News, Notes, and Quotes

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said earlier this week that the Cowboys' offense with Vinny Testaverde is the best he can remember since 1998 which, of course, was when quarterback Troy Aikman was throwing passes to Michael Irvin, and a younger, healthier Emmitt Smith was rushing.

* Cowboys greats Rayfield Wright and Cliff Harris, who both narrowly missed being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last season, will officially be recognized as franchise legends.

On Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced his intentions to induct Wright and Harris into the team's hallowed Ring of Honor.

As the 13th and 14th members of the Ring of Honor, the two players will be honored during halftime of the team's Oct. 10 matchup against the New York Giants. Their names will be etched on the interior facade of Texas Stadium alongside Tom Landry, Bob Lilly, Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Tony Dorsett, Bob Hayes, Chuck Howley, Lee Roy Jordan, Tex Schramm, Roger Staubach, Mel Renfro and Randy White.

"There is no debate as to Cliff and Rayfield's qualifications," Jones said. "They were simply next. They represent the best of football because of the odds they overcame to become champions. They are what Tex Schramm had in mind when he created the Ring of Honor."

Wright, a former seventh round draft pick out of Fort Valley State, made six Pro Bowls at tackle during a 13-year career in Dallas from 1967-1979. He is the first offensive lineman to be enshrined in the Ring of Honor.

Not to be outdone, Harris is the first undrafted free agent to join the exclusive club. A safety out of Ouachita Baptist, Harris made six Pro Bowls in 10 years with the team from 1970-1979.

* Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs could have coached the Cowboys, if he had wanted.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that he called Gibbs prior to hiring Chan Gailey in 1998.

Before asking Gibbs his advice on selecting a coach, Jones "broached" the idea of Gibbs coming out of retirement to take the job. "No," Jones said, when asked if Gibbs seriously considered his offer. "He just very quickly went to his enthusiasm about NASCAR."

* How good has quarterback Vinny Testaverde been in owner Jerry Jones' estimation? Very, very good. Jones said Tuesday the Cowboys' offense with Testaverde is the best he can remember since 1998 which, of course, was when quarterback Troy Aikman was throwing passes to Michael Irvin, and a younger, healthier Emmitt Smith was rushing.

* In a new book titled "Patriot Reign: Bill Belichick, the Coaches and the Players who Built a Champion," author Michael Holley reports the Patriots have phone records from the New Orleans Marriott the week of their Super Bowl XXXI appearance against Green Bay linking then-coach Parcells to the New York Jets. The book reports dozens of itemized phone calls being made from Parcells' hotel room to Jets headquarters. The book also quotes Belichick, then the defensive coordinator, criticizing Parcells for a being a distraction.

"Yeah, I'd say it was a little bit of a distraction all the way around," Belichick said in the book. "I can tell you first-hand, there was a lot of stuff going on prior to the game. I mean, him talking to other teams. He was trying to make up his mind about what he was going to do. Which, honestly, I felt (was) totally inappropriate. How many chances do you get to play for the Super Bowl? Tell them to get back to you in a couple of days. I'm not saying it was disrespectful to me, but it was in terms of the overall commitment to the team."

Both coaches distanced themselves from the book and the hype.

"What they're trying to do is sell books," Parcells said. "How many years ago was that? I have nothing to say about it."

Said Belichick: "I'm not hyping the book. It's old news. All that stuff was talked about. I can't tell you how many Bill Parcells questions and stories there were last year in the Dallas game and all that. I'm trying to concentrate on this season. That's all old news. Pull out all the old stories, and whatever was said, you got it. Do whatever you want with it."

By The Numbers
3 -- The Cowboys will make three Monday Night Football appearances this season. The Cowboys play at Washington on Monday, play host to Philadelphia on Nov. 15 and play at Seattle on Dec. 6. Next week's game against Washington marks the Cowboys' 63rd appearance on Monday Night Football. Only the Dolphins have played in more.

441 -- The Cowboys produced 441 yards of total offense against Cleveland on Sunday.

13 -- During his 16 years as an NFL head coach, Bill Parcells-coached teams have played the Washington Redskins 21 times and won 13.

Quote to Note: "Well, you do thing like we're doing them, where you turn the ball over and you get penalties, you're going to have trouble finishing drives. And until that stops, it's not going to change. It's very difficult to win under those circumstances. These are the things that are most exasperating to me, those kinds of things." -- Bill Parcells on the Cowboys' 11 penalties and four turnovers against the Browns.

CowboysHQ Top Stories