Jimmy Johnson last coached in the NFL in 1999. Sixteen years later, he made the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time.
Johnson, who won two Super Bowls in his five years coaching the Cowboys, was joined by one of his former players. Charles Haley made the list of finalists for the sixth time.
Johnson became a first-time semifinalist last year, but he didn’t make the finalist cut. This year, he and former Broncos running back Terrell Davis made the list of 15 modern-era finalists for the first time.
First-year eligible nominees Junior Seau, Orlando Pace and Kurt Warner also will be considered at the annual selection committee meeting Jan. 31 in Phoenix.
Never miss a local story.
Johnson was one of three coaches on the list, joined by Don Coryell and Tony Dungy.
Johnson went 89-68, including the postseason, in his nine NFL seasons with the Cowboys and the Dolphins.
The 46-member committee will consider the 15 modern-era finalists along with senior finalist Mick Tingelhoff and contributor finalists Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.
The 15 finalists were determined by a vote of the selection committee from a list of 113 nominees that was first reduced to 26 semifinalists.
To earn election, a finalist must earn a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 18 finalists (15 Modern-Era players and coaches, one Senior Finalist* and two Contributor Finalists**) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:
Morten Andersen, Kicker – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
Jerome Bettis, Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/ Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Terrell Davis, Running Back – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Tony Dungy, Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts
Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Charles Haley, Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Marvin Harrison, Wide Receiver – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
Orlando Pace, Tackle – 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears
**Bill Polian, Contributor – 1978-1982 Kansas City Chiefs, 1984-1992 Buffalo Bills, 1993-94 National Football League, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers, 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts
Junior Seau, Linebacker – 1990-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-05 Miami Dolphins, 2006-09 New England Patriots
Will Shields, Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
*Mick Tingelhoff, Center – 1962-1978 Minnesota Vikings
Kurt Warner, Quarterback – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals
**Ron Wolf, Contributor – 1963-1974, 1979-1989 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1966 American Football League, 1976-78 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990-91 New York Jets, 1991-2001 Green Bay Packers