The agree Football room of Fame houses the best players in NFL history. However, dozens of senior Committee candidates have résumés worthy of induction however haven’t heard the knock on their doors. There’s tho time to exactly the voting process and fill Canton with the bronze busts of forgotten legends.
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I began this project intending to highlight one player for each team in a solitary article. That became impossible. There room too many an excellent players not in the hall to just touch ~ above one per team, and also doing that in a single article would only diffuse fist away from each legend.
Before meeting the NFC East’s many deserving room of reputation candidates, stop recap how players become eligible for Canton and discuss just how I formatted the article.
To qualify because that the agree Football hall of Fame, a player need to be retired and also inactive because that at least 5 seasons. In this case, players who retired complying with the 2016 season become eligible this comes voting cycle. Those potential first-ballot room of Fame course of 2022 members, i beg your pardon notably include Andre Johnson, Steve smith Sr., and DeMarcus Ware, execute not appear in this article.
Each player in this short article is add by his position and the years during which he played in the NFL. The doesn’t issue if the player just spent part of his career with the franchise he’s detailed alongside. So long as the player performed at a significant level with a franchise, also if it was just for two or 3 years, he is eligible for that spot.
This is the fifth write-up in an eight-part series. Check ago regularly because that the complying with editions.
AFC North l AFC South l NFC southern l NFC West
Dallas Cowboys- chuck Howley, LB (1958-1973)
Honorable mentions- George Andrie, Cornell Green, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Lee Roy Jordan, Harvey Martin, Ralph Neely, Nate Newton, Everson Walls, Darren Woodson
Part the me didn’t want to publish this section due to the fact that it’s as well long. When the Raiders and Steelers have actually plenty of hall of Fame-caliber players as well, Dallas by far has the highest variety of worthy candidates awaiting induction. Maybe just a grasp of these previous stars truly deserve gold jackets, but they all at least have actually cases.
Howley was among the very first great Cowboys. The franchise together it’s well-known today began in 1960 as an 0-11-1 disaster. Howley arrived in 1961 ~ Chicago traded his rights to Dallas. That was likewise the year the Tom Landry’s team drafted defensive tackle Bob Lilly. Together, Howley and also Lilly to be the first legendary Cowboys.
In his 13 periods with Dallas, Howley made six Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro 5 times. That was likewise the MVP that Super key V, which Dallas lost to the Baltimore Colts. Howley is still the just player in NFL background from the shedding team to victory Super key MVP. The West Virginia product later won a title v the Cowboys in 1971.
In an article for Sports Illustrated‘s Talk of call Network, long-time sportswriter rick Gosselin recalled a quote from Landry, that led Dallas to two Super bowl titles and 250 wins during his career.
“I don’t know that I’ve watched anybody far better at linebacker than Howley,” the legendary coach claimed.
It’s tough to know why Howley no in the hall of Fame as soon as one the the top five coaches of all-time acknowledges that on the level.
“Landry witnessed something unique in Howley. It’s puzzling just how the Hall-of-Fame choice committee has missed it,” Gosselin concluded.
Howley is much from the only Cowboys defender v a room of call case. His long-time teammate Lee Roy Jordan deserves part attention. The previous sixth all at once pick made 5 Pro Bowls during his 14-year career and was a First-Team All-Pro in 1969.
Jordan to be literally in ~ the facility of Landry’s disastrous Doomsday Defense. The Alabama product spent many of his time as the center linebacker on a team the went to 3 Super Bowls throughout his career. Unfortunately, Jordan ran into the walls of penis Butkus and also Ray Nitschke when completing for accolades.
Despite not earning numerous All-Pro selections, Jordan still has actually a strong Hall of call case. According to Dallas’ team site, the intercepted 32 passes and also recovered 18 fumbles when amassing 1,236 tackles. For an undersized linebacker, Jordan to be a game-changer and a clip of his era.
Andrie played protective end because that the Cowboys native 1962 with 1972. The made five Pro Bowls, was a Second-Team All-Pro in 1967, and also was First-Team All-Pro in 1969. The NFL didn’t officially monitor sacks until 1982, but the Cowboys maintained their own numbers. The team credits him through 97 job sacks, including 18.5 in 1966. Every Clark judge from Talk of call Network, Andrie also led the team in sacks from 1964 with 1967.
