I’m not sure how Jerry Jones decides on who goes into the Cowboys Ring of Honor, but the fact that Harvey Martin hasn’t been enshrined yet is a huge disloyalty to him. Martin is the best defensive end in Cowboys history and deserves to have his name displayed in Cowboys Stadium with the other great players.
Harvey Martin was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 1973 draft out of East Texas State. Martin became a full time starter at defensive end in 1975 and became one of the most feared players in the NFL. Playing besides players like Randy White, Jethro Pugh and Ed (Too Tall) Jones they formed one of the best defensive units in the league.
Although the NFL didn’t start keeping track of player sacks until 1982, the Cowboys have their own record books and show Harvey Martin having a total of 114 sacks in his eleven seasons with the Cowboys. Martin is still the Cowboys sack leader, but DeMarcus Ware is closing in fast with 99.5 sacks going into the 2012 season. Martin was the Cowboys sack leader for seven of his eleven seasons with his career high coming in 1977 when he recorded 23 sacks in only 14 games.
In his rookie season of 1973 he only played on passing downs as a pass rushing specialist. Even in his limited playing time he still led the Cowboys with nine sacks. After his record 23 sacks in 1977, he followed that with 16 sacks in 1978, 10 in 1979, 12 in 1980, 10 in 1981, 8 in the strike shortened 1982 season and he finished his career with only 2 in 1983.
Some of the honors Harvey Martin received in his career were four Pro Bowl selections in 1976-79. He was a first team All-Pro selection on 1977, as well as second team All-Pro selection in 1976, 1979 and 1982. In 1977, which was his best season with the Cowboys he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Martin was also selected to the NFL 1970’s All Decade Team.
In Super Bowl XII, Martin along with Randy White and Ed (Too Tall) Jones dominated the Broncos and harassed both Craig Morton and Norris Weese all game. Martin had two of the Cowboys four sacks in the game to go along with constant defensive pressure. For his efforts Martin was named the game’s Co-MVP along with Randy White as the Cowboys beat the Broncos 27-10 to earn the teams second Super Bowl Championship.
Twenty nine years have passed since Martin retired in 1983. That is too many years to wait to see Harvey Martin’s name in the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Unfortunately if the time ever comes that Martin is put into the Ring of Honor, he won’t be able to enjoy his enshrinement. Martin passed away on December 24, 2001at the young age of 51. By his side when he died was best friend and teammate Drew Pearson.
As I’ve said before, I don’t know how Jerry Jones determines who goes into the Cowboys Ring of Honor, but I think he needs to give special consideration to making Harvey Martin a member. No disrespect to Larry Allen and Charles Haley, but I don’t think they should have even been a thought for the Ring of Honor before Martin. Although Martin is no longer with us he deserves to be honored by the Cowboys organization, an honor that is well past due for a player who gave so much to the Cowboys. I hope that Jerry Jones does the right thing and make Harvey Martin the next player that goes into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.