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24. Cliff Harris
Generally you wouldn’t think that a six time Pro Bowl selection would come out of Ouachita Baptist, but that small Arkansas school produced Cliff Harris, one of the best Safeties that the Dallas Cowboys ever had.

Harris wasn’t known for interceptions (though he did have 29), but the man dubbed “Captain Crash” was known for bone crushing hits and was exceptionally valuable on the pass defense.  Because of his hits, opposing receivers were terrified of him and more than a few likely had moments of fear prior to catching the ball.  When needed, Cliff Harris was capable of returning balls on Special Teams and was the primary Kick Returner early in his career for Dallas.  Harris was honored as a three time First Team All Pro and was named to the 1970’s All Decade Team.

Cliff Harris was a finalist in 2004, but he has since dropped off and has not been thought of since.  Considering the high regard he was held (and not just in Dallas), it is a little curious that he couldn’t get a second nomination at least.

Should Cliff Harris be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 87.5%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.6%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 0.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 8%

The Bullet Points

  • Country of Origin: Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.A.
  • Eligible Since: Tuesday, 01 January 1985
  • Position: Free Safety
  • Played For: Dallas Cowboys
  • College: Ouachita Baptist
  • Drafted: Undrafted in 1970
  • Major Accolades and Awards: Pro Bowl Selections (6) (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 & 1979)
    First Team All Pro Selection (3) (1976, 1977 & 1978)
    Second Team All Pro Selection (1) (1975)
    NFL 1970’s All Decade Team
    Super Bowl Rings (2) (Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl VI & XII)
  • Other Points of Note: Top Ten Finishes: Approximate Value (1) (1978)
    Top Ten Finishes: Kick Returns (2) (1971 & 1972)
    Top Ten Finishes: Kick Return Yards (1) (1971)
    Top Ten Finishes: Punt Returns (1) (1972)
  • Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame: Finalist:  2004

Should Cliff Harris be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 87.5%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.6%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 0.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 8%
Last modified on Friday, 03 May 2019 22:58


-3 #7 Jim norman 2016-03-06 13:25
I work on cliffs garagedoors he not only was a great player but he is a great man I worked on his doors saved him a lot of money and he gave me all my grand children and sons I laws autographed pictures of him and Charlie waters he would be a class addition to the hall of fame
-1 #6 Rasputin 2015-08-11 19:42
There's a lot more to playing safety than racking up interception s (that was more Charlie Waters' role), and great hits aren't "cheap shots". Larry Wilson himself said, "I feel Harris is the finest free safety in the business today. He changed the way the position is being played. You see other teams modeling their free safeties around the way Harris plays the pass, and striking fear in everyone on the field because he hits so hard."


Robinson was an old AFL guy who only played 2 years into the full merger. Harris had more competition for accolades, and won more Super Bowls than Robinson, Krause, and Wilson. He was named first team All Decade for good reason, and the team's secondary declined sharply after he retired.
+2 #5 cka2nd . 2015-08-10 18:12
I've argued elsewhere that Johnny Robinson should be in the Hall so I'm at least willing to listen to the case for Harris and Scott, but they're both borderline to me. Scott was more of a ball hawk, Harris a cheap shot artist (sorry, a hitter) and both had shorter careers than Robinson, Krause and Larry Wilson.

In defense of Paul Krause, I would note that he made the Pro Bowl and was First Team All-Pro at both an earlier age (22) and later one (33) than the other four gentlemen mentioned. That's a pretty amazing spread.
0 #4 Committee Chairman 2015-02-20 20:13
Scott isn't, but we are looking to expand to 250 so that others we may have missed may move up. The site is designed to be interactive allowing for opinions to matter and alter rankings.
+1 #3 DC 2015-02-20 17:23
I understand why he's on your list. Cliff deserves to be in the Hall, but I can't understand why Jake Scott isn't on your list (unless I missed him). I guess people can argue Kenny Easley and Dick Anderson had careers that were cut short, but Jake Scott was the premier free safety of the NFL from 1970-75. These guys (Cliff Harris and Jake Scott) were every bit as good as Paul Krause and both deserve to be in the HOF.
-2 #2 Rasputin 2014-06-14 20:12
Cliff Harris is the only first team 70s All Decade defensive player not in the HoF, and his omission is travesty.
-4 #1 Jim norman 2013-07-26 23:20
Worked on cliffs garagedoor he sent me my wife and grand kids glosses of him he is a great man and a great player hevshould be in the hal

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