Here we are in the National Football League playoffs but for us that it means it is time to discuss the potential class of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The Finalists have been announced, and along with regular contributor, Spheniscus, we will go back and forth with each candidate and openly debate as to which player would be a worthy Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Committee Chairman: Love him or hate him, there is only one Jerry Jones.  Featured prominently on Awfulplasticsurgery.com, Jones is an owner I really like, mainly because I only want two things from an owner:

1. That he/she/they wants to keep the team in the city.

2. That he/she/they wants to win.

That isn’t much in terms of criteria, but amazingly a lot of owners fail to meet them.  Jones is a meddler, but his desire to win outshines a lot of his flaws.  He also has a nice collection of rings, and could add another one soon.

Spheniscus: Sigh. Well… I will not rant about Halls of Fame electing too many non-players, I will not rant about Halls of Fame electing too many non-players, I will not rant…

Phew. Okay. If Al Davis is a Hall of Famer then so is Jerry Jones. He has 2 championships and a rather nice building. He is one of the foremost people you think of when you think of owners in the United States. He is also a thoroughly mediocre General Manager. But if there is a current owner who deserves to go in, it is Jones.

And I think he will.


Committee Chairman: You know I never thought I would ever like an owner like Jones. As a kid, I grew up in the Harold Ballard era, the cantankerous owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the 80’s they were awful, and he was a crotchety who put crap on the ice knowing that he would sell out Maple Leaf Gardens every night and make a serious profit, which he did.

So, when I see a loud mouthed owner, I worry, but that stems from Ballard’s non committal attitude towards winning. Jones isn’t that.

So if we both agree that he should be a Hall of Famer, do we think we are going to see an Al Davis like decline?

Spheniscus: Up until this season, you can argue that it was already here. He is a seriously mediocre general manager. But we’ll see.

The better question for me is who is the next owner to get nominated? Doesn’t it have to be Robert Kraft? Particularly if the Patriots win the Super Bowl next week? How would that debate go?


Committee Chairman: There is no debate from my end. Robert Kraft should be in now. He is loved, he is successful and even those who hate the Pats can’t make an argument against it. As for whether Jerry should be in, I think he should, but I wouldn’t vote for him this year. I don’t think the HOF committee will either.

Spheniscus: Robert Kraft would also be a stone cold lock for giving the drunkest induction speech in history. If the Pats win on Sunday, the over/under on shots he will have between the end of the game and getting down for the trophy presentation will be approximately three handles of Jack Daniels. I can’t imagine what his Canton speech would be like.

I think Jones probably goes in. Honestly, other than Kraft, what other candidates are there? Art Modell? Bill Bidwill? Pat Bowlen? Tom Benson? Jerry Richardson? Unless you want to go Virginia McCaskey, I just don’t think anyone else is there yet.

So Jones goes in. But this should be the last time we have two contributors and one senior candidate. That is just insulting. Unless of course, coaches move to this category. Then I can understand the two from time to time. 
Our long and arduous work in progress of ranking the top fifty players for every North American sports team is underway, but after that is completed we will then take a look how each franchise honors their own in terms of respective franchise halls of fame, ring of honors, retired numbers and statues.

As such it is news to us that last weekend the Dallas Cowboys added Darren Woodson to their prestigious Ring of Honor at halftime of their home game against Seattle.

Woodson was drafted out of Arizona State in the second round in 1992 and would spend thirteen seasons in the National Football League, all of which were with the Cowboys.  Converted to Safety from Linebacker, Woodson would have an outstanding career in professional football making five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1994 to 98 and would make three First Team All Pro squads during that timeframe. 

More importantly to Woodson (and to the Cowboys fans), he was a big part of helping the team win three Super Bowls in the 1990’s, though it was the potent offense and triumvirate of Aikman, Smith and Irvin that got most of the attention.  Woodson was also set the record for tackles by a Dallas Cowboy.

While this is an elite accolade for the Defensive End, Woodson was asked what he felt about the most prestigious post career honor, the Hall of Fame:

“I think about it all the time when I see guys going in.  When I look at my career and the guys I played with and played against, there ain’t a Hall of Famer I couldn’t have played with.

But if you are asking me, it’s like me coming in my first year asking me if I should be starting? I say, ‘Hell, yeah!’ It’s like asking if I belong in the Ring of Honor? ‘Hell, yeah!’ So should I be in the Hall of Fame? ‘Hell, yeah!’ But that decision is not up to me. That’s every football player’s ultimate goal. It would be icing on the cake.”

Last year, Woodson was a Semi-Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, however he has yet to be a Finalist and is not (though he was close) to making our Notinhalloffame.com 100 for Hall consideration.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Darren Woodson for achieving this honor!








Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys/article42105006.html#storylink=cpy

  

It looks like we have another significant retirement in the National Football League.

Dallas Cowboys Right Tackle, Doug Free has elected to retire at the age of 33.  Free was not an All-Pro Offensive Lineman, but was the emotional leader of a crew considered to be one of the best in the business.

Out of the University of Northern Illinois, Free was drafted by Dallas in the 4th Round of the 2007 Draft.  He would take over as the starting Right Tackle in the 2010 season and would start 114 of his 124 Games in the NFL, all of which were with the Cowboys.

Free is not likely to be considered a Hall of Famer, or even for the Cowboys Ring of Honor for that matter, but had a good career and we wish him the best in his post NFL career. 
Another day, another major retirement in the National Football League.

