ARLINGTON -- Larry Allen to the Ring of Honor?
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the 11-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman and future Hall of Famer is as good a candidate as anyone.
A source previously told the Star-Telegram that former receiver Drew Pearson would finally be inducted into the Ring of Honor this season.
So might there be two inductees in 2011?
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Jones would only confirm that there will be a Ring of Honor news conference in the next 10 days to two weeks.
"I'm not going to get into that," Jones said Saturday at Cowboys practice. "Certainly we had a guy around here this weekend that is somebody that is probably a first-rounder in the Hall of Fame. We'll give you an update a little later."
Allen was in the stands at Cowboys Stadium for Thursday's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. He played 12 seasons with the Cowboys before spending his last two with San Francisco 49ers. He signed a one-day contract with the Cowboys and retired before the 2008 season.
There is no denying Allen's candidacy. He is arguably the most dominant player at his position in Cowboys history. He was chosen first-team All-Pro six times and made more Pro Bowls than any offensive player in team history.
Allen is a good bet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013, the first year he is eligible.
In a wide-ranging interview Saturday, Jones' first in more than a week, he touched on a number of topics, among them his belief that Felix Jones' performance both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield will be vital to the Cowboys' success.
"For us to take the next step we need a big year out of Felix," Jones said. "He accepts that responsibility. I know that he is an integral cog in what we are doing. He has got all that down and is having a really nice camp."
Jerry Jones also spoke about the team's future training camp plans, the lockout and the development of Dallas' rookies.
The Cowboys broke training camp in San Antonio last week, ending a five-year deal with the city to train at the Alamodome.
The team will conduct practice at Cowboys Stadium through Aug. 25 before returning full time to practice at Valley Ranch headquarters.
Jones said the Cowboys will probably be back in San Antonio for camp over the next few years, though he didn't promise it would be in 2012.
The team is negotiations with San Antonio, as well as Oxnard, Calif., but Jones expressed a strong desire to keep training camp in the Alamo City.
"I feel more positive and stronger about training camp in San Antonio than I've ever felt," Jones said. "It works great. We've got it down smooth. ... And, of course, the No. 1 thing is our fans down there."
Now that camp has shifted to North Texas and the Cowboys have conducted their first preseason game, Jones has had a chance to assess the impact of the lockout on his team's preparation. Jones said he hasn't really noticed a change, despite the lack of off-season activities.
"I thought we played very well for our first preseason game," Jones said. "I thought our mistakes and our penalties were very impressive, as impressive as if we would have been in OTAs the whole time."
Jones credits the work the veterans did in the player-run workouts led by quarterback Tony Romo. He said the Cowboys are seeing the benefits of that and joked that it might be something to consider for the future.
"That might not be bad thing," Jones said. "Seriously, it gives them a proprietary involvement. You've been doing something for 20 years as long as they have, you ought to be able to do one. I'm not seeing at all a drop-off, especially our veteran players and even our second-year guys."
Jones said he has seen a step back by some of the rookies, which makes what first-year receivers Dwayne Harris and Raymond Radway and guard David Arkin, who started Thursday in place of the injured Montrae Holland, are doing even more impressive. Jones also praised the play of undrafted free agent running back Phillip Tanner.
"They didn't have the benefit of OTAs, but they are hitting the ground running," Jones said. "They are executing and they are doing it without the kinds of mistakes you might have expected."
Clarence E. Hill Jr.