Former Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen was among the 27Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists announced Friday. He was joined on the list by former Cowboys defensive lineman Charles Haley and former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, both finalists last year.
Allen is among six first-year eligible candidates, joining kicker Morten Andersen, safety John Lynch, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, defensive tackle Warren Sappand defensive end Michael Strahan.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee chose the 27 semifinalists from 127 preliminary nominees. The semifinalists usually is limited to 25 names, but a three-way tie for the final position resulted in 27 semifinalists. The Hall of Fame’s By-laws provides that the list shall consist of “twenty-five nominees plus all ties.”
In addition to the six first-year eligible nominees, one other previously eligible candidate, cornerback Albert Lewis, made it to the semifinalist list for the first time. Each of the remaining 20 nominees on the Selection Committee’s list has been a semifinalist at least once prior to this year.
Haley, who played for the Cowboys from 1992-96,has been eligible eight years and a finalist the last three years. Parcells, who coached the Cowboys from 2003-06, was a finalist last year.
The complete list of modern-era semifinalists is as follows:
- Larry Allen, G/T – 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers
- Morten Andersen, K – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
- Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
- Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
- Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
- Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
- Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
- Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
- Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
- Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
- Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
- Joe Jacoby, T – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
- Albert Lewis, CB – 1983-1993 Kansas City Chiefs, 1994-98 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
- John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
- Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
- Jonathan Ogden, T – 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens
- Bill Parcells, Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
- Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
- Warren Sapp, DT – 1995-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Oakland Raiders
- Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
- Michael Strahan, DE – 1993-2007 New York Giants
- Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
- Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
- Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
- George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League
The list of 27 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are defensive tackle Curley Culp, (1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions) and linebacker Dave Robinson, (1963-1972 Green Bay Packers, 1973-74 Washington Redskins).
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January, 2013.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing and coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.
Although there is no set number of enshrineesfor any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.
The Class of 2013 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl XLVII, in New Orleans.
The Class of 2013 will be enshrined Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio, as the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Annual Enshrinement Festival Celebration.