Mac Engel

Jerry deserves his call to the Hall

Jerry Jones is a lot of things, up to and including a Hall of Famer.

Absurd as it may sound to an increasing number of fans of the Dallas Cowboys, but the owner/president/general manager of the team deserves to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sooner the better. Before he leaves this earth.

Posthumous Hall of Fame inductions always feel a little sad and, at 71, Jerry still has time … but, as he has said before, you never know. It would be wrong if Jerry were not inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a shame if he is not there to enjoy it.

On Saturday in New York, the Hall of Fame voters announced a new class for 2014, and Jerry was not even close. He made the initial list, and that was it.

Jerry’s track record since 1998 with the Cowboys is more laughable than HOF-worthy, but the man has done so much else, he needs to be enshrined. Debate his influence on those three Super Bowls winners with the Cowboys, but they are on his résumé.

Also on Jerry’s résumé is the major influence he had on the NFL brand itself, from the stadium and licensing deals, to pushing for the NFL Network, to recognizing the value in content — capitalizing on the need to turn a profit on what was said, written and reported about the individual football teams themselves.

Love him or hate him, Jerry has been good for the business of the National Football League. He improved the NFL for future generations.

In a discussion with venerable Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain, who has considerable influence among Pro Football Hall of Fame voters, he said he would put Jerry in.

There are, however, a few things working against him:

No. 1. He’s still working. Normally, a candidate must wait five years after he retires before being considered. That’s the rule for players. The time away provides a vital “cooling-off” period so a player’s legacy can be properly evaluated.

As a member of the “contributor” category, Jerry could potentially go in while he is still working as a GM, which leads us to …

No. 2. His record since 1998 — .500 overall, one playoff win. Every voter remembers what is most recent, and right now anyone would have a hard time weighing the many positives of his tenure against this current long stretch of mediocrity.

No. 3. He is a contributor, not a player. There is no “contributor” category, meaning there is a logjam of worthy candidates, from late Browns/Ravens owner Art Modell to Bills owner Ralph Wilson to Bob Kraft, the owner of the Patriots.

A case can be made for all three, but Jerry should be either ahead of, or right next to, Modell.

Jerry believes he needs one more Super Bowl to secure his spot in Canton, but he doesn’t. It would help, but what he needs now more than anything to enjoy that moment is for the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters to add a “contributor” category each voting period.

Without that, Jerry is going to need good timing. He will need a year when the DFW voters — Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram and Rick “Goose” Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News — make the push to get Jerry on the necessary ballots, and the lobbying efforts result in enough votes.

It will happen; the question is when.

It will be wrong if Jerry is never inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a shame if he is not there to enjoy it.

Show Deion the money

The Dallas Observer released a scathing audio recording Thursday between Deion Sanders and D.L. Wallace, the co-founder and CEO of Prime Prep Academy. The recording pretty much confirms what Deion has always been about — cash.

“I’m going to get more money, or there ain’t going to be no school, that’s just flat out how it’s going to be,” Sanders said in the recording.

He continued: “I’m going to get it because it’s mine and my name is on the building. OK, that’s just fair. … I don’t know who you can look in the eye in this room and say, ‘I’m going to give myself 120 Gs and I’m giving Prime 40.’ You can’t justify that.”

He later threatened to break Wallace’s neck and said, “I don’t even use profanity, but I’m going to let it ride, because I’m [bleeped] off because I love kids.”

Sanders has been fired, rehired and fired again by Prime Prep, and there continues to be infighting among the administrators about Deion’s role with the school.

The whole thing is sad and, the longer this story plays out, the more it solidifies that there was little nobility on Sanders’ part in this project, other than to do what he does really well — make it about him, and put money in his pocket.

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