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A “Centennial Class” from the Pro Football Hall of Fame could lead to enshrinement for Cowboys legends

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Things could be very different this year for the Hall of Fame class.

Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

There are a lot of Dallas Cowboys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That’s a fact.

Canton, OH does serve as the immortal home for various members of America’s Team, some of the original ones even. As the Cowboys are one of the NFL’s most historic and successful teams it’s understandable that the Hall would be decorated with their names and memories.

The reality though is that there are a lot of Cowboys alumni who many feel have been left out of football’s most hallowed ground. Part of this is being rectified this summer with legendary front office man Gil Brandt’s enshrinement, but there are many players (a lot that Brandt himself found) that also deserve a bronze bust.

It gets difficult for players to get into the Hall as they get older because competition is more stiff with senior nominees and plenty other nominees finding their way into the discussion sooner. The more time that passes between your retirement, the longer your odds become of ever getting enshrined. That could change next summer thanks to a “centennial class” that the Pro Football Hall of Fame might end up doing.

There’s been a lot of speculation lately about a proposed Centennial Class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a one-time body of inductees -- many of them from decades past – to join Canton as part of the NFL’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Well, forget about speculation. The Centennial Class is a plan that “is going to happen,” according to Joe Horrigan, the Hall’s former executive director who retired this month after 42 years.

How it will be accomplished … how many players, coaches and contributors will be chosen … how they will be chosen … who that group is and how it will be honored … essentially, the “details,” as Horrigan put it, has not been determined.

Nevertheless, having the idea itself accepted is a significant step toward reducing a backlog of qualified seniors, coaches and contributors that only increases with each year. According to our Rick Gosselin, there are seven first-team all-decade players in the senior pool, and only one – former Dallas safety Cliff Harris – has been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.

Captain Crash is just one of many former Cowboys that are past due for their time in the Canton sun. Arguments can be made that Lee Roy Jordan, Chuck Howley, Drew Pearson, and others (the argument is already made for Jimmy Johnson and Darren Woodson in modern days) should be in the Hall, if there’s an expanded class next summer that could be what helps finally get them in.

Part of the unfortunate reality of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is that logjams are created. This happens by position, by generation, and sometimes even by team. If X is in then Y definitely should be, but if you’re going to put in Y then you can’t ignore Z. The arguments go round and round and round.

Fortunately, it seems like the Hall is not only aware of this situation but proactive in rectifying it. The NFL is in fact celebrating their 100th season in 2019 so they could cap it off with a 100-sized (hopefully not literally) Pro Football Hall of Fame class on the eve of Super Bowl LIV (which the Cowboys will obviously be playing in!).

Keep your fingers crossed for your favorite Cowboys legends. This could be the year that they hear their name called. And for once, that sentence actually has some serious hope.