“George was one of my biggest finds,” room of Fame former Dallas personnel manager Gil Brandt as soon as claimed. Unfortunately, Andrie is hidden under a mountain of other Doomsday Cowboys seeking enshrinement.
Green join Dallas as an undrafted cost-free agent in 1962. The Utah St. Product no retire until after 1974. During his extended stay with the Cowboys, green amassed 34 interceptions as a cornerback and safety. The made five Pro Bowls, to be an All-Pro 4 times (including 3 First-Team All-Pro selections), and scored four protective touchdowns.
While he has the All-Pro selections, Green’s job numbers most likely keep him the end of Canton. Also though that intercepted seven passes in two different seasons, the previous basketball star falls brief of the normal threshold.
“Too Tall” Jones and Martin come in the early 1970s, and also both have actually borderline room of reputation cases. Jones to be the very first overall choose in the 1974 NFL Draft, and also the Tennessee St. Product didn’t disappoint. Ron Borges of Talk of fame Network wrote a compelling case for Jones, detailing his statistical accomplishments.
“Although sacks were not an official statistic early on in his career, the Cowboys preserved their very own tally. Jones finished through 104 career sacks, including a job high 13 in 1985,” Borges wrote. “He retired as the Cowboys’ 5th leading tackler of all time v 1,032, blocked nine kicks (seven of them field-goal attempts) and also batted under so many passes the NFL began to keep it as a brand-new defensive statistic.”
At 6-9, 271 lbs., Jones towered over his competition. It’s basic to see exactly how he built up so numerous passes defensed. The job Cowboy spent 15 seasons with Dallas, making three Pro Bowls and earning 3 All-Pro selections.
Martin joined the Cowboys together a third-round pick in 1973. The Texas A&M-Commerce product didn’t come to be a permanent starter till 1975, and also his career took off from there. Once he became an ext than a rotational player, boy name made four consecutive pro Bowls indigenous 1976 with 1979. He to be a First-Team All-Pro in 1977 and earned Second-Team All-Pro honors three other times.
Writing for The Dallas Morning News, Gosselin lugged up several of Martin’s various other achievements.
“The Cowboys won 2 Super Bowls in the 1970s, and Martin to be the co-MVP of among them. He collection a franchise document with 23 sacks in 1977. That also would it is in the NFL record, other than that the league does not recognize any sacks before 1982, as soon as it sanctioned them as an main statistic. His 114 job sacks rank 2nd in franchise history to the 117 the DeMarcus Ware.”
Gosselin no even mention that Martin to be the NFL defensive Player of the Year in 1977 or that he do the 1970s All-Decade Team. Between Jones and Martin, the latter has actually a better Hall of fame case.
Speaking that All-Decade Team members, Neely earned the honor because that the 1960s despite playing most of his job in the 1970s. Five of the 7 offensive linemen on the team space in Canton, and also the other two tackles (Bob Brown and also Forrest Gregg) gained in end a decade ago.
During his 13 periods with Dallas, Neely earned three First-Team All-Pro selections and also four total All-Pro bids. That won two Super Bowls as well. According to judge from Talk of reputation Network, Packers room of Fame defensive end Willie Davis called Neely the finest tackle he ever faced.
Judge’s article also includes quotes from Brandt, the architect behind many of Dallas’ ideal teams.
“If ns were talking to Hall-of-Fame voters I’d phone call them to look at our document from 1965 once he
“Do ns think he’s a room of Famer?” inquiry Brandt. “I do.”
Over 1,000 words right into this section, and also we still have three an ext candidates precious discussing. Let’s start with Newton. The stocky Florida A&M product was an undrafted gem for Dallas. Newton spent 13 that his 14 periods with the Cowboys, opened holes for Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith, and also Herschel Walker. The made six Pro Bowls and also was a First-Team All-Pro twice as Dallas swept through 3 Super key victories.
Newton would have a better case if not for teammate Larry Allen emerging into one of the ten best guards of all-time.
Walls and Woodson never played because that Dallas simultaneously, but both conquered in the early on years of their careers. Walls made 4 Pro Bowls in his an initial five seasons and led the NFL in interceptions 3 times. After picking turn off 34 passes and also making three All-Pro groups in those five years, Walls’ production slowed down. That retired v 57 interceptions after ~ 13 seasons.
