In one of the most contentious selection processes in recent memory, Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson were chosen to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 on Saturday.
The rejection of prominent finalists such as Michael Strahan, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley and Andre Reed and Aeneas Williams will likely make the selection committees' task just as difficult next year.
Here is CBSSports.com's list of the top-5 players and coaches for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
1. Michael Strahan, Defensive End, New York Giants (1993-2007)
The exclusion of the 2001 NFL defensive player of the year in the Class of 2013 should be hotly debated over the coming weeks. Strahan, a five-time first team All-Pro selection, had 141.5 sacks in his 15-year career, including 38 multi-sack games. Even with his phantom sack of Brett Favre in the 2001 regular-season finale, Strahan was dominant throughout the year when he set an NFL record for sacks in a season with 22.5. At 37, Strahan still played at a high-level in his final season. The Giants' relentless pressure on Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII was instrumental in preventing the Patriots from becoming the first team to end a season undefeated since the 1972 Dolphins.
2. Derrick Brooks, Linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1995-2009)
Brooks, a first-time candidate in 2014, is one of the top linebackers in NFL history. He had more than 1,700 tackles in a 15-year career in which he started 225 of 228 games. Brooks had a ubiquitous presence on the field and was equally adept at shooting the gap to stuff the run or drop into coverage to intercept a pass.
In Super Bowl XXXVII, Brooks capped a 48-21 win over the Raiders by returning an interception of Rich Gannon 44 yards for a touchdown. “Brooks gets it, I meet him in the end zone, I grab him by the head and he's crying,” Sapp told NFL Films. The touchdown was one of five Brooks had in the 2002 season on returns -- an NFL record for a linebacker -- and helped earn him defensive player of the year honors.
3. Tony Dungy, Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-2002), Indianapolis Colts (2002-2008)
Dungy might be the greatest beneficiary of Parcells' inclusion in the Hall this year. With a deep class in 2014, the committee may have been reluctant to select two coaches in one year. He became the first African-American coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl championship when his Colts defeated the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Dungy also set an NFL record with his 10th consecutive playoff appearance.
Through it all, Dungy earned the respect of players and coaches with his demanding, but modest coaching style. In 2007, Dungy's autobiography, Quiet Strength, became the first NFL-related book to make it to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Former Dolphins coach Cam Cameron purchased 1,000 copies to distribute during a coaching clinic that summer. "It dispelled so many myths about the coaching business -- that you had to be a yeller and a screamer to win," Cameron told Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
4. Jerome Bettis, Running Back, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (1993-1995), Pittsburgh Steelers (1996-2005)
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Although Bettis missed out on the Hall in his third consecutive year as a finalist in 2013, "The Bus," is inching closer to a permanent stop in Canton, Ohio. Bettis ranked third in NFL history with eight 1,000-yard seasons and fifth in career rushing yards with 13,662 when he retired. At 255 pounds, his bruising style made him tough to bring down for opposing linebackers and defensive backs.
5. Walter Jones, Offensive Tackle, Seattle Seahawks (1997-2009)
Since Ogden made it to the Hall in his first year of eligibility, Jones' inclusion next season should be considered just as likely. Mike Holmgren described Jones as the finest offensive player he ever coached. The mammoth left tackle played in nine Pro Bowls, including in 2005 when former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander rushed for a franchise-record 1,880 yards and was the NFL MVP. The Seahawks earned a trip to the Super Bowl, ultimately losing to a Bettis-led Steelers' team. Jones worked himself into shape months earlier with a grueling offseason routine where he pushed a bevy of trucks in high heat and humidity before the start of training camp.
Jones narrowly edges Haley, Williams, Reed and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison.
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