Why Owens And Dawkins Should Unequivocally Be In Hall Of Fame
In the sports world, a Hall Of Fame is supposed to celebrate the athletes' excellence in the game and their standing in the history of the sport. Each sport has their different groups of people who vote for those who get to receive the honor of being selected to join those who are considered the best of the best in that sport's history. But no matter how objective those outside the selection process try to analyze the results, there continues to be issues with the results that lead to questioning the subjectivity and inconsistency with who gets in each year.
There were two former Eagles among this year's Finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame but neither of them made it as others were chosen ahead of them. The case for both Dawkins and Owens to be in the Hall Of Fame involve longevity, excellence for numerous years, and their standing among their contemporaries as some of the best to play their positions.
But historically the voters do not allow two players at one position to be elected each year, that is the rationalization for Dawkins not getting in as Kenny Easley finally broke threw after years of waiting his turn. But then suddenly, in a reverse of precedent, the voters put in two Running Backs: LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis. While no one could argue that LT deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame, some consider Davis getting in as too liberal an interpretation of greatness and also a direct block of allowing Owens to get into the Hall of Fame this year.
Whether people like or dislike Terrell Owens should have no bearing on candidacy to make it to Canton while Brian Dawkins playing the same position as Kenny Easley shouldn't be an excuse either since the selection committee chose two Running Backs this year.
One could argue Brian Dawkins is one of the top ten Safeties in NFL history as he is the only player in league history to have at least 25 Sacks, 25 Interceptions and 25 Forced Fumbles for a career. Dawkins was also named by the Pro Football Hall Of Fame to the All-2000's First Team ahead of fellow Safeties Troy Polamalu and Darren Sharper. Also Dawkins was named First Team All-Pro Four Times and selected to Nine Pro Bowls, distinctions that Hall Of Fame Safeties Paul Krause and Larry Wilson have in common with him. While Easley only played in the NFL for seven seasons, Dawkins played 16 seasons and was named First Team All-Pro twice after his age 30 year old season and selected to the Pro Bowl six times in his 30's. So there is no excuse for Dawkins to be left out.
Terrell Owens unequivocally is one of the top ten Wide Receivers in NFL history and the statistics bear that out. Owens had 14 seasons with at least 750 Receiving Yards and 13 seasons with at least 5 Receiving Touchdowns; only other Wide Receivers to accomplish that are Jerry Rice and Cris Carter. Owens is top ten all-time in Career Receptions, Receiving Yards, and Receiving Touchdowns along with being named First Team All-Pro Five Times and selected to the Pro Bowl Six Times. But if all of those numbers don't impress you, consider this:
-In a metric I call Career Power Rankings, where an offensive skill player is measured against others at his position by averaging out his career standing in four of the most important statistical category for that position (for example Owens is 8th All-Time in Receptions but 16th All-Time in Receiving Yards Per Game)
-Take Terrell Owens standing among Wide Receivers, measuring all-time Rankings in Receptions (8th), Receiving Yards (2nd), Receiving Touchdowns (3rd) and Receiving Yards Per Game (16th), Owens Career Power Ranking is 7.25; compare that to Jerry Rice (3.5), Cris Carter (23.25), Randy Moss (10.50) and Larry Fitzgerald (10.25). By that measurement, the only Wide Receiver better then Owens is the G.O.A.T. at that position, Rice.
-In contrast, Davis who had a much shorter career then Owens, when running him through the same evaluation: All-time Davis is 55th in Rushing Yards, 48th in Rushing Touchdowns, 3rd in Rushing Yards Per Game, and 65th is Rushing+Receiving Touchdowns. His Career Power Ranking of 42.75 is the second worst of any Running Back in the Hall Of Fame; Gale Sayers has a CPR of 135! When you compare Davis to others with injury shortened careers, but not in the Hall Of Fame, Priest Holmes CPR is 30.25 (more Rushing TDs and Rushing Yards then TD) while Arian Foster CPR is 62.5 (More Rushing+Receiving TDs then TD). So while Davis' three elite seasons compare well to the greatest Running Backs all-time, he is no where near the top ten all-time at his position.
So the real reason why Owens and Dawkins are not members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017? Well it's certainly not because of anything they did on the field. Owens and Dawkins longevity of their high level of play is comparable to only the greatest players of all-time at their respective positions. There is obvious voter bias involved in this despicable omission; these voters keep accepting the farce of "Perception is reality" isn't of being more substantive in their choices. For two men whose careers are lacking in comparison to the two former Eagles (Terrell Davis and Kenny Easley) to make it in ahead of them is blatant disregard for what greatness in sport is supposed to be about. For now, Owens and Dawkins get to join Jerry Kramer, L.C. Greenwood, and others among the overlooked for Canton induction due to bias.
And don't get me started on why Jerry Jones should never get into Canton ahead of Pat Bowlen! That's a discussion for another day....