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Mailbag: D-Ware's HOF Chances? A Notable Snub? 


I just saw the Pro Football Hall of Fame list of finalists. How is Darren Woodson not on it? I believe this man is absolutely a Hall of Famer. Am I just biased? And do you think DeMarcus Ware will make it in his first year of eligibility? — MICHAEL FORNARO / LINWOOD, NJ

Rob: I would be shocked if Ware isn't a first-ballot selection based on this year's list of finalists. It's an excellent group, but his resume stacks up favorably with everyone else's. You know my answer on Darren Woodson. Spent months working on the Deep Blue "A Path To Safety" and explaining what he meant to the '90s dynasty. One day I do believe it'll happen, but not this year. By the way, Trevon Diggs' season is a reminder of Everson Walls' greatness. Hopefully he can get back to that finalist stage again.

David: You're not biased, Woody is definitely a deserving Hall of Fame candidate. Unfortunately, I think there are a couple factors working against him. For starters, there are already seven members of those 90s teams in the Hall, and I'm just not sure Woody has the same level of name recognition as Troy, Emmitt, Deion, and so on. Similarly, safety is just not an easy position for consideration. By my count, there are only 15 true safeties in the Hall of Fame, and several big names like Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu and John Lynch have gone in recently. I still think he's got a chance, but clearly he's in a bit of a logjam. As for D-Ware, I'll be shocked if he's not in on the first ballot. The man is No. 13 all-time in sacks.

It seems most of the other Cowboys offseason free agent acquisitions have been discussed lately with the exception of Keanu Neal. How do you think he has played so far this season and is he a player you would like to bring back next year? — FRED ROBERTS / SALEM, OR

Rob: Not sure if Neal will be back next year, but his play has had a positive impact on the defense. He's third in tackles and the defense clearly missed him against the Cardinals, trying to keep Kyler Murray in check last Sunday.

David: My answer to that question is always going to be about the price point. He's been a useful player with 67 tackles and four tackles for loss, and I think he's helped them improve their team speed, given his smaller and faster build. If he can be brought back on another small contract, that's fine with me. But it is worth remembering that Jabril Cox is still part of their plans, and linebacker is always a fun position to address through the draft. It's always about price.

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