Eric Allen and Ricky Watters among Hall of Fame semifinalists originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Eric Allen and Ricky Watters are among 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022, the Hall announced Wednesday.
Allen, the Eagles’ 2nd-round pick in 1988, made six Pro Bowls in his 14-year career and had 54 interceptions and eight touchdown returns. He added four postseason interceptions and another TD. In his seven seasons with the Eagles, Allen had 34 interceptions, tied for most in franchise history.
Allen is one of only six players in NFL history with at least 50 interceptions and eight TD returns. All the others are already in the Hall of Fame, with the exception of Darren Sharper, whose exclusion from the Hall is for non-football reasons.
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From 1989 through 1995, Allen made the Pro Bowl six of seven years. He was a 1st-team all-pro in 1989, when he had eight interceptions. Allen led the NFL with four INT TD returns for the Eagles in 1993 and had three for the Raiders in 2000. He’s the only player in NFL history with at least three interception return touchdowns in two different seasons.
Watters rushed for over 10,000 yards with 467 catches in 10 seasons. He ran for 3,794 yards with 161 receptions and 32 TDs in just three years with the Eagles. He scored 12 postseason touchdowns and made two of his five Pro Bowls as an Eagle.
Among the former Eagles who were nominated in September but didn’t make the cut to the semifinal round are Brian Westbrook, Randall Cunningham, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb, Asante Samuel and Troy Vincent.
Another semifinalist who played in Philadelphia is Long Branch, N.J., native Sam Mills, who spent the 1983 through 1985 seasons with the Philadelphia (and in 1985 Baltimore) Stars of the USFL. Mills was named to the all-time USFL team and then made five Pro Bowls in his 12-year NFL career with the Saints and Panthers.
The 26 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists before the final voting takes place on Feb. 12, the day before Super Bowl LVI in Inglewood, Calif.
Former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil is the Senior Committee's coaching candidate and needs 80 percent of the votes to become a Hall of Famer.
The 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4-8, 2022, in Canton, Ohio.