The NFL's Greatest Players Not in the Hall of Fame: Part One

c dockensCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2008

Few men have ever received the honor of being admitted into one of the most prestigious "club" in sports. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is home to men of mythical talent and abilities. 

The men who have been awarded the honor of having a plaque inside these fabled walls are considered to be the best of the best, the elite few.

However there are many more players who are deserving of being inducted into the hall, some players have been left out because of off th field issues, some have been left out  simply because they fell into the cracks, maybe it was the era they played in.

Below, in no particular order, are some of the greatest player not in the hall of fame.

1. Lee Roy Jordan

Jordan was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, with the sixth pick of the first round of the 1963 NFL draft. Legend has it that that in the 1963 NFL Champions vs. the college all stars, Lee Roy held Packers running back Jim Taylor to zero yards, thus raising his draft stock in the eyes of many. Jordan played middle linebacker for the Cowboys under Tom Landry.

Jordan was small for a MLB, and though many sites list Jordan as 6'1", 215lbs., he told me himself that he never weighed over 205.

While in Dallas,  Jordan accumulated 743 solo tackles, the leader for the Dallas Cowboys until he was passed by Darren Woodson. Perhaps Jordan's most memorable performance came against the Bengals in 1973 when Jordan intercepted three passes from Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson in just five minutes, and returned one for a touchdown.

Jordan's 32 interceptions ties him third all-time amongst linebacker. Jordan was a five-time Pro Bowler.

2. "Bullet" Bob Hayes

Bob Hayes was one of the fastest men in the worlds and a sprinter turned wide receiver. Hayes was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1964 draft.  Legend has it that the speed of "Bullet" Bob led to the creation of Zone Defenses since no single man could cover him.

Hayes was not just a wideout but a return man, and lead the NFL in average distance on punt returns in 1968. Hayes was the first receiver in Cowboys history to amass 1,000 receiving yards in a season, and finished his career with 371 receptions for 7,414 yards and 71 touchdowns. Hayes was named to the Pro Bowl three times and name an All Pro four times.

3. Ken Stabler

Stabler was drafted in the second round of the 1968 NFL draft, by the Oakland Raiders. Stabler was blessed to have a great receiving corp, consisting of Fred Biletnikoff and Dave Casper.

During hist 12-year stint in Oakland, Stabler became the fracnchise's all-time leading passer, was a four time Pro-Bowler, a three-time All Pro, and was the NFL MVP in 1974.

Stabler is the only quarterback on the ALL 1970s roster not in the Hall of Fame, mostly due to his off-field issues.

4. Jim Marshall

Marshall was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 1960 NFL draft. Marshall played just his rookie season with the Browns, and the rest of his career with the Vikings.

Marshall's most memorable game, is also one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of pro football.

During a midseason game against the 49ers, Marshall recovered a fumble and returned it 66 yards in the wrong direction. Without ever realising his mistake, Marshall began his celebration and threw the ball out of the end zone, resulting in a safety.

Despite his slip up in that game, Marshall had a magnificent career. Marshall held the record for most consecutive games without missing a start, a 282, but it was broken by Jeff Feagles. When he retired, in 1979 Marshall had accumulated 127 sacks and recovered 29 fumbles. Marshall was a two time Pro Bowler, and his No.70 is retired by the Vikings.

5. Cris Carter

Carter's career got off to a shaky start, and he was released in 1989 from the Eagles who had drafted him in the 1987 Supplemental draft.

Once he became a part of the Vikings, Carter turned not only his career, but life around. In 1990, the Vikings claimed Cris Carter, in the deal of the century, the move cost the Vikings just $100.

In his second year with the Vikings, Carter led the team in receptions with 72 for 962 yards and five touchdowns. 

In 1995, Carter set the NFL single season receiving record with 122 receptions, that record is now held by Marvin Harrison. When he retired Carter was a three time Pro- Bowler and played in eight straight Pro Bowls.


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