In the first three decades of the existence of the Dallas Cowboys–perhaps the greatest sports organization on the planet–only nine players and the revered head coach Tom Landry were inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium. Only the words “Bob Lilly” and its accompanying “74” have been there longer than the name of Don Meredith, beaming upon legions of Cowboy fans from its blue stripe just beneath the press box. And Dandy Don deserved 1,000% to be up there because of his importance to North Texas.
He grew up a 100 mile drive down I-30 in a small town called Mount Vernon and played his way to number one recruit status. He turned down a scholarship offer from Bear Bryant at Texas A&M in favor of Dallas’ SMU, where he founded the university’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. He finished third in Heisman voting in 1958. Then he went on to become the only kid from a Dallas high school or college to come start for America’s Team. They slapped his name up on that Ring of Honor in 1976. That’s Twenty-Two years ago for those keeping score.
So can anyone tell me why the ample brain trust that is the SMU Hall of Fame Committee has just now decided to retire Meredith’s hallowed number 17? It’s been a long time coming, but you’d think that someone would have noticed considering that SMU and the Cowboys shared the same field as tenants of the Cotton Bowl. The committee consists mainly of members of the Letterman’s Club, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any info on this organization on SMU’s interwebs. My guess is that they don’t want to be reached, considering the tardiness of this decision and the fact that they are the same people behind this.