Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dent fails to gain entry into Pro Football Hall of Fame

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Although Richard Dent was a finalist for the fourth time in five years, the Bears’ all-time sack leader failed to gain entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Defensive end Richard Dent registered at least 10 sacks in eight of 10 seasons with the Bears from 1984-93.The Class of 2008 chosen by the Hall of Fame’s board of selectors Saturday at the Super Bowl site in Phoenix consists of defensive end Fred Dean, cornerbacks Darrell Green and Emmitt Thomas, wide receiver Art Monk, linebacker Andre Tippett and tackle Gary Zimmerman.
Dent survived the cut from 17 finalists to 10 Saturday, but he was eliminated when the list was pared to five.
Dent played 12 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Bears, registering 124½ sacks. He was named Super Bowl XX MVP, was an integral part of a championship defense that is considered one of the best in NFL history and was chosen to four Pro Bowls.
Dent joined the Bears as an eighth-round draft pick from Tennessee State in 1983 and blossomed into one of the NFL’s most dominant defensive ends.
The 6-5, 265-pounder led the NFC with a team-record 17½ sacks in 1984 before recording 17 sacks in 1985 to help the Bears win their first league title in 22 years.Dent was a premier defensive end for the Bears for more than a decade. He registered 10 or more sacks in five straight seasons from 1984-88 and in eight of 10 years from 1984-93. The only times he failed to reach double digits in that span was when he had 9 sacks in 1989 and 8½ in 1992.
The Bears compiled a 119-72 record in his 12 seasons. In Dent’s first six years, the Bears went 70-25 with no losing seasons, winning at least 10 games five straight years from 1984-88.
Selected All-Pro four times and All-NFC five times, Dent still holds Bears post-season records with 10½ career sacks and 3½ sacks in a game Jan. 5, 1986 against the New York Giants.
The Bears have an NFL-high 26 Hall of Famers, including three of Dent’s former teammates: running back Walter Payton, middle linebacker Mike Singletary and defensive lineman Dan Hampton.

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