Lance Alworth, 73, who earned the ring while playing for the Dallas Cowboys in 1971, was presented with the ring Tuesday by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office after it was stolen in a 1992 burglary at the now-defunct Trophy's restaurant in Mission Valley, where it had been on display, U-T San Diego reported Wednesday.
"I'm just totally shocked to have this ring after all these years," Alworth said.
Investigators said no arrests have yet been made in the case, but the investigation is focused on a trio of suspects, a man and two women, in Palm Springs.
Authorities said the ring was recovered as part of an operation that began when a woman contacted Alworth in September and offered to sell the ring back to him.
"It's a miracle really," Alworth said. "It's a miracle to have it back after all these years."
He said the ring will be kept in a safe.
Other items stolen during the burglary, including a Babe Ruth baseball bat, have not been recovered.