It’s one thing when Eagles fans or Philly media campaign for Eric Allen to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history does it?
Deion Sanders tweeted out his support for the long-time Eagles great on Sunday, with the message, “When is his turn?”
WHEN IS HIS TURN ? COME ON WRITERS or WHOEVER Y'ALL ARE! @EricAllen619 and while you're checking this out I have several more because I heard next year is a free for all so to speak. #Truth @NFL @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/Cm28540ePe— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) August 4, 2019
Allen and Sanders were contemporaries from 1989 through 2000 and teammates on four Pro Bowl teams.
And they actually had pretty similar numbers — 54 interceptions for Allen, 53 for Sanders, and nine TD returns for Sanders and eight for Allen.
Allen, of course, was a far more complete corner, a tough, physical player who was just as capable coming up and supporting the run as he was covering Michael Irvin, Gary Clark and the other elite NFC East receivers of that era.
Yet Sanders was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, his first year of eligibility, and Allen has somehow never even been a finalist.
They are among only six players in NFL history with at least 50 INTs and eight INT returns for touchdowns. The others are Hall of Famers Rod Woodson and Aeneas Williams, Charles Woodson — who isn’t eligible for the Hall yet — and Darren Sharper, whose Hall of Fame candidacy ended with his legal issues.
Only seven players in NFL history have returned more interceptions for touchdowns.
Despite making six Pro Bowls and leading all NFL cornerbacks in interceptions during the 12-year period from 1989 through 2000, Allen has never even been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame voted over the weekend to induct 20 players into the Hall of Fame next year as part of the NFL’s 100th year anniversary.
Buddy Ryan drafted Allen in the second round in 1988, and he started 111 of a possible 112 games over the next seven years before leaving after the 1994 season as part of the mass exodus that saw all-time great Eagles Reggie White, Seth Joyner, Clyde Simmons, Keith Jackson, Keith Byars leave via free agency during a three-year span.
He finished his career with three years with the Saints and four with the Raiders before retiring after the 2001 season.
Only six cornerbacks in NFL history have played in more games than Allen, who played in 217.
Allen is tied with Brian Dawkins and Bill Bradley for most interceptions in Eagles history at 34.
With his four INT returns for touchdowns in 1993, Allen shares the NFL single-season record with Ken Houston and Jim Kearney.
Allen was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2011.
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