On his Twitter page, DeMarcus Ware has announced his retirement citing that his “long-term health and quality of life outweigh the spark and passion to play that I once had.”  Ware is retiring at 34 Years old.

Drafted 11th overall in 2005 by the Dallas Cowboys out of Troy, the former two time All Sun Belt Selection won the starting Linebacker job in training camp and would make the Pro Bowl the following year, the first of nine trips.  The following season, Ware would make the First Team All Pro honors, and would earn that accolade four of the next five years. 

Ware would lead the NFL in Quarterback Sacks twice over his career and had eight seasons where he would have double digits in that category.  He would later help the Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50.

Ware retires from the NFL 8th overall in Sacks with 138.5.  He played 178 Games professionally.

While we are not certain whether or not Ware will get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot, he is likely to get in eventually and will certainly warrant a high rank when he is eligible in 2022.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate DeMarcus Ware on a wonderful career and we wish him the best in his post-playing career.

3. Chuck Howley

Although we don’t have Chuck Howley at the number one spot we can argue that he is hands down the most disrespected on our football list.  We don’t feel that way because he has not been inducted; we feel that we because he has never made the ballot!

6. Terrell Owens

Hands down, this has to be the most interesting player on this list to seek entry into Canton is Terrell Owens.

Statistically speaking, T.O. has the resume. As of this writing, he is number two in Receiving Yards, third in Receiving Touchdowns and sixth in receptions. He had seasons as a dominating player, earning five First Team All Pro nods and six Pro Bowls, and in his lone Super Bowl appearance he was a beast with 122 Yards despite coming off a horse collar tackle injury. That’s what should put him in; now here is what could keep him out.

33. 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.

34. Drew Pearson

As shown with earlier entries, the 1970’s may have delivered some great wide receivers but statistically they don’t measure up to the huge numbers put out by the current generation.  Drew Pearson was a star in his time, but he his sometimes forgotten due to the time in which he played.

In the mid 70’s Drew Pearson was the Cowboy’s go to receiver and the one they counted on in the clutch.  He was a big play receiver and was named to the 1970’s All Decade team and led the league in receiving yards in 1977.  Had there been ESPN when he played he would have been a Sunday night staple on Sports Center.

36. Herschel Walker

It may be called the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but for all intents and purposes it only focuses on accomplishments from the NFL and to a lesser extent the AFL.  This is too bad for Herschel Walker who chalked up monster totals in his first three years of Pro Football, but did so as a member of the New Jersey Generals of the upstart United States Football League.

Walker would go to the Dallas Cowboys and would forever try to live up to the Play Station like numbers he put up in College and in the USFL.  Walker was still very good, and put up good numbers for Dallas in both receiving and running the ball.  He was however the focal point of one of the more lopsided trades in NFL history where the Vikings sent five players and a multitude of draft picks (three of which were Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper and Darren Woodson).  Dallas would use this to build a dynasty of the 90’s, and Minnesota coaches took there frustration out on Walker who was not used to the best of his ability while as a Viking.  Herschel was still good, but his stock dramatically went down.

40. Harold Carmichael

At 6’ 8, we were not sure how anybody watching Philadelphia Eagles games could ever miss Harold Carmichael, no matter how bad their television was.  Luckily for those same fans, Eagles Quarterbacks didn’t miss him either.

Harold Carmichael was a sure handed receiver for over a decade.  He had a magical 1973 campaign where he led the league in receptions and receiving yards.  Although he never duplicated those stats, he would twice more hit the 1,000 yard mark.  Carmichael was one of the game’s all time clutch Wide Receivers and he was the man who you expected to penetrate the end zone for the Eagles.  A whopping thirteen percent of his catches were for touchdowns, and remember this is someone who is firmly entrenched in the top one hundred all time in receptions.

43. Randall Cunningham

If the Football Hall of Fame was based solely on excitement there should be no doubt that Randall Cunningham would have been inducted on the first ballot.  His nickname of the “Human Highlight Reel” was well deserved and he was hands down the most entertaining Quarterback of his era.

Randall Cunningham could beat you with his throwing arms or with his legs.  He excelled at scrambling and is the current all time leader for rushing yards (4,928) for a Quarterback.  This made him exciting to watch but also overshadowed his ability to throw.  Cunningham was an efficient thrower and as his speed began to wane, he was able to prove to a lot of people in the league that he could throw with the best of them.

57. Billy Howton

You would think that the All Time Leader in NFL receptions would have been at least been a finalist for the Hall of Fame.  Of course, Billy Howton was the all time leader when he retired in 1963.  He has dropped considerably since then.

Billy Howton was one of the top receivers for the Green Bay Packers through out the 1950’s.  He was a constant fixture for years in every receiving category and when he became the all time leader in receptions and yards he took that slot from the legendary Don Hutson.

72. Drew Bledsoe

Did we make a mistake not ranking Drew Bledsoe in his first year of eligibility? Statistically speaking we may have as his career statistics are more impressive than other Quarterbacks ranked higher than him. However other intangibles come into play which just makes it so hard for us to determine the perfect place for him on this list.

85. Lee Roy Jordan

Before the Dallas Cowboys truly became “America’s Team”, they had to establish themselves as a true force in the National Football League.  A big part of that emergence was their defense, of which Linebacker; Lee Roy Jordan played a key role.