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Hall of Fame Class of 2023

D-Ware, Woodson Named Hall of Fame Finalists


The Cowboys all-time leader in sacks and all-time leader in tackles took a step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Both DeMarcus Ware and Darren Woodson were named among 15 modern-day finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ware was a finalist last year – his first season of HOF eligibility – but was not selected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

As for Woodson, this is the first season he's advanced past the semifinal round of 25 candidates.

Also, Ring of Honor linebacker Chuck Howley is a finalist as a senior candidate. Howley, one of the first great defensive players in Cowboys history, is the only player to ever win Super Bowl MVP honors for the losing team.

The announcement will take place Feb. 11, the night before Super Bowl LVII in Arizona.

Ware, a first-round pick of the Cowboys in 2005, played nine seasons in Dallas, registering a franchise-record 117 sacks. He spent the final three years of his career in Denver, where he helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50.

Ware later re-signed with the Cowboys for a day to retire in Dallas.

Woodson spent his entire career with the Cowboys, setting the record for most tackles in franchise history in 2002. Woodson took a backseat to other high-profile players in his career as the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls in the 90s. Ironically enough, the day he set the team record for most tackles in 2002, Woodson's moment was overshadowed by Emmitt Smith, who became the NFL's all-time leading rusher that same day.

Still, Woodson earned five Pro Bowls during his career from 1992-2003. Even today, he's the only player in franchise history to play for five different head coaches.

As a senior candidate, Howley automatically advances to the final round.

A five-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowlers, Howley played 15 seasons (1958-73), including the last 13 in Dallas, where he was part of the Doomsday Defense.

Another player with Cowboys ties that advance to the round of 15 finalists is Zach Thomas, who played the final season of his 13-year career in Dallas in 2008. Thomas played 12 seasons for the Dolphins and earned eight Pro Bowl selections.

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