The list of 126 nominees has been trimmed to 25 modern-era semifinalists and it includes a former Cowboys head coach that won two Super Bowls and the key defensive player who helped him get there.
Jimmy Johnson is one of the first-year eligible nominees to make the list of 25 semifinalists. The only other with Cowboys ties is Charles Haley, who has been a finalist each of the last four years. [embedded_ad]
Johnson, who replaced Tom Landry as Cowboys head coach in 1989, spent five years in Dallas and guided the team to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1992 and 1993.
Johnson left coaching after that season, only to return in 1996 for a four-year run in Miami.
Haley is the only player with five Super Bowl rings, winning two with the 49ers, where he played from 1986-91 and three in Dallas.
Haley joined the Cowboys in 1992 and is often considered the last key ingredient to those Super Bowl winning teams that included the "Triplets" on offense with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.
Other first-year nominees include Marvin Harrison and Steve Wisniewski, who was actually a Cowboys' second-round pick in 1989 but was traded to Oakland for more picks, including one used to draft Daryl Johnston just 10 selections later.
Here's the complete list of modern-era semifinalists is as follows:
- Morten Andersen, K –**1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
- Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets* *
- Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
- Derrick Brooks, LB – 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
- Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
- Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
- Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
- Tony Dungy, Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts
- Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
- Charles Haley,* *DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
- Marvin Harrison, WR – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
- Joe Jacoby, T –* *1981-1993 Washington Redskins
- Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
- Walter Jones,* *– T – 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks
- John Lynch, FS –* *1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
- Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
- Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
- Michael Strahan, DE –* *1993-2007 New York Giants
- Paul Tagliabue,* *Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
- Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams* *
- Steve Wisniewski, G – 1989-2001 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
- George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League
The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are punter Ray Guy (1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders) and defensive end Claude Humphrey (1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles).
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced during a one-hour special on NFL Network on Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014.
With the list of semifinalists being announced, fans now have the opportunity to experience what it's like to be on the selection committee through a new voting experience available at nfl.com/hofvote. There, fans will be asked to select their top 15 modern-era candidates to make it as finalists, in line with the next step in the selection process.
The Class of 2014 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 1, in New York, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII. The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2014 will be announced during "3rd Annual NFL Honors," a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally that evening from 7-9 p.m. (CT) on FOX. "NFL Honors" will be taped earlier that evening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City from 5-7 p.m. (CT) when the 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees will be introduced for the first time. In addition, the NFL and The Associated Press will announce their annual accolades in this awards show with the winners on hand to accept their awards.
The Class of 2014 will be officially enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio as the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Annual Enshrinement Festival Celebration.