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Two Former Cowboys Among Semifinalists for 2023 Hall of Fame

Sports

Chuck Howley | Image by Inside The Star

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The 12-person committee responsible for selecting the 2023 National Football League’s (NFL) Hall of Fame Senior Class has selected 25 semifinalists among eligible former players and 29 coaches and contributors for consideration. Among the 54 names are a pair of players that Cowboys fans may recognize and one player who was with the former Dallas Texans during the team’s sole season in North Texas in 1952.

Chuck Howley stamped his name on the history books during a 13-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. During Super Bowl V, Howley recorded two interceptions and forced a fumble. He was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game following the Cowboys’ 16-13 loss. He is the only player in NFL history to win MVP while playing for the losing team.

Howley was equally vital in his second Super Bowl appearance with the Cowboys at the end of the 1971 season, contributing a fumble recovery and an interception as Dallas went on to win the team’s first Super Bowl in franchise history. He was named to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1977, becoming the fourth Cowboy to receive the honor. He was also inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Howley was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears and suffered what was initially believed to be a career-ending knee injury in 1959. After sitting out the 1961 season, having retired from the sport, Howley decided to play for Dallas in the team’s second season. His 13 seasons are the second-longest career of any player in franchise history.

The committee also announced that Cowboys great and Dallas-native Everson Walls had been moved forward to the final round of voting. Walls was an instant star with the Cowboys after being picked up as an undrafted free agent rookie in 1981. He made 11 interceptions in his rookie season, setting a franchise record that stood alone until Trevon Diggs tied it last season.

Walls led the NFL in interceptions in five of his 14 seasons but is often remembered best by fans as the defender Dwight Clark beat in the 1981 National Football Conference Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. The play, known today as “The Catch,” led to the 49ers defeating the Cowboys 28-27 and advancing to the Super Bowl.

Walls would not get an opportunity to play in a Super Bowl while a member of the Cowboys. He was waived from the team after the 1989 season due to personality issues and a lack of production. Walls was a member of the New York Giants when the Giants won Super Bowl XXV.

Along with the pair of Cowboys legends, Cecil Isbell got nominated to the Hall of Fame for his playing career with the Baltimore Colts. However, Isbell is also known as the backfield coach for the Dallas Texans in the team’s only season after his career with the Colts ended. Isbell died in 1985.

The NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee approved new bylaws to expand the number of Senior selections from one to three this season. The change was made to facilitate easing the backlog of players whose careers ended 25 years or more in the past.

The current list of 25 finalists will be narrowed first to 15, then 10, then five before the final selections are made. The results of the first round of finalist votes will be announced on July 27.    

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HomerDude
HomerDude
2 months ago

“Cubby” was one of the best zone coverage ball hawk NFL cornerbacks you will ever see.

His slow 40 time left him undrafted coming out of Grambling State. Which is ironic because his cousin, ex-NFL player Herkie Walls, once beat Curtis Dickey and Carl Lewis in the 60 yard dash in the SWC indoor championship over in the Tarrant County Convention Center.

Bobby
Bobby
2 months ago

GREAT FOR CHUCK HOWLEY AND WELL DESERVED AND SAME FOR EVERSON WALLS