Friday, January 11, 2013
Another Cowboys Hall of Famer? Larry Allen, Charles Haley, Bill Parcells are finalists
There's every reason to believe Allen will be a first ballot winner.
You won't see the Cowboys at the Super Bowl this February.
But you could see old Cowboys in New Orleans that weekend with the announcement Friday that Larry Allen, Charles Haley, and Bill Parcells are among the finalists for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2013. The Hall of Fame selection committee will discuss the 17 finalists and elect the Class of 2013 on the Saturday before the Super Bowl.
The discussion of Allen shouldn't take too long. This is his first year of eligibility and he has the credentials to become the seventh first-ballot selection in franchise history, joining Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach, Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith.
And there's every reason to believe Allen will be a first ballot winner. He belongs by any measure. Allen is one of a small handful of two-time NFL all-decade selections, earning that acclaim for both the 1990s and 2000s. He went to 10 Pro Bowls -- only Lilly in franchise history went to more -- and has already been enshrined in the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
Haley and Parcells won't have as strong a case. This is the fourth time each has been a finalist and both were passed over a year ago for the Class of 2012.
Haley played for a record five Super Bowl champions, which defines his impact as a pass rusher. But statistically, he ranks just 28th on the all-time sack list with 100 ½, forced 25 fumbles, recovered eight, and went to only five Pro Bowls. The pass rusher elected over Haley in the Class of 2012, Chris Doleman, ranks fifth in career sacks with 151, forced 43 fumbles, recovered 23 and went to eight Pro Bowls.
Parcells won two Super Bowls with the Giants, took a second franchise (Patriots) to a Super Bowl, another to a conference title game (Jets) and another to the playoffs (Cowboys). He ranks 10 all-time with 172 victories.
But this is another strong slate of player candidates with eight all-decade selections in addition to Allen. There are only five modern-era slots in each class. When the decision comes down to a player versus a non-player, such as Parcells, players usually wins out. That's been the case three times previously when Parcells has been a finalist.