Hall comes calling for Raiders' Sapp, 49ers' Allen

Hall comes calling for Raiders' Sapp, 49ers' Allen
February 2, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Warren Sapp played for the Raiders from 2004-2007. His 13-year career yielded 96.5 total sacks and 438 tackles. (USA TODAY)

Former defensive lineman Warren Sapp and former offensive lineman Larry Allen have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Allen and Sapp will join Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells and Dave Robinson as the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2013.

Notable names from the finalist list snubbed from Canton include former 49ers' owner Eddie J. DeBartolo Jr. and defensive end Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, Aeneas Williams, Andre Reed and Michael Strahan.

Allen, Sapp and Ogden all enter the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

"We play an ultimate team sport and this is the ultimate honor for an individual," Sapp said. "It was the first time I've heard my own name ring in my ears."

Sapp, who played for the Raiders from 2004-2007, appeared on the NFL Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. His 13-year career yielded 96.5 total sacks and 438 tackles.

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sapp was elected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls beginning in 1997. He was also named First-Team All-Pro for four consecutive seasons, the first coming in 1999 when he won the NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year award.

His best season came in 2000, when he finished second in the NFL with a career-high 16.5 sacks.

Another first-ballot nominee, Allen played his final two seasons with the 49ers in 2006-2007. The 11-time Pro Bowler and 6-time First-Team All-Pro played 12 of his 14 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.

"I never thought about (the Hall of Fame)," Allen said on stage at the announcement ceremony after hearing the good news. "Not while I was winning."

Sapp had similar thoughts about receiving the honor.

"At no time did I think about the Hall of Fame," he said. "I never played the game for this individual honor. You only play for the respect of your peers and teammates." 

 When asked who he would like to induct him at the enshrinement ceremony, Allen had only one name in mind -- Jerry Jones. 

"He was like a father figure to me," Allen said. "He helped me on and off the field."