Eric Allen is already in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame and a member of their 75th Anniversary Team. He is once again a Semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024. The time is now for the NFL Hall of Fame to right a wrong, and welcome cornerback extraordinaire Eric Allen.
Why should Eric Allen be given a place in the NFL Hall of Fame?
What makes one a Hall of Fame player? What attributes do they share?
They all dominate on the field, they all played through injury, illness, and whatever other challenges they endured throughout their careers.
A Hall Of Famer has a very high peak, a reasonably long career, and was elite at their position. The difference between greatness and the Hall of Fame is usually the difference between being in the top 98th percentile to ever play the game, versus the top 99. Less than one percent of every person who has suited up has made the NFL HOF.
Eric Allen is part of the greatest 1%.
Eric started his NFL career in 1988 after being selected in the second round (30th overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played his college ball at Arizona State where he had 15 career interceptions earning First Team All Pac-10 honors and receiving an Honorable Mention All-American from the Associated Press.
During his NFL career, Allen was a six-time Pro Bowler, a first-team All-Pro, and a human highlight reel. NFL Films’ Steve Sabol, stated that Allen’s 94-yard interception for a touchdown against the Jets (thrown by Boomer Esiason) was the Greatest Interception return in NFL history. If you haven’t seen it, take a moment to marvel at that.
Eric also had a flair for the dramatic, showing up when it mattered the most. He recorded four postseason interceptions. (one returned for a TD against the Saints in 1993 while with the Eagles).
During his first 7 seasons with the Eagles, Eric had 34 interceptions in 110 games. He averaged a turnover every 3 games. Just an unbelievable accomplishment.
After he left the Eagles, he went to New Orleans for 3 seasons before heading out west to Oakland.
At the age of 33, he signed with the Raiders where he spent the last 4 seasons of his career. Most cornerbacks are out of the game or hanging on by a thread at this point, but not Eric.
He added another 15 interceptions during this time, including 3 more for TDs in 2000, and ended his storied career on his terms while still being highly productive.
Allen finished his career with 54 interceptions (21st in NFL history) for 827 yards and eight returned for a touchdown. He also recovered seven fumbles, one for a TD, for an impressive 9 total defensive touchdowns.
If availability is the best ability, then he aced that as well. Eric only missed one game during his 7 years with the Eagles(playing in 110 of 111) and played 217 out of a possible 224 during his career.
Eric was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame in 2011, and it’s now time for him to enter Canton.
Much like Harold Carmichael before him, Eric Allen should be fitted for his Gold Jacket and for the NFL HOF to welcome another deserving Eagle to be honored in their hallowed halls.
Statistical and Historical Perspective:
In the history of the NFL, only 6 players have 50 or more ints and returned 8 for a TD.
Hall of Famers; Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson, Aeneas Williams, Charles Woodson
(Darren Sharper would have been in the HOF, if not for his legal issues)
All of these players are in the NFL HOF EXCEPT ONE, Eric Allen:
Deion Sanders played in 188 of a possible 224 games with 53 INT 7 rtn TDs
Aeneas Williams played in 211 of 224 games with 55 INT 9 rtn TDs
Ty Law played in 203 of a possible 240 games with 53 INT 7 rtn TD’s
Champ Bailey played in 215 of a possible 240 with 52 INT 4 rtn TDs
Darrell Green played in 295 of 319 games 54 INT 6 rtn TDs
Eric played in 217 of a possible 224 games with 54 INT 8 rtn TDs
Kindness, generosity, and goodwill do not get you into the Hall of Fame. But it sure is great when someone who has those attributes does. Eric Allen is a Hall of Fame person and player
As always, thank you for reading
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Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire