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Thursday, February 4, 2010
Can Charles Haley get into the Hall of Fame?

By Calvin Watkins

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- We know running back Emmitt Smith is headed to the Hall of Fame, Jerry Rice too.

What about Charles Haley?

The former Cowboys pass rusher is a finalist for the first time and on Saturday Nancy Gay of AOL Fanhouse will make a case for him.

Haley has five Super Bowl rings, the most by any man in league history, he compiled 100.5 sacks in 169 games and was a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All Pro.

It would seem former Chicago Bears end Richard Dent, 137.5 sacks in 203 career games along with a four Pro Bowls and twice named a All Pro, might knock Haley out.

However, Haley was a nasty man when he played. He treated teammates and members of the media badly. Since his retirement, Haley has become more friendly, he even talked to a few reporters near the end of the regular season.

"I think he should get in, one of the first guys to get five Super Bowl rings, it's hard to do," said former teammate, Leon Lett. "He was a great teammate, he had some issues, everybody does and he's corrected those."
Former teammate Daryl 'Moose' Johnston said Haley reached out to him to get a phone number for tight end Jay Novacek, who's wife died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"He was a great teammate, there were a lot of stories about Charles coming out of San Francisco and when he came to our team a lot of us were kinda nervous about what to expect from Charles," Johnston said. "We're still friends to this day. He's a good guy."

This about the fourth time Haley has been eligible for the hall but the first time he's reached the finalist stage. The issue as we said before is Dent and how he treated people.

"I think he's waited long enough," Lett said. "It's been a while now, somebody from that defense deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. For three years we were the No. 1 defense and Charles was part of that anchor."