Woodson has actually a much better case 보다 Walls. The second-round pick from 1992 came to be a starter in 1993. He got three continuous First-Team All-Pro bids and made 5 straight agree Bowl appearances beginning in 1994. If he just intercepted 23 passes and missed the end on the All-Decade Team, Woodson had his operation as one of the game’s top protective backs.
In an short article for Talk of call Network, Gosselin dug up a notable quote from bill Parcells in ~ Woodson’s retirement push conference.
“Woodson is the kind of man that makes this profession something you prefer to engage in,” the legend coach said. “He’s the epitome of a expert in every sense in exactly how he played and approached the game.”
John Lynch newly receiving his gold jacket clearing the pathway because that Woodson to obtain his own in the next two years.
New York Giants- Jimmy Patton, S (1955-1966)
Honorable mentions- Carl Banks, Tiki Barber, Sean Landeta, Del Shofner
New York selected Patton in the eighth-round the the 1995 NFL Draft. The Mississippi product stepped right into the beginning safety duty immediately. After three decent seasons, Patton kicked off among the best runs by a defensive ago in league background in 1958. He led the NFL through 11 interceptions throughout that 12-game season and also intercepted five or much more passes in every of the next five years.
From 1958 with 1962, Patton make the pro Bowl every year. He also earned First-Team All-Pro selections during those five seasons. Patton didn’t do an All-Decade Team, but his prime got split by the end of the 1950s. Every safeties ~ above the 1960s All-Decade Team played throughout the decade, which preserved Patton on the outside looking in.
Patton’s 52 interceptions rank second in Giants history behind Emlen Tunnell’s 74. The 2 prolific safeties common a ar for number of seasons beforehand in Patton’s career. Surprisingly, Tunnell just has 4 First-Team All-Pro selections regardless of intercepting the second-most passes in NFL history. Patton additionally has an ext First-Team nominations than Hall the Famers Steve Atwater, Brian Dawkins, Ken Houston, and also Paul Krause.
Judge recounted Patton’s statistical dominance,
“Over the course of 46 consecutive beginning – indigenous the 2nd game of 1958 with the first 12 that 1961 – Jimmy Patton had actually 30 interceptions, and maybe that doesn’t impress you. However this should: just six others before the league merger had 30 interceptions in four straight seasons, consisting of Tunnell, Jack Christiansen and Dick “Night Train” roadway – all room of Famers.”
Patton passed away in one auto accident in 1972 at only 39 years old.
Shofner virtually beat out Patton because that a spot in this article. The former large receiver and defensive earlier arrived in brand-new York in 1961 after four seasons through the Rams. During his 11-year career, Shofner earned five First-Team All-Pro selections. That had four 1,000-yard periods in the so late 1950s and also early 1960s. Four-digit totals to be still somewhat rare in ~ the time, and Shofner had five seasons whereby he ranked in the top-four because that receiving yards.
For reference, Shofner played throughout the same time together Colts legend Raymond Berry. Berry only had one 1,000-yard year and just three First-Team All-Pro selections come Shofner’s five. Berry acquired his gold jacket in 1973. Shofner is still waiting.
Per Judge, the NFL didn’t have a four-time 1,000-yard receiver after ~ Shofner till Charlie Joiner and also Steve Largent reached the mark in 1981. Part AFL receivers, consisting of Lance Alworth, completed the feat.
Shofner passed far last year in ~ 85.
Banks was a member that the dominant Giants defenses that won two Super Bowls so late in the 1900s. He mutual the field with hall of Famers bother Carson and Lawrence Taylor. As a member of that linebacking corps, banks earned a First-Team All-Pro nod in 1987 and also a spot on the 1980s All-Decade Team alongside five Canton-bound linebackers.
Landeta additionally participated in brand-new York’s very first two Super key wins. The punter deserve all three of his First-Team All-Pro nods throughout his nine periods with the Giants. He play in the NFL for 21 years and claimed spots on the 1980s and 1990s All-Decade Teams.
Barber was a yardage device once he reached his prime. In the final seven periods of his ten-year career, Barber amassed 9,514 rushing yards and also 13,441 yards native scrimmage. The made agree Bowls in 2004, 2005, and also 2006 and was a First-Team All-Pro in 2005. The Virginia product led the NFL in yards native scrimmage twice prior to retiring in ~ his peak.
Barber ranks 27th all-time in rushing yards (10,449), 17th in all-purpose yards (17,359), and 15th in yards native scrimmage (15,632).
