Charles Haley Deserves to Be in Hall of Fame; Why Isn't He In?

Lance ReavesContributor IIIFebruary 4, 2012

15 Oct 1995: Defensive lineman Charles Haley of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. The Cowboys won the game, 23-9.
Al Bello/Getty Images

Charles Haley will have to wait at least another year to be a Hall of Famer.  That’s a pretty strange sentence when you think about it, considering he can’t put the pads back on and add a few more sacks or another Super Bowl ring to his resume. 

That’s one of the biggest things I have never understood about the induction process.  What makes an eligible player Hall of Fame worthy one year, but not the four or five previous years?

What changes? This argument can also be made for guys like Bill Parcells, Jerome Bettis and Chris Carter, who may receive the call in the coming years just like Haley.  

The voting process might be made for difficult sometimes than it needs to be.  All the evidence a voter needs to decide on a Hall of Famer is on the football field, which is where it should be.

Haley was rude to the media and had confrontations with teammates and coaches, but that doesn’t diminish his impact.  

When Haley was on the field, he was a difference maker.  The Cowboys were a team with hopes of competing for championships, but when Haley arrived, they became expectations.  There are players with better stats (he had 100.5 sacks in 13 seasons), but no player can say they played an integral role on five Super Bowl winners.  That has to count for something.  

In any case, someone on the defensive side of the ball should be recognized from those Super Bowl-winning teams of the 1990s (Deion Sanders was elected last year but he came later after Dallas was already an established winner).  

Haley is the player who usually comes to mind when this issue is brought up.  The defenses he helped anchor weren’t average defenses that were a liability come playoff time.  

The Cowboys had championship-level defenses that could give opposing offenses nightmares, but these players don’t get nearly as much credit as their offensive counterparts.  Troy Aikman played great in Super Bowl XXVII, but Haley and the defense also forced a record nine turnovers.  

The Hall of Fame celebrates greatness, and great players have a big impact on the outcome of games.  Charles Haley was one of these players and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame; maybe this will be the last year he has to wait.