Carter, Green lead list of Hall of Fame finalists By CHAREAN WILLIAMS email@example.com PHOENIX — For the first time in several years, Cowboys fans won’t have anybody to root for today when Pro [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Football[/FONT][/FONT] Hall of Fame selectors convene. The Cowboys have had three ex-players inducted the past two years. Michael Irvin was in the Class of 2007, and Rayfield Wright and Troy Aikman were inducted in the Class of 2006. This year, first-year eligible players Cris Carter and Darrell Green lead the list of 17 finalists. Twelve other modern-era players, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and senior nominees Marshall Goldberg and Emmitt Thomas also are on the ballot. The modern-era players are defensive ends Fred Dean and Richard Dent; linebackers Randy Gradishar, Derrick Thomas and Andre Tippett; guards Russ Grimm, Bob Kuechenberg and Randall McDaniel; punter Ray Guy; wide receivers Art Monk and Andre Reed; and tackle Gary Zimmerman. Induction requires 80 percent voting support from the 44 selectors on the final ballot. The Class of 2008 will include between four and seven members. Enshrinement of the Class of 2008 will take place in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 2, at 5 p.m. The annual Hall of Fame Game will be played Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. Teams have yet to be announced. Wide receiver Cris Carter College: Ohio State NFL teams: 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins Career: Selected by Philadelphia in fourth round of 1987 Supplemental Draft. ... He played a full 16-game season in 13 of his 16 seasons. ... Eight consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. ... Second on NFL’s all-time list for total receptions (1,101) and receiving touchdowns (130). ... First- or second-team All-Pro 1994, 1995, and 1999. ... Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1994-2001). Defensive end Fred Dean College: Louisiana Tech NFL teams: 1975-81 San Diego Chargers, 1981-85 San Francisco 49ers Career: Selected by San Diego in the second round (33rd player overall) in 1975. ...Career sacks total near 100, but unofficial because sacks were not an official [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]NFL[/FONT][/FONT] statistic until 1982. ... Had career-best 17.5 sacks in 1983, including a then-NFL record six in one game, Nov. 13 vs. New Orleans Saints. ... Named All-Pro in 1980 and 1981, All-AFC in 1979 and 1980, All-NFC in 1981 and 1983. ... Selected to play in four Pro Bowls (1980, 1981, 1982, 1984). Defensive end Richard Dent College: Tennessee State NFL teams: 1983-93, ’95 Chicago Bears, 1994 [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]San [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Francisco [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]49ers[/FONT][/FONT], 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles Career: Selected by Chicago in eighth round (203rd player overall) in 1983. ... Played in every game as rookie. ... Became full-time starter early in 1984, beginning a period in which he recorded 10 or more sacks in eight of 10 seasons. ... One of game’s premier pass rushers with 137.5 career sacks, which at time of retirement was third-best all-time. ... His three tackles, 1.5 sacks, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles earned him Super Bowl XX MVP honors following Bears’ lopsided 46-10 win over Patriots. ... Named first- or second-team All-Pro four times, All-NFC five times. ... Selected to play in four Pro Bowls (1985, 1986, 1991, 1994). Halfback Marshall Goldberg College: Pittsburgh NFL teams: 1939-43, 1946-48 Chicago [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Cardinals[/FONT][/FONT] Career: Drafted in the second round (12th player overall) in 1939. ... Played offense and defense throughout career and as a kick returner during four seasons. ... Led NFL in interceptions in 1941. ... Led NFL in kickoff returns, 1941, 1942. ... Known as “Biggie” and “Mad Marshall” for his all-out style of play. ... Named second-team All-NFL as a two-way player in 1941 and All-NFL as a defensive back, 1947. ... Died April 3, 2006, at age of 88. Linebacker Randy Gradishar College: Ohio State NFL team: 1974-83 [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Denver [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Broncos[/FONT][/FONT] Career: Broncos’ first-round pick (14th player overall) in 1974. ... Foundation upon which Broncos built “Orange Crush” defense. ... Denver’s 1977 team finished 12-2, advanced to Super Bowl XII. ... Broncos’ all-time leader in tackles (2,049). ... Never missed a game, played in 145 in a row. ... Named to seven Pro Bowls. ... All-Pro five consecutive seasons, 1977-81. ... All-AFC 1977-79, 1981-82. ... . Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. Cornerback Darrell Green College: Texas A&I NFL team: 1983-2002 Washington Redskins Career: Selected in first round (28th player overall) in 1983. ... Holds NFL record with at least one interception in 19 consecutive seasons. ... Career interception totals: 54 for 621 yards, 6 TDs. ... Tied for first on NFL all-time list for most consecutive seasons with one team (20). ... A member of the 1990s All-Decade Team. ... Selected to play in seven Pro Bowls. ... Named All-Pro 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991. Guard Russ Grimm College: Pittsburgh NFL team: 1981-91 Washington Redskins Career: Selected in third round (69th player overall) in 1981. ... Originally picked to play center, moved to left guard as a rookie. ... Immediate starter on line that earned nickname “The Hogs.” ... Following 1983 season, he was selected to first of four consecutive Pro Bowls. ... Also marked start of four consecutive years (1983-86) of All-NFC and All-Pro recognition. ... Appeared in four Super Bowls, including three wins. ... Elected to 1980s All-Decade Team. Punter Ray Guy College: Southern Mississippi NFL team: 1973-86 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Career: First punter to be selected in first round, in 1973 (23rd player overall). ... Averaged under 40 yards only one