Tomlinson, Taylor, Dawkins Among 15 Finalists for Pro Football HOF
Published on January 4 2017 6:06 am
Last Updated on January 4 2017 6:07 am
Written by Millie Lange
First-year eligibles LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and Brian Dawkins are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also making the finals are Morten Andersen, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Terrell Davis, Alan Faneca, Joe Jacoby, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae, Terrell Owens and Kurt Warner.
Previously selected as a finalist by the veterans committee is former Seattle safety Kenny Easley.
In the contributors' category, the nominees are former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The class of 2017 will be elected on Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl in Houston. Inductions will be Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.
Other than Tomlinson, Taylor and Dawkins, first-time finalists are Boselli, Bruce, Law, Mawae, Easley and Jones.
Most-frequent finalists are Lynch, Tagliabue and Coryell, four times apiece. Davis and Warner are three-time finalists.
Coryell, an offensive mastermind with the Cardinals and Chargers, is in his 30th year of eligibility. Easley is in his 25th, while Jacoby, the left tackle on the Redskins offensive line known as the "Hogs," is in his 19th.
Tomlinson played 11 NFL seasons, nine with San Diego, winning league MVP honors in 2006 when he set a record with 28 rushing touchdowns. He won two rushing titles.
Dawkins spent 16 seasons in the NFL, 13 with Philadelphia, and was considered a prototype modern safety. He made four All-Pro teams and was the first player with a sack, interception, fumble recovery and touchdown catch in the same game (vs. Houston in 2002).
Taylor was one of the NFL's top pass-rushers for 15 seasons, mostly with Miami. The 2006 Defensive Player of the Year with 13½ sacks, he had 139½ sacks for his career.
Upon learning he was a finalist, Taylor tweeted that he was "honored" by the nod.
Among the other modern-era finalists, Andersen is the NFL's career scoring leader with 2,544 points, and has the most field goals (565) and games (382) while playing for five franchises. He made two all-decade teams (1980s and '90s).
Bruce, Davis, Faneca, Jacoby, Law, Lynch and Warner all won Super Bowls.
Among those who did not advance to the final round are safety and current ESPN analyst Darren Woodson, receiver Hines Ward and coach Jimmy Johnson.
Quarterback Andrew Luck
The pickings were slim for the 8-8 Colts, but Luck was the runaway winner for the pick for Most Valuable Player honors. He finished eighth in the NFL in passing yards (4,240) and fifth in touchdown passes (31). He completed a career-high 63.5 percent of his pass attempts, as he had no problem bouncing back from a disappointing 2015 season where he committed 13 turnovers and missed nine games due to injury. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton finishes second on the Colts when it comes to MVP because he led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,448. -- Mike Wells
Running back Jordan Howard
The talented rookie easily wins Chicago's MVP award. One of the lone bright spots, Howard rushed for 1,313 yards and six TDs, breaking Matt Forte's single-season rushing record for a Bears rookie. A fifth-round draft choice out of Indiana, Howard had seven 100-plus yard rushing games and also caught 29 passes for 298 yards and one touchdown. Howard should only be stronger in 2017 after an entire offseason in the Bears' strength and conditioning program. -- Jeff Dickerson
Saturday, January 7 Schedule (All Times Central)
Oakland at Houston, 3:35 p.m.
Detroit at Seattle, 7:15 p.m.
Sunday, January 8 Schedule (All Times Central)
Miami at Pittsburgh, 12:05 p.m.
New York Giants at Green Bay, 3:40 p.m.