Barry Sanders is arguably the biggest legend in the history of Oklahoma State outside of perhaps the late T. Boone Pickens. But it’s only this coming year that he’ll be joining the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
Stadium college football insider Brett McMurphy reported on Thursday that Sanders will be the second member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor, joining fellow Oklahoma State rushing legend Thurman Thomas.
But he will also be getting his own statue outside of Boone Pickens Stadium. T. Boone Pickens himself is the only other Cowboy to have a statue outside the stadium.
As great of an honor as this is for the NFL legend, many fans are curious why it took so long to honor him. Some accused the football program of being too stingy with membership, while others joked that Oklahoma State might have simply forgot they even have a Ring of Honor.
That’s quite a small ring
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 22, 2021
I guess it took OK State 33 years to figure out Barry Sanders is their Greatest Player Ever?
— The Dawgzilla (@TheDawgzilla) July 22, 2021
Better late than never, but it’s a head scratcher that it took this long.
— dlkingpin (@don_lytle) July 22, 2021
Oklahoma State has a stingy Ring of Honor. I nominate Mike Gundy’s mullet.
— Dale Newton (@DSH_Newton) July 22, 2021
They clearly forgot they had a Ring of Honor, right?
— WelcometoUAB Legit (@WelcomeToUAB) July 22, 2021
Barry Sanders was the backup to Thurman Thomas from 1986 to 1987. But when Sanders got the starting job in 1988, he lit up the college football world forever.
Sanders had 2,628 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns that year while averaging over 7.5 yards per carry. The Cowboys would finish 10-2 with a Holiday Bowl win over Wyoming, while Sanders took home the Heisman Trophy.
He still holds numerous NCAA rushing and scoring records.
Sanders would go No. 3 overall to the Detroit Lions in the 1989 NFL Draft and would retire as No. 3 on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.
Needless to say, this honor is way overdue. But better late than never.