Neil Smith became one of the best pass rushers of the 1990 decade. He collected 95 ½ of his 104 ½ career sacks from 1990-99 and went to six Pro Bowls. He led the NFL with 15 sacks in 1993 and earned first-team All-Pro honors. His teams won 105 games in the decade and went to the playoffs nine times.
La’Roi Glover, Neil Smith and Richmond Webb were NFL all-decade selections, who have never been Hall of Fame semifinalists, much less finalists. They deserve better fates — as do Lomas Brown, Jimmie Giles and Wilber Marshall.
Derrick Thomas is in the Hall of Fame. Neil Smith is not. In fact, he’s not even on the preliminary list for the Class of 2017. Yet the two were, as Smith says, one of the best pass-rushing tandems ever, and he explains on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast how they drove each other.
Too many quality Pro Football Hall of Fame candidates are falling through the cracks without their careers ever being discussed and judged as Canton worthy. There are 91 NFL all-decade position players through the 1990s currently not enshrined in Canton — and 81 of them have never even been discussed as finalists.