As the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame gets closer to naming its future entrants, Eric Allen is one player who will again miss the final call.
Allen, who was one of the premier corners in the league during the ’90s, made the final 25 but was one of 10 names cut as the list was narrowed to 15. Allen played 7 of his 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, starring also with the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders in his 14-year career.
Originally drafted by the Eagles in 1988 out of Arizona State in the 2nd round, Allen’s 34 interceptions with the team are tied with Brian Dawkins and Bill Bradley for the franchise record. In his career, Allen had 54, which is 19th all time in league history. His combined playoff INT’s put him at 58, which is good for 11th all time.
Allen also has 10 career INT returns for a touchdown, which is 5th all-time in NFL history. He made 6 Pro Bowls in his career, and his 53 interceptions between 1988-2000 were the most in the league.
Charles Woodson, who played cornerback and safety rightly survived the cuts. If Allen and his supporters have a grip, it should be that Ronde Barber (whose name induces a searing hatred) made the final 15 and he did not. Allen had 10 more interceptions, one more Pro Bowl, twice as many postseason interceptions as Barber (despite playing one less game), and one more interception return for a touchdown.
This year’s class is pretty stacked. Peyton Manning is a finalist, along with Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, Clay Matthews Jr (the 80’s/90’s version), John Lynch, Calvin Johnson, Zach Thomas, Jared Allen, Alan Faneca, and Richard Seymour among the notable names making the cut.
One player included among the finalists is Sam Mills. Mills was a Long Branch, New Jersey native, and played football at Montclair State. His Philadelphia ties come from outside the NFL. He got his start in pro football in the USFL, for the Philadelphia Stars in 1983. He would also suit up for the Stars in 1984, and 1985 when they moved to Baltimore. He would go on to have a great career as a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers and the Saints. Mills passed away in 2005 at the age of 45.