The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the members of its centennial class Wednesday, headlined by wide receiver Harold Carmichael and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Here is the full list of 15 legends who will be inducted into Canton as part of the Hall of Fame ceremonies later this year: Carmichael, Jim Covert (offensive tackle), Winston Hill (offensive tackle), Bill Cowher (head coach), Jimmy Johnson (head coach), Duke Slater (offensive tackle), Ed Sprinkle (defensive end/linebacker), Steve Sabol (contributor), Alex Karras (defensive tackle), Bobby Dillon (safety), Donnie Shell (defensive back), George Young (general manager), Cliff Harris (safety), Mac Speedie (end), Tagliabue.
Shell was a key piece of Pittsburgh's steel curtain defense in the 1970s. His 51 career interceptions are an NFL record for a strong safety. He becomes the fifth member of the Steelers' legendary 1974 rookie class to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster.
Carmichael played 14 seasons from 1971 to 1984. He's best known for his 13 years with the Philadelphia Eagles in which he had three 1,000-yard campaigns and became the franchise's all-time leader with 8,978 receiving yards and 79 touchdown receptions.
Tagliabue was NFL commissioner from 1989 to 2006. Under his watch, the league expanded to 32 teams, added preseason games in Europe and played an instrumental role in keeping the Saints in New Orleans when owner Tom Benson was looking at a move to San Antonio.
The two coaches were informed of the election on national television when C. David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, surprised Cowher and Johnson while they were doing analysis during last weekend's divisional-round games.
Cowher and Johnson had a profound impact during their respective careers.
Johnson spent nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1989-93) and Miami Dolphins (1996-99). He compiled an 80-64 overall record and won two Super Bowls in Dallas while also playing a crucial role in assembling the Cowboys' early-90s roster that produced Hall of Fame players Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Larry Allen and Charles Haley.
Cowher spent 15 seasons as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992 to 2006 and had one Super Bowl victory in 2005. His 149 regular-season victories and 12 playoff victories rank second in franchise history, behind Chuck Noll's 193 and 16, respectively.
Covert spent his entire eight-year career with the Chicago Bears from 1983 to 1990 and was named to the All-Pro first team in consecutive years (1985-86).
Hill played 15 seasons from 1963 to 1977, including 14 with the New York Jets. He was part of the Jets' historic victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III and was a two-time first-team All-Pro.
Slater was the NFL's first African American lineman in 1922. The Illinois native played for three different teams during his 10-season career from 1922 to 1931, including the Milwaukee Badgers, Rock Island Independents and Chicago Cardinals.
Sprinkle played 12 seasons with the Bears from 1944 to 1955 and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1940s. He won an NFL championship with the team in 1946.
Sabol was a founding member of NFL Films with his father, Ed, in 1962. He served as president of the organization from 1964 to 2012 and won 34 individual Emmys before his death in September 2012.
Karras, a Detroit Lions legend, was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team in the 1960s. He was named to the All-Pro first team three times. In addition to his football career, the Indiana native also had a successful acting run that included the role of Mongo in Blazing Saddles.
Dillon was one of the first ball-hawking safeties in the NFL during his eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers from 1952 to 1959. He had 52 career interceptions in 94 games, including six consecutive years with at least six picks.
One of the best general managers in NFL history, Young was a staple of the New York Giants from 1979 to 1997. He began his career as a coach for the Baltimore Colts in 1968, winning his first Super Bowl with the team three years later.
Young turned the Giants into one of the league's best franchises with eight playoff appearances during his 18-year tenure as general manager. He built Super Bowl winners in 1986 and 1990. The Maryland native also drafted Lawrence Taylor, Phil Simms and Michael Strahan.
Harris was one of the best defensive players in Cowboys history. During his 10-season run with the organization from 1970 to 1979, he had at least two interceptions in each year of his career, was named to the Pro Bowl six times and All-Pro first team four times after going undrafted out of Arkansas.
A wide receiver before the NFL coined that term, Speedie was one of the league's most dangerous offensive players with the Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1952. He averaged 23.5 yards per reception as a rookie, led the league in receptions four times and receiving yards twice.
In honor of the NFL's 100th anniversary season in 2019, the Pro Football Hall of Fame instituted a one-year amendment for its selection bylaws. The class will feature 20 members in all, with the remaining five modern-era candidates being determined from a list of 15 finalists on Feb. 1, the day before Super Bowl LIV.
The enshrinement ceremony will take place during Hall of Fame week from Aug. 6-9.