Klecko Should Give Glover a Boost

La'Roi Glover is a Hall-of-Fame candidate in waiting

La’Roi Glover’s dormant Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy may have just received its long-awaited jump start.

The Hall of Fame’s senior committee nominated defensive tackle Joe Klecko as one of its three candidates for the Class of 2023. His candidacy was resurrected even though Klecko had never been a finalist during his 25-year window of modern-era eligibility. Glover is suffering that same fate. He is 10 years into his modern-era candidacy and has never been a finalist, either. .

There’s a simple explanation for both players sliding through the cracks of the selection process – neither won a championship. The Hall of Fame selection committee loves winners – 67.4 percent of the 354 men in Canton wear a championship ring.

There are only 104 defensive players in the Hall and just 42 of them failed to win a championship. Of the 42, only 31 were enshrined during their 25-year modern-era windows of eligibility. The other 11 were voted in as senior candidates — the same path Klecko is now taking.

The resurrection of Klecko’s candidacy by the senior committee could — should — open some eyes to Glover’s worthiness.

Klecko arrived in the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Jets in 1977 and started six games as a rookie, collecting eight sacks. Glover arrived as a fifth-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 1996 and only suited up for two games as a rookie with no starts and just two tackles in kick coverage.

Klecko played 12 NFL seasons. Glover played 13.

Klecko collected 78 career sacks, including 39 as a defensive end. Glover collected 83 ½ sacks, all at defensive tackle.

Klecko led the NFL in sacks once as a defensive end. Glover led the league in sacks once as well as a defensive tackle.

Klecko was the runnerup for NFL Defensive Player of the Year once (1981). Glover was the runnerup for NFL Defensive Player of the Year once as well (2000).

Klecko went to four Pro Bowls, at both end and tackle. Glover went to six Pro Bowls, all at tackle.

Both players went to their first Pro Bowl in their fifth season. Klecko went to his four Pro Bowls over a span of five seasons at three positions — weakside end, tackle in a 4-3 and nose tackle in a 3-4. Glover went to Pro Bowls in six consecutive seasons for two different franchises (New Orleans and Dallas) at two different positions, tackle in a 4-3 and nose tackle in a 3-4.

Glover was named to the 2000s NFL all-decade team. Klecko was not named to any all-decade teams.

Klecko still needs 80 percent of the vote from the selection committee next January for enshrinement. He may be worthy. But so is Glover.

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