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Thursday, February 10, 2011
BBAO: Richard Dent's long road to the Hall

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Defensive end Richard Dent retired from the NFL after the 1997 season. At the time, he had more sacks than all but two players in the NFL's history of recording the statistic. So why did it take until 2011 for Dent to get elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, who is one of 44 voters on the selection committee, attempts to explain why. According to Pompei, the biggest objection he heard over the years was that Dent played in only four Pro Bowls. As Pompei goes on to explain, Dent was a legitimate snub from at least two other Pro Bowls in which he had better sack numbers than the players who were elected ahead of him.

Meanwhile, Dent apparently also suffered from the "stigma" of being on a defense with stars Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary. "In truth," Pompei writes, "he was the primary playmaker on one of the most dominant defenses in history and a primary reason the Bears won so much. The Bears won 72 percent of the games in which he had a sack. When he didn't have one, they won 39 percent."

That sounds like the definition of "long overdue" to me.

Continuing around the NFC North: