IRVING, Texas – It took Chris Doleman eight years to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame, edging out pass rushing counterpart Charles Haley for a spot in the 2012 Class.
Will the eighth year be a charm for Haley? The competition for Canton only gets tougher in 2013.
Fellow 2012 finalists Bill Parcells and Cris Carter will be considered once again, and their exclusions this year might have been just as surprising as Haley's. Then there's a esteemed group of first-year eligible candidates headlined by 11-time Pro Bowler Larry Allen, the most dominant offensive lineman in Cowboys history. He's a virtual lock. Left tackle Jonathan Odgen, the Ravens franchise's version of Larry Allen, is also eligible next year.
Maybe the biggest competition for Haley is a pair of younger pass rushers, Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp, who now have a chance for election.
It would seem 2012 offered a better chance for Haley than 2013. Doleman got the nod with an outstanding 10-year career, tallying 150.5 sacks in 232 games. But Haley had 100.5 sacks in 169 career games, as well as an NFL-record five Super Bowl rings.