Wright got a second shot, courtesy of the veteran's committee, and got his long-due call. Last year Bob Hayes earned his overdue place in football's pantheon.
Saturday will bring the announcement that Emmitt Smith will headline the class of 2010, along with Jerry Rice. That's five Cowboys in five years. If Charley Haley gets one of the remaining spots in this very deep crop, we'll see six-in-five, with Deion Sanders, Larry Allen and Darren Woodson still on the horizon. Haley is getting his share of support, with Michael Lombardi making his pitch today.
Some Cowboys fans are still bitter over the slights Drew Pearson and Chuck Howley have received. They deserve better, but do a lot of players on other franchises. The current Hall voters have done an excellent job at lessening the backlog of Hall-worthy candidates in recent years. To blame them for the errors of the past is like blaming the children for their father's misdeeds.
Five Cowboys in five seasons, in the meantime, looks awfully good to me. But I'm greedy. I want to hear Haley's name on Saturday morning as well.