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Cliff Harris Elected To Pro Football Hall of Fame


The wait is finally over.

Cliff Harris had to wait over 40 years to finally get the call, but it came Wednesday morning. One of the NFL's greatest safeties of all time is headed to Canton.

Harris was finally elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class of 2020, along with 12 other inductees Wednesday morning. Harris was one of 10 senior candidates, while three other contributors were included. Two coaches (Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson) were announced last week and five modern day finalists will be elected on Feb. 1, rounding out this year's full class of 20 new inductees headed to Canton, Ohio.

While Harris finally made it, a teammate on the other side of the ball was left out. The Cowboys were hopeful that both Harris and Drew Pearson would get inducted into this oversized class, but Pearson once again missed the cut. Also, Cowboys founder and owner Clint Murchison was one of the finalists as a contributor but was not selected.

Among the other players selected to the Hall of Fame, former Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael will be headed to Canton. He actually finished his career in Dallas, catching his final pass with the Cowboys during the 1984 season.

But it's obviously a big day for Harris, whose journey to the Cowboys wasn't easy.

Coming out of Ouachita Baptist, an NAIA school in Arkansas, Harris was not drafted in 1970, but accepted a free-agent contract with the Cowboys, who brought in over 120 undrafted rookies to camp.

He didn't just beat those guys out for a job, but Harris eventually found the starting lineup as a rookie and would go on to be one of the anchors to the powerful Doomsday Defense that helped the Cowboys win two Super Bowls in the 1970s.

A 10-year career that filled out the entire decade, Harris played one nine playoff teams and helped the Cowboys win seven NFC East titles.

Nicknamed, "Captain Crash," Harris was known for being a big-time hitter, especially alongside fellow safety Charlie Waters. There wasn't a better duo of safeties in the NFL at that time and it's unlikely that any team has been able to pair up two safeties to the quality of Harris and Waters.

While Harris was known for his violent collisions over the middle with brave receivers, he also had a way of getting the ball. He had 29 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries.

He was named to the All-Decade team for the 1970's and eventually became a member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2004.

The 20-person Hall of Fame class of 2020 will be completed Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl, when five modern-era players are selected from a group of 15 finalists. Linebacker Zack Thomas, who played for the Cowboys in 2008, is among the finalists up for consideration.