FRISCO, Texas -- Cowboys legends Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson christened the new Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor Walk and Community Ring of Honor Wednesday with a reenactment of the famous Hail Mary play from the 1975 NFC Divisional Playoffs. Both presented by Dr. Pepper, the Ring of Honor Walk will commemorate the 21 key contributors that helped shape America's Team while the Community Ring of Honor will recognize citizens of North Texas who devoted their efforts to the greater good.
“With the combination of these great restaurant brands and the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor Walk and Dallas Cowboys Community Ring of Honor, presented by Dr Pepper, we are confident The Star will be one of the greatest destinations for fans, the community and visitors from around the world,” Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson said. “We couldn’t be more excited about having this group with us, as we feel they are a great fit for what we are trying to provide from an entertainment standpoint at The Star.”
Staubach and Pearson's numbers will be 50 yards apart on the Ring of Honor Walk as a nod to the Hail Mary's distance. Along the walk will be a myriad of shops, hotels, and restaurants to make The Star a world destination for the throngs of Cowboys fans throughout the globe.
Cowboys COO Stephen Jones knew that the only way to sell his father, Owner, President, and General Manager Jerry Jones, on the idea of moving out of the club's 31-year-old Valley Ranch headquarters would be to bill the new practice site as more than just a training facility.
"When we first came out here and thought about this, just to think about building a practice facility wasn't going to be the right thing to do," Jones said. "It wasn't going to be what we could sell Jerry on. But a bigger idea was. And we knew from the beginning it was going to have to be more than a practice facility, more than about football, but the relationships we're going to have with the Frisco Independent School District and their kids.
"Hopefully we can change lives with the project we're doing, and certainly that was the core of it. But at the end of the day, we saw this as a mixed use development."
Mi Cocina, Liberty Burger, and Dee Lincoln Prime are just a sample of the restaurants set to open at The Star. Retail space is still available and more than likely won't be complete until early 2017.
Even though Staubach and Pearson are already immortalized in the Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium for bringing two Super Bowl wins to the franchise in the 1970's, being a part of the Ring of Honor Walk and having their signature postseason moment cemented in time humbled the two ex-superstars.
"It's an honor for both of us," Staubach said. "Drew came in 1973 and he was a free agent. And we were working out in the off-season and I said this guy is something special."
Said Pearson: "A skinny-legged kid from South River, New Jersey is now immortalized as a Dallas Cowboy. And every time I came down that tunnel in Texas Stadium to play a game for the Dallas Cowboys after I made it as an undrafted free agent ... I was very fortunate to make the Cowboys football team. And like I said, every time I walked out that tunnel in Texas Stadium, I would look to the right and see those names in the Ring of Honor. And I wanted my performance that day to one day warrant to be part of the process to warrant that type of recognition and represent the Dallas Cowboys that way."
Staubach, who played quarterback for Dallas from 1969-79, took a tour with Stephen Jones a few weeks prior and was impressed by the magnificence of the franchise's new training facility.
"I'm proud of it and thank the Jones family for having us part of today's event to kick it off. I had a chance to tour the facilities with Stephen a few weeks ago and it's magnificent."
"The thing that set me back when [Cowboys Public Relations Director] Rich Dalrymple called me and told me what they were going to do," Pearson said. "He said this was going to be eternity. He said it was going to be there forever. And that is pretty cool."
Jerry Jones says The Star keeps building and growing with each passing blink. Arriving at the commemoration, the team's owner since 1989 was reminded that by this time in 2017 the club would be drafting from a new location.
"It reminds me this time next year we'll be drafting right here at The Star."
Stephen Jones says the process of moving from the team's world headquarters at Valley Ranch in Irving is bittersweet.
"We sat in that room many draft nights," said Jones. "And you think about the many wonderful times we've had in there. Tremendous players that have drafted out of there. We're talking about Hall of Fame players that have been drafted right there in that room in the halls of that building. And then to come into Valley Ranch and have the careers that these players have had just gives you chill bumps. And moving is always bittersweet."
Of course, maybe the new venue will cut down on the tension in the Cowboys war room.
"Maybe out here we can have a draft where we have no contention on who we might pick," Stephen quipped.
With what the Cowboys are building in Frisco, it will become an unquestionable destination for Cowboys fans everywhere and will set the standard for practice facilities across the league just as AT&T Stadium did for new playing venues across the NFL.
"No one in the NFL is doing it like the Dallas Cowboys," said Pearson. "We set the standard back in the day. We're continuing to set the standard."