Pittsburgh Steelers

Canton, I Have Dermontti Dawson On Line One

13 Sep 1998:  Center Dermontti Dawson #63 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the Chicago Bears at the Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Bears 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allspor
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Charles HoweCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2010

 

Dermontti Dawson played 13 seasons, primarily as a center, but during his rookie season played guard next to Hall of Fame center, Mike Webster. Dawson was drafted 44th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He started 13 playoff games and has been a Hall of Fame finalist in 2009 and 2010. He was a semi-finalist in 2006, 2007, and 2008. 

Dawson was named to seven straight Pro Bowls from 1992 to 1998 and was an AP First Team All-Pro six straight times from 1983 to 1998. His list of accolades includes 1993 NFLPA co-AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year and the 1996 NFL Alumni’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. Hamstring injuries forced him to miss nine games in 1999 and seven in 2000. Following the 2000 season, Dawson was released by the Steelers. He decided to retire rather than playing football for another team. 

The man Dawson replaced, Mike Webster, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. Dawson’s list of awards rivals Mike’s. Webster was a nine-time Pro Bowler and five-time First Team All-Pro. Mike was drafted 125th overall during the fifth round of the 1974 Draft. He played 15 seasons for Pittsburgh before going to the Kansas City Chiefs for the final two years of his career.

Three other Hall of Famers that compare to Dermontti are 2003 inductee Joe DeLamielleure, 1996 inductee Dan Dierdorf, 1984 inductee Mike McCormack. DeLamielleure was drafted 26th overall during the first round of the 1973 Entry Draft. He was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro. He played as a guard. Joe played eight seasons in Buffalo and five in Cleveland.

Dan Dierdorf played primarily as an offensive tackle, but also took snaps as a guard and a center. Drafted 34th overall during the third round of the 1951 Draft by the New York Yanks, he played only one season in New York. He then went to Cleveland where he played nine years. Dierdorf was nominated to the Pro Bowl six times. 

Mike McCormack played mainly as an offensive tackle, but also played on the defensive side of the ball in 1954. He was drafted in the second round, 43rd overall, of the 1971 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. His list of accomplishments includes six Pro Bowls and three First Team All-Pro nominations. His career was 13 seasons long. 

Dermontti’s resume is comparable to several offensive linemen already enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame. It’s only a matter of time before he gets that call. The question is, how long will it take?

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