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Former Cowboys Named NFL Hall of Fame Finalists

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Dallas Cowboys Chuck Howley and Everson Walls | Image by Dallas Cowboys

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Two former members of the Dallas Cowboys who were members of some of the most formidable teams in franchise history have been named as finalists for the Senior Hall of Fame class of 2022.

Everson Walls and Chuck Howley will be among the senior players who are being considered for one of the most coveted awards in the league. Final selections for the Hall of Fame class will be announced in August before the Hall of Fame Game.

Chuck Howley is one of the former Cowboys players who deserve credit for the team’s success as an expansion franchise. Joining the Cowboys in 1961, Howley became one of the original members of the vaunted Doomsday Defense that terrorized offenses throughout the 1960s.

Howley was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1958 but suffered a serious knee injury in 1959. After leaving football to run a gas station, the Bears traded Howley to the Dallas Cowboys.

Howley came out of early retirement to play for the fledgling Cowboys, who had failed to win a single game in their inaugural season in 1960. The team went 4-9 in his first season on the roster and made the team’s first Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 1970 season.

Despite losing 16-13 to the Baltimore Colts, Howley became the only player in NFL history to be named MVP from the losing side. He was also the first defensive player to win MVP for a Super Bowl performance.

The Cowboys returned to the Super Bowl in 1971, winning the first championship in franchise history by defeating the Miami Dolphins handily by a score of 24-3. Howley suffered a knee injury during the 1972 season, missing the playoffs that year. He played in one game in 1973 before officially retiring from the NFL.

Walls joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent ahead of the 1981 season after scouts believed he was too slow to play at the NFL level. In his first season, Walls made 11 interceptions, a career-high and a feat not accomplished by any Cowboys player until Trevon Diggs matched the number in 2021.

Walls led the NFL in interceptions for three seasons during his career (1981, 1982, 1985), becoming the first NFL player to accomplish the feat. Only the Baltimore Ravens’ Ed Reed has matched three league-leading seasons during a career.

Walls fell out of favor with the Cowboys following the 1989 season due to declining production. Then-head coach Jimmy Johnson famously yelled at Walls after a loss to the Phoenix Cardinals that season, telling news reporters at the time that “when you have a loss that was as upsetting as the one on Sunday, then I’m not in a jovial mood. I’m not one to carouse with friends or laugh about what may have transpired.”

Walls went on to play with the New York Giants under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. That season, the Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills 20-19, which would be the only Super Bowl appearance for Walls.

The Senior Committee will select up to three players whose careers ended 25 years or more ago. This will be the first season in which three senior players can be selected after the Hall relaxed inductee rules to address what is viewed as a backlog of eligible players.    

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Bobby
Bobby
2 months ago

The photo of #54 is RANDY WHITE & NOT CHUCK HOWLEY…..ugh get it right….Chuck Howley was the original 54 and the #54 is the only jersey # to have TWO Super Bowl MVP’s

Karen
Karen
2 months ago

Why is a picture of Randy White showing?

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