Denver Broncos: Is Terrell Davis Worthy of the NFL Hall of Fame?

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Correspondent IIJuly 29, 2012

17 Jan 1999:  Terrell Davis #30 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball during the AFC Championship Game against the  New York Jets at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Jets 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck  /Allsport
Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The voting for this year's NFL Hall of Fame class has come and gone, and former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis failed to advance past the list of semifinalists for enshrinement.

However, Davis deserves strong consideration for a spot due to his contributions to the game, albeit in a shortened career.

In seven seasons, Davis amassed 7,607 yards rushing, which is more than 12 modern-era running backs already in the Hall of Fame.

On that list of Hall of Fame running backs Davis outran is Paul Hornung, Gale Sayers and former Bronco Floyd Little.

Davis was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII, where he ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns, which is still a Super Bowl record.

Davis would go on to win the NFL MVP award the following season after rushing for 2,008 yards, one of only six men to ever break that barrier, and 21 touchdowns, which is tied for the sixth most in a season in NFL history. He also had 25 receptions that year for another two scores in one of the best individual seasons the NFL has ever seen.

He also ran for 12 touchdowns in the postseason in just eight playoff games. The only running backs who have more touchdowns in the postseason are Emmitt Smith, Thurman Thomas and Franco Harris, and they all played in more than twice the games Davis did.

Davis was well on his way to running into the record books in many other categories until he suffered a devastating injury in the 1999 season. In Week 4, Davis went to make a tackle after Broncos quarterback Brian Griese threw an interception against the Jets. Davis severely tore up his knee and was never the same.

Davis did his best to battle back from the injury but ran for just 1,194 more yards in 17 games over three seasons.

Broncos fans were left wondering how good Davis could have been and how high his stat totals could have climbed.

He was honored by the team in 2007 with a spot on their prestigious Ring of Honor. There is no doubting his importance to the Broncos from 1995-98, and he was easily one of the best players in the entire league during that time.

If not for T.D., John Elway very well might have never been able to call himself a Super Bowl champion.

The argument against Davis will likely be that he just didn't play long enough, but I don't see how that should be held against him. For the four years that he was on top of the NFL, his numbers compare to anyone.

In his last two years in the league, Marshall Faulk tailed off as well, rushing for a total of 1,066 yards and just three TDs in that span, but when he came up for nomination, he was considered a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Davis' career was unfortunately cut short, but he should be recognized for what he did while he was there, because it was nothing short of amazing.

Hopefully, for Davis and for all Bronco fans, Canton comes calling someday.