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Pro Football Hall of Fame snubs Zach Thomas

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Miami Dolphins v New York Giants

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher finished his outstanding career with 1,354 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, 15 fumble recoveries with two touchdowns, and 22 interceptions with two touchdowns in 182 games. He was named to eight Pro Bowls, was a four-time First-Team All-Pro selection, a one-time Second-Team All-Pro, was the 2000 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, the 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the NFL All-Decades Team for the 2000s. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, his first year of eligibility.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks finished his outstanding career with 1,713 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 24 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries with a touchdown, and 25 interceptions. He was named to 11 Pro Bowls, was a five-time First-Team All-Pro, four time Second-Team All-Pro, was the 2000 Walter Payton Man of the Year, the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, ad was named to the NFL All-Decades Team for the 2000s. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014, his first year of eligibility.

Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas finished his outstanding career with 1,727 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, and 17 interceptions with four touchdowns in 184 games. He was named to seven Pro Bowls, was a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection, a two-time Second-Team All-Pro, the 1996 AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year, twice was selected as the NFL Alumni Linebacker of the team (1998, 2006), and was named to the NFL’s All-Decades Team for the 2000s. Thomas was again not elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his seventh year of eligibility and first time as a finalist.

Making the 2020 Class are safety Steve Atwater, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James, and safety Troy Polamalu.

Something just feels wrong about the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters continuing to snub Thomas. He compares favorably with other players already inducted. He was a dominating player on a dominating defense. Miami’s defense from 1998 through 2004 was a top ten unit in yards allowed every year, with Thomas leading the unit along with Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor.

At least Thomas appears to be progressing toward eventual enshrinement in Canton. He was a seminfinalist for the first time last year and was a finalist this year for the first time. Hopefully that signals Thomas’ wait for the Hall of Fame will not last much longer.