With tight end Jason Witten retiring one year after quarterback Tony Romo and defensive end DeMarcus Ware, might the threesome that brought the Dallas Cowboys franchise back to contender status over last decade one day be inducted in the team’s hallowed Ring of Honor together?
It may happen.
But when the Cowboys start working on their next candidate, or candidates, for the Ring of Honor it will likely pay homage to some overlooked major contributors from the past, according to a source.
Think Gil Brandt, the team’s original scouting chief who mined the talent for the two title teams of the 1970s and 13 consecutive winning seasons. He spent 29 years with the franchise from 1960 to when Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989.
Brandt, considered the "Godfather of Scouting" with so many of his ground-breaking tricks of the trade still being used today, has continued to be an ambassador for the Cowboys since his departure. He is also a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor.
The latter was the true architect of those dynasty team’s of the 1990s.
He joined the Cowboys with Jones in 1989 and coached them to titles in 1992 and 1993 before his fallout with Jones, which included a controversial firing.
The two have mended fences in recent years. Johnson was on hand for Jones’ induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer.
And it appears, Jones is ready to close the book on the 1990s Cowboys in the Ring of Honor with the induction of Johnson and Novacek.
Novacek is arguably the greatest Plan B free agent signing in league history, coming to the Cowboys 1990 after a modest stint with the Cardinals. He went to five straight Pro Bowls. Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin was quarterback Troy Aikman’s favorite receiver during the championship run, but Novacek was his most trusted pass catcher.
His numbers don’t come close to Witten’s as a tight end but he was arguably more important to Aikman than Witten was to Romo considering the 1990s combo won three Super Bowl titles.
One thing that must be considered if the Cowboys add Novacek: guard Nate Newton made six Pro Bowls, was a two-time first team all-pro and was also a member of the three title teams of the 1990s. Hall of Fame Larry Allen is the only lineman in Cowboys history to make more Pro Bowls than Newton.
Why not him as well?