Saturday, February 2, 2013
Charles Haley misses the cut again
By Calvin Watkins
What more does Charles Haley have to do?
The man has won five Super Bowl titles, three with the Dallas Cowboys and two with the San Francisco 49ers. When he left the 49ers for the Cowboys, it changed the power structure of the NFC.
Somehow, Haley wasn't elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Instead, two other men with Cowboys' ties, Larry Allen and Bill Parcells, will get to make a speech in Canton, Ohio.
What about Haley?
He finished his career with 100.5 career sacks, was a five-time Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro twice. A dominant force.
Haley has been a finalist for the Hall of Fame four times, including this year, but has never garnered enough votes to get in.
Maybe it's just hard for pass-rushers. Michael Strahan, a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro with 141.5 sacks, was a finalist in his first year of eligibility but didn't get the call, either.
"To see a Charles Haley and a Michael Strahan not make it tells you the strength of this class," said Rick Gosselin, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, who is a Hall of Fame voter, on NFL Network. "We left behind five people that could be next year's Hall of Fame class. That's how tough this process is."
We believe at some point Haley will get voted in. His off-the-field issues probably stain his name with some voters, but there's no question his impact on the game.
"When you have guys at the same position, this is the way I feel, Michael Strahan and Charles Haley, both deserved to go into the Hall of Fame," said Jim Trotter, another Hall of Fame voter who writes for Sports Illustrated. "So when I look at that, what I say to myself is how do I separate them if I believe they're both Hall of Fame players? In my mind, what I do, whether your believe it's fair or not, I say what's the pecking order? Who's been waiting the longest. In my mind, I voted Charles Haley first simply because he's been waiting so long, and that does not mean I don't believe Michael Strahan is a Hall of Famer, because I do. You have to have some sort of something to try and separate and figure out this process."