Philadelphia Eagles- Maxie Baughan, LB (1960-1970, 1974)
Honorable mentions- Eric Allen, invoice Bergey, Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Al Wistert
Baughan was among the ideal linebackers in the NFL throughout the 1960s. In the decade, the Georgia technology product make nine agree Bowls and made six complete All-Pro teams. He additionally won one NFL Championship v Philadelphia as a rookie. The Eagles didn’t win one more title till the 2017-18 season.
Baughan’s exemption from the 1960s All-Decade Team stays confusing. The honorary unit featured 5 linebackers, three of which space in the room of Fame. From the group, only prick Butkus and also Ray Nitschke outclassed Baughan. Maybe Tommy Nobis jumps the too, yet that still leaves Baughan as a an ext accomplished player throughout the decade than Larry Morris and Dave Robinson. That deserved a clues on that team.
Writing for Talk of fame Network, Gosselin comprehensive Baughan’s career success compared to those of other all-time greats native his era, “Among his contemporaries in the 1960s, chris Hanburger checked out nine agree Bowls, Butkus, chuck Bednarik, invoice George and also Willie Lanier eight apiece, Dave Wilcox seven and Sam Huff five. All are now in the room of Fame.”
Of the group, Hanburger is the many recent player to get his yellow jacket. Canton inducted the five-time All-Pro through the course of 2011. Wilcox, a member that the class of 2000, is the only other linebacker stated that waited till the 21st century for his induction.
Baughan’s visibility in the an elderly pool of candidates is indefensible. The should already be in Canton.
Another Eagles linebacker has an interesting senior Committee situation as well. Bergey join Philadelphia in 1974 following a five-year stint through Cincinnati. In his 12-year career, the former second-round pick made five Pro Bowls and also was one All-Pro five times. Unfortunately, Butkus and also Jack Lambert take it the middle linebacker point out on the 1970s All-Decade Team, blocking the end Bergey.
While he isn’t in Canton, Bergey joined the Eagles hall of fame in 1988. He speak briefly through the team’s official website around the honor and his mentality regarding the pro Football room of Fame.
Wistert also has a gripe with the hall of Fame. The previous fifth-round pick joined Philadelphia in 1943 in ~ the start of the franchise’s 11th season. Wistert and also the Eagles go to 3 NFL Championships, winning two during his nine-year career together an offensive tackle. The Michigan product to be a First-Team All-Pro 4 times and made the 1940s All-Decade Team.
With Wistert managing the attack line, room of fame running earlier Steve van Buren amassed 4 rushing titles and also led the NFL in rushing yards every game 5 times. Hall of reputation coach George Allen was so impression looking back on Wistert’s career that Allen had him amongst the ten ideal tackles that all-time in his book Pro Football’s 100 greatest Players.
Unfortunately, Wistert passed away in 2016 at 95 years old.
While Wistert’s fate remains in the hand of the dreaded senior Committee, Allen still has actually a few years of modern-era eligibility left. The cornerback spent seven of his 14 periods in Philadelphia. That made six Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro 3 times, and intercepted 54 passes.
Any player with over 50 interceptions has a great shot the finding himself in Canton, yet Allen played in one era dominated by Darrell Green, Deion Sanders, Aeneas Williams, and also Rod Woodson. It seems unlikely the Allen differentiated himself sufficient from his tremendous peers to warrant induction.
Cunningham and McNabb were both an excellent franchise quarterbacks, yet neither has a résumé genuinely worthy that the room of Fame, especially over the currently mentioned players. Cunningham was among the most versatile quarterbacks in NFL history and came within 60 yards of rushing for 1,000 yards in 1990. However, he just earned four Pro key appearances and also three All-Pro selections. Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas space the only players various other than Cunningham in NFL background to victory the Bert Bell Award three times.
While McNabb went to six Pro Bowls and also holds Philadelphia’s franchise documents for wins, completions, pass yards, and passing touchdowns, he was never an All-Pro. McNabb would’ve had a shot in ~ Canton if his Eagles teams weren’t top top the losing end of four Conference Championships and also Super bowl XXXIX. His 37,276 passing yards location 25th all-time.
Washington football Team- Joe Jacoby, OT (1981-1993)
Honorable mentions- London Fletcher, Brian Mitchell, Sean Taylor, Joe Theismann
Washington has actually a lot smaller pool of room of fame candidates than the various other NFC eastern teams. Jacoby was a member of the hogs, Washington’s dominating offensive line that assisted them win three Super Bowls in the 1980s and early 1990s. Jacoby participated top top all three championship teams. During his 13-year career, the former undrafted free agent went to four Pro Bowls and also earned 2 First-Team All-Pro selections.
