Biggest Hall of Fame snubs in Eagles history
CB Eric Allen
Allen recorded 54 interceptions and nine touchdowns in his 14-year career, and during those 14 years, only Hall of Famer Rod Woodson had more interceptions. Allen is one of only six players in NFL history with at least 50 interceptions and at least eight INT returns for touchdowns. Three of the other four who are eligible are already in the Hall of Fame, and the fifth, Darren Sharper, is out because of non-football reasons.
Allen is the only cornerback in NFL history with 50 or more interceptions and eight return touchdowns who’s not in the Hall of Fame.
LB Seth Joyner
Joyner has never even been a Hall of Fame finalist, which is egregious. The only player in NFL history with 50 sacks and 20 interceptions. Not to mention a fantastic run stopper. He finished his career with 52 sacks and 24 interceptions, and those sacks came as a 4-3 outside linebacker — not as a pass-rushing 3-4 'backer.
Joyner also had 26 forced fumbles, which puts him in the top 20 in NFL history. And he did all this as an eighth-round pick who was released after his first training camp.
FS Brian Dawkins
Dawkins, a finalist this year for the second time, has the stats — he’s one of only six players in NFL history with 25 sacks and 25 interceptions, and his 26 career sacks are fourth-most ever by a safety. He was also a big-time postseason performer, with four interceptions.
But Dawk’s true value is simply the way he expanded the safety position during his brilliant 16-year career, patrolling the deep secondary like a cornerback, stuffing the run like a linebacker and rushing the passer like a defensive end. A member of the Team of the Decade for the 2000s. A unique player in NFL history.
WR Terrell Owens
Say what you want about T.O. the person. T.O. the wide receiver always produced. Owens is second in NFL history to Jerry Rice in receiving yards, eighth in catches behind seven Hall of Famers or future Hall of Fame locks and third in receiving TDs, behind Rice and Randy Moss.
He’s third all-time with nine 1,000-yard seasons (and missed a 10th by 17 yards), and his 14 consecutive seasons with at least 750 yards are an NFL record.
WR Harold Carmichael
When Carmichael retired after the 1984 season, he ranked fifth in NFL history with 590 catches and everybody with more — Charlie Joiner, Charley Taylor, Don Maynard and Raymond Berry — were long ago enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
The biggest criteria for Hall of Fame induction is this: Was this player ever the best in the league over an extended period of time? And during the 10-year period from 1973 through 1982, Carmichael had 511 catches, 7,899 yards and 74 touchdowns. Nobody else was close to those numbers. Ahmad Rashad had the second-most catches (466) and Cliff Branch the second-most yards (7,547) and touchdowns (62).
CB Asante Samuel
During the seven years from 2006 through 2012, Samuel had a remarkable 44 interceptions — 13 more than any other NFL cornerback. That’s crazy. Samuel had 51 career interceptions, but he was at his best in the playoffs, when he had seven picks — sixth-most in NFL history and second-most by a cornerback. And when the ball was in his hands, watch out.
Samuel’s four postseason pick-sixes are an NFL record, and only five other players had more than one! Including regular season and postseason, Samuel had 10 career INT returns for a touchdown — fifth-most in NFL history.
DE Clyde Simmons
Perennially overlooked because he played across from Reggie White, Simmons was a beast in his own right. He piled up 121½ career sacks and led the NFL with 19 in 1992, one of his two first-team All-Pro seasons. During the four years from 1989 through 1992, the heyday of the Eagles' defense, Simmons had only two fewer sacks than White (57 to 55).
Was his success a product of playing on the same defensive line as Reggie? In six years after leaving the Eagles, Simmons had 48½ sacks — only two per season fewer than White. When Simmons retired, he ranked 10th in NFL history in sacks, and eight of the nine guys ahead of him are already in Canton.
OL/DL Al Wistert
Maybe the biggest omission of them all. Wistert was a four-time All-Pro lineman for the Eagles in the 1940s and a key cog on the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Team of the Decade for the 1940s. Every other player selected All-Pro four or more times in the 1940s is already in the Hall of Fame.
LB Bill Bergey
One of the finest coverage linebackers in NFL history, Bergey (right) recorded 27 interceptions in his 12 seasons, and today, a quarter of a century after he retired, that’s still the 13th-most in NFL history by a linebacker.
From 1974 through 1978, Bergey made four Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro twice. He was a three-time Eagles defensive MVP during their rise from a team that hadn’t been to the postseason since 1960 into a playoff team in 1978 and 1979 and a Super Bowl team in 1980.