NFL: Cowboy owner Jones, Saints owner Benson among Hall presenters
CANTON, Ohio — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be the presenter for Emmitt Smith at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions this summer.
Jones also served as Michael Irvin's presenter in 2007. Smith is the NFL's career rushing leader and was a first-ballot choice for the Hall in February.
The Cowboys will play Cincinnati in the Hall of Fame game to open the preseason on Aug. 8, one day after the induction ceremonies.
"There is no greater honor for a person in my position," Jones said, "and I can't think of a more inspirational way for our current team to start a new season than being in Canton, Ohio, while we all recognize the NFL's all-time leading rusher."
Jerry Rice, the all-time receiving leader, will be presented by Ed DeBartolo Jr., former owner of the San Francisco 49ers. Rice also is a first-ballot inductee.
This is the fourth time DeBartolo has served as a presenter. He presented Bill Walsh in 1993, Joe Montana in 2000, and Fred Dean in 2008.
"It's truly a great honor to present my dear friend Jerry Rice into the Hall of Fame," said DeBartolo. "No player in pro football history dominated his position the way Jerry did, and it's a privilege to be his presenter."
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson will introduce linebacker Rickey Jackson, the first longtime Saints player to reach the Hall of Fame. And he did it in the year New Orleans won its first Super Bowl.
"Mr. Benson has always been good to me and stood by me since Day 1," Jackson said. "I owe a great deal of my success to him."
Former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little will be introduced by his son, Marc. Little was voted in as a senior committee nominee.
"I'm humbled to be the representative who will speak on behalf of our family, many of whom equally deserve to be presenters," Marc Little said. "Our family will all stand together and witness the crowning achievement of a spectacular career."
John Randle, who harassed offenses from his defensive tackle position for 14 seasons, mostly in Minnesota, has asked former defensive line coach John Teerlinck to introduce him.
"I've been an assistant coach for 22 years," said Teerlinck, now with the Indianapolis Colts. "I've coached in 31 playoff games, six championships, and four Super Bowls. This tops them all. This is the biggest honor for an assistant coach."
Russ Grimm, a one-time star guard with the Washington Redskins, will have his former line coach for the Hogs, Joe Bugel, present him.
"When Russ said he wanted me to be his presenter," Bugel said, "it lifted me so high I almost hit my head on the ceiling."
Dick LeBeau, a standout defensive back for Detroit, will be introduced by his brother, Bob. LeBeau is the renowned defensive coordinator of the Steelers.