Jacoby joined room of fame tackles Jimbo Covert, Anthony Muñoz, and Gary Zimmerman on the 1980s All-Decade Team. He and also Atlanta’s invoice Fralic room the just two linemen top top the honorary team without yellow jackets.
ESPN’s man Keim placed together an post in 2017 supporting Jacoby’s Canton candidacy. Keim raised the suggest that Jacoby was much better than room of reputation guard and also fellow hog Russ Grimm, who got his copper bust in 2010. Jeff Bostic, the pro Bowl facility on those supervisor Bowl-winning Washington teams, agreed.
“This is no slim on Russ, however Joe was a much better player,” Bostic stated. “I nothing think the NFL had actually seen a male like Jacoby once he came on the scene. This male was 6-8, 330, 340 pounds. He ran a 5.1 in the 40. Because that a guy his size, I’ve never ever seen everyone run prefer he could. The was strong as an ox. The beauty of what ns seeing this year, ns hearing the Randy Whites, chris Dolemans … ns hearing people he played versus saying he demands to be in the room of Fame.”
Speaking of Doleman, the room of Fame defensive end told the Talk of fame Network the he’d induct Jacoby before fellow candidate Tony Boselli.
“If I had actually to pick one, I would certainly go with Joe Jacoby,” Doleman said. “Just because that the an easy fact the Joe Jacoby lined up versus Lawrence Taylor two times a year. When he play Dallas, he constantly had come play one of two people Charles Haley or one of the good defensive ends that were coming from that side the the ball.”
Former Washington basic manager and scout Charley Casserly likewise went to bat for Jacoby, saying, “It clinched it because that me once Russ acquired in. The was certainly deserving, but Joe played versus the hardest you can play. He play vs. Lawrence Taylor and also Clyde Simmons. He to be a an excellent player.”
“He was simply a bulldozer together a run-blocker,” Casserly added. “He could knock people off the ball. He might power block. It’s rare once a left tackle could power block. He to be a good pass-blocker with long arms and also size and also on the respond to trey he pulled. Look at today’s game and also how countless can strength block and pull and also block the external rusher? nearly none of them have the right to power block. It’s rare.”
Taylor, who most historians think about the best defensive player in organization history, additionally spoke ~ above Jacoby’s behalf, saying, “As far as ns know, among the criteria for the hall is, to be you among the absolute ideal during the food of her career? Joe Jacoby was amongst the ideal of his generation.”
Theismann won a at sight Bowl with Washington in 1982. He was the NFL MVP and also Offensive Player of the Year in 1983. Unfortunately, Theismann endured a nasty career-ending injury in 1985. If the former fourth-round pick doesn’t have actually a complete Hall of fame résumé, it’s impossible to overlook someone with an MVP award completely.
Mitchell starred together a return man in the 1990s. He led the organization in all-purpose yards 4 times and earned 3 All-Pro selections as a absent returner. Mitchell is the all-time leader in kick return yards (14,014) and punt return yards (4,999). However, he has actually 93 much more kick returns and 112 much more punt returns 보다 the next closest players. Mitchell’s 23,330 all-purpose yards only trail Jerry Rice’s 23,546 on the all-time list.
Fletcher only made 4 Pro Bowls throughout his career in spite of being among his era’s most continuous players. The former undrafted totally free agent only began drawing attention toward the end of his career when he was past his prime. In his last five seasons, Fletcher made 4 Pro Bowls and also earned 2 Second-Team All-Pro bids.
Tackles didn’t come to be official until 2001, but ESPN credits Fletcher with over 2,000 tackles during his 16-year career. The man Carroll product additionally amassed 39 sacks, 23 interceptions, and also 19 forced fumbles. Fletcher’s 215 continuous starts beginning in 2000 and also running with his retirement after ~ the 2013 season rank seventh all-time and first among linebackers.
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Taylor’s career to be well underway when house intruders fatally shot that in 2007. The previous fifth as whole pick spent 4 seasons in Washington, making 2 Pro Bowls. In his ripe appearances in 2007, Taylor had 5 interceptions. He posthumously got Second-Team All-Pro honors.