Does Charles Haley Deserve to be in the Ring of Honor?


C. Joseph Wright’s Weekly Poll

When I heard the news that Haley was being inducted into the Ring of Honor, I was shocked, then puzzled, and then slightly indignant.

I was shocked because Haley was not a ‘career Cowboy’; I was puzzled because Haley was not exactly a ‘high character’ guy, and I was indignant because Harvey Martin is still not in the Ring.

I did find a silver lining: if Haley is in the Ring, then Ware should get in before he retires.

There are currently 17 men in the Ring; 15 of them were players.  When you think of all the winning seasons and Super Bowls, 15 is not that many players.

I think all 17 men deserve to be there, so I would argue that Jerry has done a reasonable job of preserving the sanctity of the Ring. He hasn’t exactly been miserly with inductions; there were only 6 players in the Ring when he bought the club in 1989. But he hasn’t, at least until recently, done anything that would warrant accusations that he had cheapened the Ring.

Click on the link to read the case for, and against, Haley being inducted into the Ring.

The Case for Haley:

He was a huge part of the 3 Superbowls. Many analysts have commented that Haley was the “missing piece” that made the Championships possible. He was an elite DE and a push-rushing beast. He was a madman on the field; he added something to that dynasty that was not present before he arrived. It is reasonable to argue that the Cowboys may not have won all 3 Bowls without Haley.

My favorite Haley story, even if it is not true, took place after the Cowboys started out 0-2 in 1993, which was the season of Emmitt’s holdout. Apparently Haley flew into a rage after the second loss in the locker-room, publicly ranted about how much he hated losing, smashed his helmet through a wall, and then lambasted anyone associated with management for not having Emmitt on the field. Legend has it that Emmitt got his new contract shortly thereafter. Of course, that was the season that Emmitt played with one arm against the Giants on the way to winning the Superbowl.

The Case Against Haley:

He only played 5 seasons as a Cowboy. He only played in 5 games his last year as a Cowboy. He only posted more than 10 sacks twice.  He had 6, 4, and 1 sacks in the other seasons.

He started, AND ended, his career as a 49er. To me, this is much different than Dorsett playing a season in Denver, Emmitt playing a season or two in Zona, or Larry Allen ending up in SF .

The stories of Haley’s off-field antics are funny, shocking, disconcerting, offensive, and often unbelievable. I have no desire to sling mud, especially given that it is difficult to discern between what is fact and what is fabrication. I also like Haley a lot. That being said, I think it is fair to say that Haley has been accused of so many things that he makes Michael Irvin look like an angel.

Whenever a new player is inducted, I think it is fair to look at other Cowboy greats who played the same position to see if there is anyone else that might be equally, or more, deserving of induction.

Harvey Martin never played for anyone but Dallas. He played 11 seasons. He played the majority of his career before 1982 when sacks became an official statistic, but Jeff Sullivan from says, “Martin led the Cowboys in sacks seven seasons, including four straight from 1974-77.” He was named a Co-MVP of a Superbowl. He also played pretty damn well in the two very close SB losses to the Steelers.

As usual, please feel free to provide an explanation for your choice in the comment section.

If you have an idea for a poll question, feel free to let me know at

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