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The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday announced its class of 2010
semifinalists. The Cowboys are virtually guaranteed at least one player, as
Emmitt Smith is eligible for selection. Few would doubt that he will earn a spot
along with Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, and Shannon Sharpe. A few others have a more
question marks, but former Cowboy and 49er defensive end Charles Haley also has
a good shot. Here’s the complete list:
Smith, RB – 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals
Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Branch, WR – 1972-1985 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay
Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002
Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders,
1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Richard Dent, DE – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996
Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta
Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers,
1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Russ Grimm, G – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Ray Guy, P – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Lester Hayes, CB – 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Rickey Jackson, LB – 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers
Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
John Randle, DT – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Jerry Rice, WR – 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004
Shannon Sharpe, TE – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Steve Tasker, Special Teams/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis
The modern-era Cowboy most noticeably absent from this list is safety Darren Woodson, who earned five Pro Bowl berths and was named all-pro three times. This is a pretty stout list of players, but Woodson deserves a spot.
As for the seniors, the two players selected were former Lion cornerback (and current Pittsburgh defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau and former Bronco running back Floyd Little. LeBeau would not be a bad pick, given that he had 62 career interceptions. Though his coaching career should not be a factor, it’s hard to believe that it won’t be.
The choice of Little will probably have some heads turning. His career stats include only one 1,000-yard season (he played during the 14-game-season era), and he finished his career with 6,323 yards. That number currently ranks 61st in NFL history. He retired before the Broncos
earned their first berth in a Super Bowl in 1977.
A website devoted to Little’s induction argues the following:
It’s time to elect Floyd Little
to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Without Floyd’s impact, the Denver Broncos
would have been forced to relocate over 40 yrs ago. The 5-Time Pro Bowler
who retired the 7th All-Time Rusher in NFL History saved the franchise.
No offense to Little, but this justifies Little’s induction into Broncos’ Ring of Fame, but Little is not as deserving as several Cowboys. These Cowboys are the same names we’ve heard plenty of times before: Chuck Howley, Cliff Harris, and Drew Pearson.
But given that 2010 will be the year that the Cowboys celebrate Smith’s induction, we can save other debates for future inductions.
[tags]Dallas Cowboys, Jersey Numbers[/tags]
Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series
Five Cowboys have worn #94. This includes four defensive linemen and one linebacker.
Chris Cooper, DT, Nebraska-Omaha, 2004
Longevity: He played in two games for the Cowboys in 2004.
Intangibles: Dallas was one of four teams on which Cooper played during a short career.
Charles Haley, DE, James Madison, 1992-96
Statistics: Haley recorded 34 sacks and 159 tackles with the Cowboys.
Accolades: He was named to two Pro Bowls and was named All Pro once as a Cowboy.
Longevity: He played five seasons in Dallas.
Intangibles: Haley’s acquisition in 1992 was a huge as Deion Sanders’ was in 1995. He immediately gave Dallas a pass rushing threat, and even has he suffered through injuries late during his tenure with the Cowboys, he was still dangerous. The Cowboys spent years trying to replace him.
Michael Myers, DL, Alabama, 1998-03
Statistics: Myers recorded 7.5 sacks and 101 tackles with the Cowboys.
Longevity: He played six seasons in Dallas.
Intangibles: Myers was a fourth round pick in 1998 who was a starter for only one year. He moved on to become a starter in Denver, and he was last seen in 2007 with Cincinnati.
DeMarcus Ware, LB, Troy St Univ., 2005-
Statistics: Ware has recorded 38.5 sacks, 186 tackles, and 56 assists with the Cowboys.
Accolades: He has been named to two Pro Bowls and one All Pro team.
Longevity: He is currently in his fourth season with the Cowboys.
Intangibles: Ware is a monster pass rusher who continues to get better. At the rate he is going, he could surpass many of the all-time greats in sack totals.
Randy Watts, DE, Catawba, 1987
Statistics: Watts recorded three sacks with the Cowboys.
Longevity: He played one season in Dallas.
Intangibles: He was a replacement player for three games but also saw action with the regulars later in the season.
Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #94.
- DeMarcus Ware (53%, 52 Votes)
- Charles Haley (48%, 47 Votes)
- Chris Cooper (0%, 0 Votes)
- Michael Myers (0%, 0 Votes)
- Randy Watts (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 98
My Vote: Haley
My vote could change if Dallas had success in the playoffs with Ware continuing to be such a force on defense. But I have to go with Haley, because without him, Dallas probably would not have won three Super Bowls in the 1990s. Haley was as important to the defense as Jay Novacek was to the offense. He was extremely fast off the ball, and few tackles could handle him individually. Dallas had a terrible time replacing him until…
The Cowboys drafted the current #94. Ware is a bigger version of what Haley was in San Francisco in the late 1980s, which bodes well for him. If there is a reason to vote for Ware, it is because Haley was already in his prime when he joined the Cowboys. Nevertheless, I cannot give it to Ware just yet.