The 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced at the NFL Honors and will include nine inductees, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis, ironman offensive lineman Joe Thomas, and ferocious pass rusher DeMarcus Ware highlight the class.
The esteemed group, which is one of the biggest of all time, is rounded out by Ronde Barber, Zach Thomas, Don Coryell, and senior members Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko and Ken Riley. While they are all among the game’s elite, there are certainly a few standouts whose enshrinement was never in doubt.
They don’t call it “Revis Island” for nothing. The five-time All-Pro corner played a huge role on one of the most dominant defenses in recent history with the New York Jets. Quarterbacks were asking for trouble any time they threw Revis’ way. New York’s two consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances (2009-10) is perhaps the greatest testament to his legacy as it has been completely downhill for the franchise since. Revis did win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots as an additional punch to the gut for Jets fans.
Offensive linemen have always been lauded for their toughness, but Joe Thomas redefined the meaning with 10, 363 consecutive snaps played for the Cleveland Browns. Thomas was no compiler, though, and was among the best left tackles in the NFL throughout his 11 seasons. Thomas, ever the trooper, was tasked with protecting more than 20 different quarterbacks for a franchise that never saw the postseason while he lined up. Still, his impact to the team and the position need no further explanation.
DeMarcus Ware is another superstar who did not quite get to enjoy as much team success as one would have guessed based on his overstuffed credentials. He is top 10 all-time in sacks and formerly held the record for most tackles for a loss in a single season. After more heartbreak, Cowboys fans can take solace in seeing their guy wear the much-deserved Gold Jacket.
Not to be forgotten, fellow Cowboys great Chuck Howley is finally getting his just due as one of the game’s early pioneers. The linebacker has the distinct honor of being the only player ever to be named Super Bowl MVP in a losing effort (Super Bowl 5 vs. the Baltimore Colts).
The 86-year-old, and the other eight men joining him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame will now have eternal proof of the indelible imprint they have left on this sport.