Linemen Dominate 2012 NFL Hall of Fame Selections

By Chris Malumphy

Linemen dominated the 2012 NFL Hall of Fame selections. Defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, defensive end Chris Doleman, tackle Willie Roaf and center Dermontti Dawson dominated the trenches and earned their path to glory as Hall of Fame enshrinees. Joining them in the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 are running back Curtis Martin and defensive back Jack Butler.

Kennedy, Doleman and Roaf were all premium first round draft picks, taken within the top eight choices of the draft. Dawson was drafted in the second round, Martin in the third, and Butler was undrafted.

Among the final nominees who were not selected for enshrinement were Coach Bill Parcells and Owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr., each of whom made indelible marks upon the league. Parcells should be a certain selection in the future. DeBartolo's legal problems which drove him from the league may forever keep him out of the Hall, although being tabbed a finalist demonstrates how strong his candidacy is.

Among the spurned players, wide receiver Cris Carter and Charles Haley seem to be the most overlooked. Carter retired with the second most receptions and yards for any receiver, trailing only Jerry Rice. Haley was a key contributor on five Super Bowl victors. Others who didn't make the cut were: running back Jerome Bettis, receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed, guard Dick Stanfel, tackle Will Shields, defensive back Aeneas Williams, and pass rusher deluxe Kevin Greene.

2012 Hall of Fame Selections
Name Drafted Round Pick Player Team Position College Contribution
Cortez Kennedy1990133SeahawksDTMiami (FL)Seahawks 1990-2000
Chris Doleman1985144VikingsDEPittsburghVikings 1985-1993, 1999;
Falcons 1994-1995;
49ers 1996-1998
Willie Roaf1993188Saints TLouisiana TechSaints 1993-2001;
Chiefs 2002-2005
Dermontti Dawson198821744Steelers CKentuckySteelers 1988-2000
Curtis Martin199531074PatriotsRBPittsburghPatriots 1995-1997;
Jets 1998-2005
Jack Butler19561711204Rams TKentuckySteelers 1951-1959
2012 Hall of Fame Finalists
Who Didn't Make the Cut
Name Drafted Round Pick Player Team Position College Contribution
Tim Brown1988166RaidersWRNotre DameRaiders 1998-2003;
Buccaneers 2004
Jerome Bettis199311010RamsRBNotre DameRams 1993-1995;
Steelers 1996-2005
Dick Stanfel19512519Lions GSan FranciscoLions 1952-1955;
Redskins 1956-1958
Aeneas Williams19913459CardinalsDBSouthernCardinals 1991-2000;
Rams 2001-2004
Will Shields199331874Chiefs GNebraskaChiefs 1993-2006
Andre Reed19854286BillsWRKutztown (PA)Bills 1985-1999;
Redskins 2000
Cris Carter1987s4 
EaglesWROhio StateEagles 1987-1989;
Vikings 1990-2001;
Dolphins 2002
Bill Parcells19647589Lions TWichita StateCoach Giants 1983-1990;
Patriots 1993-1996;
Jets 1997-1999;
Cowboys 2003-2006
Charles Haley19864149649ersDEJames Madison49ers 1986-1991, 1999;
Cowboys 1992-1996
Kevin Greene198551113RamsLBAuburnRams 1985-1992;
Steelers 1993-1995;
Panthers 1996, 1998-1999;
49ers 1997
Edward DeBartolo, Jr.       Owner 49ers 1977-1999