Monday, July 25, 2005

How 'bout them triplets

When I heard the other day that the triplets - the original triplets - were going to be inducted into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor together, I thought it was one of the best calls Jerry has made since buying the 'Boys.

Troy Aikman. Emmitt Smith. Michael Irvin. The triplets.

There may have been others, but none were better. Aikman led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins. Irvin put up Jerry Rice-like numbers until an injury cut-short a Hall of Fame career. And Smith ran his way into the record books with 18,355 career rushing yards.

When the three amigos are inducted into the Ring of Honor, I have made it a point to fly back to Dallas for the game, a Monday Night Football game against the hated Washington Redskins in the home opener.

Growing up watching the triplets do there thing and do it well was one of the greatest experiences ever. As a kid in Dallas, nothing was bigger than the Dallas Cowboys, and on the Cowboys, no one was bigger than the triplets - not even Jerry.

They got to Dallas in consecutive years. Irvin was drafted in 1988 - and when he left the NFL, he was last player to play for Tom Landry to retire. Aikman entered the league in 1989, and Smith made his way to Dallas the next year as part of the Herschel Walker deal.

Until Irvin's untimely retirement, the triplets dominated football. The beginning of the end didn't come until Michael didn't get up from the solid turf of The Vet as half of Philadelphia cheered his injury (don't get me started!).

People talk now about Peyton Manning, Edgerine James and Marvin Harrison being the "new triplets." Until they do what the Cowboys' version of the triplets did, they will be nothing more than three good football players on the same team.

Any team can assemble three good football players, but until they can come together to dominate their positions at the same time while dominating the entire National Football League, they will not compare with the triplets.


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