season in NFL career. ... Had best average (45.3 yards) as rookie. ... Led NFL in punting, 1974, 1975, 1977. ... Had only three of 1,049 punts blocked. ... Career average was 42.4 yards. ... All-Pro six consecutive seasons, 1973-78. ... All-AFC seven times. ... Played in seven Pro Bowls. ... Played in seven AFC championship games and Super Bowls XI, XV, XVIII. ... First punter to hit Louisiana Superdome scoreboard, 1977 Pro Bowl. Guard Bob Kuechenberg College: Notre Dame NFL team: 1970-84 Miami Dolphins Career: Selected by Philadelphia Eagles in fourth round (80th player overall) in 1969. ... Spent 1984 season on injured reserve. ... Released by Philadelphia and Atlanta, and played semipro football before signing as free agent with Miami in 1970. ... Played in more regular-season games (196) than any Dolphins player at time of his retirement. ... Named to six Pro Bowls. ... All-Pro 1975, 1978; All-AFC 1974, 1975, 1978; All-Pro second team 1975, 1977, 1978. Guard Randall McDaniel College: Arizona State NFL teams: 1988-99 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Career: Selected by Vikings in first round (19th player overall) in 1988. ... Earned all-rookie honors. ... Started in 202 consecutive games before retiring. ... Blocked for six 1,000-yard rushers and five 3,000-yard passers during career. ... Named All-Pro nine consecutive times (1990-98). ... Selected to play in a record 12 consecutive Pro Bowls (1990-2001). Wide receiver Art Monk College: Syracuse NFL teams: 1980-93 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles Career: Selected by Washington in first round (18th player overall) in 1980. ... Unanimous All-Rookie choice. ... Five seasons of 1,000 or more receiving yards. ... Set then-NFL records for catches in a season (106), most consecutive games with at least one reception (164), and career receptions (820). ... Finished career with 940 catches. ... A three-time Pro Bowl selection, was All-Pro in 1984 and 1985. ... First- or second-team All-NFC three times. Wide receiver Andre Reed College: Kutztown NFL teams: 1985-99 [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Buffalo[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Bills[/FONT][/FONT], 2000 Washington Redskins Career: Selected by Buffalo in fourth round (86th player overall) in 1985. ... Most prolific receiver in Bills history. ... His 951 career receptions is still a Bills record and 266 more than No. 2 on the list. It ranked third all-time in NFL at the time of his retirement ... His 13,198 career reception yardage, 36 games with 100-plus receiving yards, and 15 catches in a game are team records. ... A four-time All-AFC choice and three-time All-NFL second team, was selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1989-95). Commissioner Paul Tagliabue College: Georgetown, New York University NFL: 1989-2006 Career: After being a member of the Washington, D.C., law firm that was the NFL’s principal outside counsel during the 1980s, he succeeded Pete Rozelle as commissioner in 1989. ... During his tenure, the league grew to unparalleled heights and is considered the nation’s most popular sport. ... The NFL expanded to 32 teams and there was nearly two decades of labor peace with the NFL Players Association. ... It supported some 20 new stadium construction projects. ... A league-wide Internet network and subscriber-based NFL TV Network were created and the largest TV contracts in entertainment history totaling some $25 billion were secured. Linebacker Derrick Thomas College: Alabama NFL team: 1989-99 Kansas City Chiefs Career: Selected in first round (fourth player overall) in 1989. ... Defensive Rookie of the Year. ... In 1990, recorded league-leading and team-record 20 sacks, including an NFL-record seven in one game vs. Seahawks. ... Named to nine Pro Bowls. ... Finished career with 126.5 sacks, fourth highest total by linebacker in NFL history. ... Member of NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. ... All-NFL three times. ... Named first-team All-AFC seven times during eight-year stretch (1989-96). ... Died Feb. 8, 2000, at age of 33. Cornerback Emmitt Thomas Position: Cornerback College: Bishop NFL team: 1966-78 Kansas City Chiefs Career: Joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent from Bishop College in Dallas. ... Ranks ninth all-time in interceptions with 58, which is fourth all-time best by a pure cornerback and is Chiefs’ all-time record. ... Led NFL with team-record 12 interceptions in 1974, two shy of NFL all-time record. ... Led AFL with nine interceptions in 1969. ... His 937 return yards on 58 interceptions is a team record. ... Selected to play in five Pro Bowls, was first- or second-team All-AFL/AFC 1969, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, first- or second-team All-NFL 1971, 1974, 1975. Linebacker Andre Tippett College: Ellsworth (Iowa) Junior College; Iowa NFL team: 1982-93 New England Patriots Career: Selected in second round (41st player overall) in 1982. ... In 1984, established team-record 18.5 sacks and earned first of five consecutive Pro Bowl selections (1985-89). ... AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1985. ... In strike-shortened 1986 season, he earned Pro Bowl, All-AFC, and All-Pro second-team honors. ... At time of retirement, his 100 career sacks, 18.5 sacks in a season, 17 opponent fumbles recovered were team bests. ... Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of 1980s. Tackle Gary Zimmerman College: Oregon NFL teams: 1986-92 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-97 Denver Broncos Career: Selected in first round (3rd player overall) in 1984 Supplemental Draft. ... Originally selected by Giants, signing rights traded to Vikings for two second-round picks in 1986 draft. ... Spent two seasons with LA Express of failed USFL before reporting to Vikings. ... With Minnesota, began streak of 169 consecutive starts that lasted until 1996 when surgery sidelined him. ... One of a few players to be named to two NFL All-Decade Teams, 1980s and 1990s. ... NFL Lineman of the Year in 1987. ... First- or second-team All-Pro eight times. ... Selected to play in seven Pro Bowls.