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Sports Then and Now



Best Players Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Defensive Linemen 6

Posted on July 16, 2009 by Dean Hybl

John Randle

Our position-by-position look at the best eligible players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame now shifts from offense to defense as we look at the best defensive linemen who have not yet earned a bust in Canton.

From Art Donovan, Deacon Jones and Ben Davidson to Bubba Smith, Mark Gastineau, and Michael Strahan, NFL history is filled with charismatic defensive linemen who were recognized not just for their talent, but also for their showmanship and flamboyance.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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