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|
|Cortez Kennedy||1990||1||3||3||Seahawks||DT||Miami (FL)||Seahawks 1990-2000|
|Chris Doleman||1985||1||4||4||Vikings||DE||Pittsburgh||Vikings 1985-1993, 1999; |
|Willie Roaf||1993||1||8||8||Saints||T||Louisiana Tech||Saints 1993-2001; |
|Dermontti Dawson||1988||2||17||44||Steelers||C||Kentucky||Steelers 1988-2000|
|Curtis Martin||1995||3||10||74||Patriots||RB||Pittsburgh||Patriots 1995-1997; |
|Jack Butler||1956||17||11||204||Rams||T||Kentucky||Steelers 1951-1959|
|2012 Hall of Fame Finalists|
Who Didn't Make the Cut
|Tim Brown||1988||1||6||6||Raiders||WR||Notre Dame||Raiders 1998-2003; |
|Jerome Bettis||1993||1||10||10||Rams||RB||Notre Dame||Rams 1993-1995; |
|Dick Stanfel||1951||2||5||19||Lions||G||San Francisco||Lions 1952-1955; |
|Aeneas Williams||1991||3||4||59||Cardinals||DB||Southern||Cardinals 1991-2000; |
|Will Shields||1993||3||18||74||Chiefs||G||Nebraska||Chiefs 1993-2006|
|Andre Reed||1985||4||2||86||Bills||WR||Kutztown (PA)||Bills 1985-1999; |
|Cris Carter||1987s||4|| || ||Eagles||WR||Ohio State||Eagles 1987-1989; |
|Bill Parcells||1964||7||5||89||Lions||T||Wichita State||Coach Giants 1983-1990; |
|Charles Haley||1986||4||14||96||49ers||DE||James Madison||49ers 1986-1991, 1999; |
|Kevin Greene||1985||5||1||113||Rams||LB||Auburn||Rams 1985-1992; |
Panthers 1996, 1998-1999;
|Edward DeBartolo, Jr.||Owner 49ers 1977-1999|