Eric Allen Eyes Hall of Fame: Eagles Legend Among 2024 Finalists

Eric Allen Eyes Hall of Fame: Eagles Legend Among 2024 Finalists

Great cornerback Eric Allen, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Eagles, is one step closer to the Hall of Fame. Allen was named one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 on Wednesday night, his first time as a finalist as the fourth semifinalist.

Allen made five Pro Bowl teams and one first team All-Pro in seven years with the Eagles and made his sixth Pro Bowl with the Saints. He finished his 14-year career with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders with 54 regular-season interceptions and eight 6-pointers, along with four postseason INTs and a ninth pick-6.

There are 23 cornerbacks and 45 defensive backs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Just four of them had 58 career catches and nine interceptions. Of those four, only two — Aeneas Williams and Deion Sanders — made it as the starting cornerbacks.

The others, Charles Woodson and Rod Woodson, did not reach those marks until they turned to safety. Thus, Allen has more interceptions and fumble recoveries than 41 of 45 Hall of Fame defensive backs and 21 of 23 Hall of Fame cornerbacks. Allen is the only cornerback and one of two defensive backs among the 15 finalists, which could help his chances of eventually making the Hall.


Another finalist is former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson, who was a contemporary of Allen’s in the NFC East from 1992-94. The Hall of Fame selection committee will meet in Las Vegas the week of the Super Bowl to vote on the 15 finalists. The committee can select up to five current players, and they must receive 80 percent of the vote to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Allen, who retired after the 2001 season, is in his 18th year, the most among the 15 finalists. Today’s players have 20 years of Hall of Fame eligibility before their fate is decided by a committee of elders. The class of 2024 preachers will be announced on February 8th.

Enhriment Weekend in Canton, Ohio takes place in August. Other first-time finalists include longtime Saints offensive lineman Jahri Evans, a Philadelphia native and Frankford High graduate. Allen was drafted in the second round of the 1988 draft by Buddy Ryan and became an immediate starter. He caught Vinny Testaverde in his first NFL game in Tampa and finished his rookie year with five INTs.

From 1988 to 2000 — 13 years — Allen led all NFL cornerbacks with 57 interceptions. The only defenseman with more was Rod Woodson with 58, but he had 11 saves during that span. Allen’s nine INT returns were the most in the league during that 13-year span.

Allen played in nine playoff games, collecting four assists and one goal. In addition to being one of the best cover corners of all time, Allen was a tough, vocal, physical player who loved to support the run. The other finalists are Jared Allen, Willie Anderson, Dwight Freeney, Antonio Gates, Rodney Harrison, Devin Hester, Torry Holt, Andre Johnson, Julius Peppers, Fred Taylor, Reggie Wayne and Patrick Willis.

In addition to Allen, Evans, Gates, Harrison, Peppers and Taylor are also among the finalists for the first time. Allen was named to the Eagles’ 75th Anniversary Team in 2007 and was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2011.

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