San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson were among the top names to not make the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class were announced on Wednesday morning during NFL Network’s Good Morning Football program.
Over the weekend, the NFL added former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and ex-Cowboys and Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class. Their remaining 13 classmates were revealed on Wednesday morning:
Harold Carmichael, WR – 1971-1983 Philadelphia Eagles, 1984 Dallas Cowboys
Jim Covert, T – 1983-1990 Chicago Bears
Bobby Dillon, S – 1952-59 Green Bay Packers
Cliff Harris, S – 1970-79 Dallas Cowboys
Winston Hill, T – 1963-1976 New York Jets, 1977 Los Angeles Rams
Alex Karras, DT – 1958-1962, 1964-1970 Detroit Lions
Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Duke Slater, T – 1922 Milwaukee Badgers, 1922-25 Rock Island Independents,1926-1931 Chicago Cardinals
Mac Speedie, E – 1946-1952 Cleveland Browns [AAFC/NFL]
Ed Sprinkle, DE/LB/E – 1944-1955 Chicago Bears
Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 NFL Films (contributor)
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League (contributor)
George Young, Contributor/General Manager – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League (contributor)
Craig, a three-time Super Bowl winner with the 49ers during the 1980s, was the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and compile 1,000 yards receiving in the same season (1985).
However, his best season may have been in 1988 when he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage en route to winning the Associated Press Offensive Player of Year. Craig’s performance proved pivotal that season while 49ers head coach Bill Walsh had to juggle playing time at quarterback between an injury-riddled Joe Montana and a greenish Steve Young.
Of course, Craig’s efforts helped propel the 49ers to the franchise’s third Super Bowl victory during the ’88 season. The two-time Hall of Fame finalist may get in one day but his wait will last at least another year.
However, Pearson may have been the most interesting omission of them all. Pearson is the only member of the 1970s All-Decade Team to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That squad includes the newly-elected Carmichael, who was a second team receiver for the ’70s All-Decade Team.
The pain of not getting the call was further intensified when Pearson had friends and family over and allowed TV cameras to capture what he thought was going to be a special moment.
Instead, they captured Pearson’s raw and disappointing reaction not reaching the hallowed halls of Canton.
As great as Johnson’s election moment on TV was on Sunday, Pearson’s omission hit the feels on the opposite end of the spectrum.
The remaining members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2020 Class will be named on Saturday night, February 1 – the night before Super Bowl LIV.