New Hall of Fame Rule Could Lead to Three Former Eagles Finally Becoming Enshrined

In 2018, Brian Dawkins took his rightful place in Canton, Ohio when he was officially enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was forced to wait an extra year, as the committee wrongfully didn't vote him in as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but a one year wait isn't too much to complain about at the end of the day.

Harold Carmichael and the late Al Wistert can rightfully have some beef with the Hall of Fame committee though, as they have been waiting to be enshrined for over 35 years and 65 years respectively. The wait for Carmichael and Wistert's family could be coming to an end soon, as this year the Pro Hall of Fame is putting together a special class to celebrate the league's 100th year in operation. The 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will have 20 members enshrined rather than the typical eight man class.

"The class will include five modern era players, 10 senior era players, three contributors and two coaches. Modern era players include those whose careers ended within the past 25 seasons, while senior era players are those who have been retired for more than 25 years."


Both Wistert and Carmichael would fall into that expanded senior era category.


Wistert had a very decorated career in Philadelphia. First he was on the 1943 Steagles team that combined with Steelers and Eagles teams during World War II. After that season he then went on to have six consecutive First-team All-Pro seasons (1944–1949) and finished his career with two Second-team All-Pro selections (1950, 1951). He helped the Eagles win their first two championship in franchise history in 1948 and 1949, and was apart of the first ever NFL Pro Bowl team in 1950. For his efforts in an Eagles uniform, he was named to the 1940s NFL All-Decade Team, has had his #70 retired by Philadelphia and is enshrined in the Eagles Hall of Fame.

Carmichael has a hell of a case too. From 1973 through 1981, Carmichael never missed a game. At the time of his retirement, he finished with 590 catches — only four players in NFL history had more: Charlie Joiner, Raymond Berry, Charley Taylor, and Don Maynard (all are in the Hall of Fame). Carmichael had 8,985 career receiving yards when he ended his playing career, which was seventh most in NFL history at the time, behind only Maynard, Joiner, Berry, Taylor, Harold Jackson and Lance Alworth. Five of those players are in Canton (Jackson, Carmichael’s Eagles teammate, is not enshrined). From 1973 through 1983, Carmichael had 43 more catches, 46 more receiving yards and 10 more touchdowns than anybody in the NFL. Basically, Carmichael was the best receiver in the NFL for over a decade. He wasn't just a regular season performer either: Carmichael once had a receiving TD in four straight playoff games (to this day, only nine players in NFL history have had longer streaks). He is in the Eagles Hall of Fame and was named to the Eagles' 75th anniversary team.


One former Eagle who isn't considered to be in the senior era yet, but is still very much deserving of a spot in Canton is cornerback Eric Allen. In fact, he has the backing of one cornerback who is already enshrined - Deion Sanders.

Only six cornerbacks in NFL history have played in more career games than Allen, who played in 217 contests. EA is one of only six players in NFL history with at least 50 INTs and eight INT returns for touchdowns — the others are Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson and Aeneas Williams (Hall of Famers), Charles Woodson (who isn’t eligible for the Hall yet but will eventually be enshrined) and Darren Sharper (who had the numbers to make the Hall but his legal issues will force him to never be considered). In 1993 alone he had four interception return touchdowns, which tied the NFL single-season record. Allen was a six-time Pro Bowler (1989, 1991-1995), a First-team All-Pro in 1989 and a two-time Second-team All-Pro (1991, 1993). Allen is tied with Brian Dawkins and Bill Bradley for most interceptions in Eagles history at 34, and was named to the Eagles' 75th anniversary team and is in the Eagles Hall of Fame.


Since he continues to fall through the cracks, Allen still isn't likely to be named as one of the five modern era recipients. An increase in players being enshrined this year though will help Allen out in future years since there will be less competition. Once he enters into the senior era in a few years, he will have a much better chance of getting his rightful recognition.

When the enshrinees get named in February, there will be some hope that at least one Eagle will get the call to the Hall. Anything more will be even better, but all three players have earned their right to be put in the Hall, and hopefully they will get in and forever be recognized as being among the best football players to ever step on a field.

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