Four Decades of Football Greatness Coming to the Hall of Fame This Weekend

Aug 4, 2017

Inductee Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, 22 years after an unsuccessful bid for the San Diego Chargers. Jones immediately cleaned house in Dallas, dropping legendary coach Tom Landry for Jimmy Johnson. The move upset many fans, but paid off when the Cowboys won three Superbowls in the next seven years.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton enshrines its Class of 2017 tomorrow with players and an owner whose careers spanned four decades.

Dallas Cowboys’ Owner Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989 and says he was considered something of a maverick by some for his aggressive management style. But it paid off with three Super Bowl rings in his first seven years of ownership. The 74-year-old businessman enters the hall this weekend and says he and his fellow enshrinees all credit their mothers for their success.

“Whatever they did that gave their son the opportunity to end up becoming a Hall-of-Famer endeared them to their Mama’s contribution.”

Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson -- who played most of his career with the San Diego Chargers -- says his mother was there for every one of his games.

“Pop Warner through college. The only game she missed in college was my 406-yard game. And that’s because she was at my brother’s game.”

The Class of 2017 also includes kicker Morten Andersen, who began his career in 1982 with the New Orleans Saints, and retired 25 years later with the Atlanta Falcons. He grew up participating in soccer and gymnastics in his native Denmark, and says parents should make sure their children are well-rounded athletes.

“The training I did for long jumping and anchoring the 880 relay helped me. Anything you can do: cross-training, swimming, biking. Instead of just doing the repetitive motion. And then using both sides of your body in training is really important.”

This year’s hall of fame class includes running back Terrell Davis, safety Kenny Easley and University of Akron grad Jason Taylor, who played in the NFL for 15 seasons.