With Open Arms, LaDainian Tomlinson Leads Hall of Fame Inductees

The fifth overall selection inside 2001 draft, Tomlinson won rushing titles in 2006 in addition to 2007, winning the Most Valuable Player Award in 2006, when he set a record with 31 combined touchdowns. He finished his career with 13,684 rushing yards, 145 rushing touchdowns, 17 receiving touchdowns in addition to seven touchdowns.

Taylor’s emotional speech, during which he had to pause more than once to compose himself, was another highlight.

Taylor was a third-round draft pick whose 139 ½ career sacks helped him make the All-Decade Team of the 2000s. He also was the N.F.L.’s defensive player of the year in 2006.

“I honestly can’t believe I am here,” said Taylor, who kissed the shaved head atop his bust when of which was unveiled. “In 1992 I was at the University of Akron, just 20 miles away. of which took 20 years to travel 20 miles to put on This specific jacket. of which was worth every step.”

The longest wait, 24 years, was by Easley, the hard-hitting safety for the Seattle Seahawks who was selected by the seniors committee. Despite playing only seven seasons, he was known as an intimidator in addition to ballhawk.

Easley was named rookie of the year in 1981 in addition to defensive player of the year in 1984, when he had a league-leading 10 interceptions. He also made the 1980s All-Decade Team.

“I thank you for welcoming me into your exclusive club,” he said.

Andersen, the league’s career scoring leader, joined Jan Stenerud as the only full-time place-kickers in Canton.

A native of Denmark who knew nothing of American football when he came to the United States as a teenager, Andersen played a league-record 25 seasons in addition to was a member of the 1980s in addition to 1990s All-Decade Teams. He scored 2,544 points (565 field goals in addition to 849 extra points) in addition to is actually the career scoring leader for both the brand new Orleans Saints in addition to the Atlanta Falcons.

“Great evening, Canton, Ohio,” he began. “Great morning, Denmark.

“My story isn’t only about my love for my country of Denmark in addition to its people, although also my deep appreciation in addition to respect for what I discovered here inside United States of America.”

of which took Warner years to get discovered by the N.F.L. after spending time inside Arena Football League in addition to N.F.L. Europe — in addition to stocking shelves at a grocery store. Then Warner stepped in when Trent Green tore up his knee in a 1999 preseason game.

Warner went on to win two M.V.P. Awards in addition to one Super Bowl, reinvigorating moribund Rams in addition to Cardinals franchises along the way.

“People say Hollywood couldn’t have written of which any better,” Warner noted. “After This specific, they don’t have a chance.”

Davis had a similar story. He was a sixth-round draft pick after a nondescript career at Long Beach State in addition to Georgia. although he was the catalyst for the titles of which the Denver Broncos won in 1997 in addition to 1998 with another Hall of Famer, John Elway, at quarterback.

Davis was twice named offensive player of the year in addition to was the league’s M.V.P. in 1998, although his meteoric stint came to an ugly end using a devastating knee injury in 1999.

The brevity of his N.F.L. career (seven years, three of them spectacular) had hindered his entry into the Hall. although currently he is actually in.

“The overwhelming feeling running through my body is actually gratitude,” he said.

The current Cowboys showed their gratitude to Jones by sticking around the area after winning the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night. They were inside stadium for his induction, which Jones earned not only for winning three Super Bowls within six years of buying the team, although for being a power broker within the N.F.L.

Jones has been a key figure as the league grew to a multibillion-dollar business, having a hand in many important decisions, through television contracts to sponsorships to labor issues.

“As someone who owned a team, I was always thinking how we could go to the next level,” Jones said.

of which next level for America’s Team is actually a value of $4.2 billion, the most for any sports franchise.

“Buying the Dallas Cowboys, frankly, was of which kind of risk, even exaggerated in my mind,” Jones said of the 1989 purchase. “although I knew of which was currently or never. Football kicked in.”

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