15 Jul 1997: Defensive end Charles Haley (right) and head coach Barry Switzer of the Dallas Cowboys share a laugh during the press conference to announce Haley''s retirement at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Charles Haley, former Cowboys' and 49ers' defensive lineman, recently spoke at a brunch in El Paso, preceding KROD's (a local radio station) Sports and Wellness Expo. And, unsurprisingly, he spoke pointedly, candidly, and pulled no punches.
Per Ray Sanchez of El Paso Inc., Haley believes that football is no longer a man's pursuit. He took aim at new rules aimed at protecting the quarterback, echoing the sentiments of his former teammate (and quarterback) Troy Aikman. The remarks were part of a larger indictment of the way the game is played today.
“Now," Haley says, "if a player has a hangnail he asks to sit on the bench."
But the five-time Super Bowl champ wasn't all criticism and jabs; he doled out praise for Joe Montana, Bill Walsh, and Jerry Jones, as well. He recalled being downtrodden after the 1992 trade which sent him to Dallas from San Francisco, and likened the owner's savoir faire to a "slick" former president.
“When I got to Dallas I was depressed over being traded and had my head down when I got off the plane.," said Haley. "When I looked up there were all these bright TV lights shining on me and Mr. Jones standing there welcoming me. He’s a lot like Bill Clinton. When he walks into a room, he goes around shaking everyone’s hand.
"That’s the kind of a person he is.”