NEW ORLEANS – Cris Carter’s 130 career touchdown receptions ultimately pushed him ahead of Buffalo Bills great Andre Reed in the voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Carter and Reed had been in a neck-and-neck battle on the list of receivers vying for induction to the Hall for the past six years. Carter broke through and was elected to the Hall of Fame’s 2013 class during Saturday’s selection meeting at the New Orleans Convention Center.
Carter stands fourth on the NFL’s all-time list for both TD catches and receptions, with 1,101. Reed, who spent his career playing on teams that did not pass as much, stands 11th in receptions with 951 and 12th in receiving TDs with 87.
Reed helped the Bills reach four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s. The hallmarks of his career were his run-after-the-catch ability, toughness, durability and clutch performances in big games. He was among 15 modern-era finalists for the Hall for a seventh straight year. The 15 modern finalists are cut down to a list of 10 and then to a final five during the selection meeting. Reed made the cutdown to the final 10 for a fourth straight year, evidence of his widespread support among the voters. But he once again failed to advance in the final reduction vote.
Also getting elected among the modern-era finalists were coach Bill Parcells, Dallas guard Larry Allen, Baltimore tackle Jonathan Ogden and Tampa and Oakland defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Senior committee nominees Curley Culp and Dave Robinson also were elected.
Eliminated along with Reed in the cutdown from 10 to five were running back Jerome Bettis, defensive ends Charles Haley and Michael Strahan and cornerback Aeneas Williams. Former Oakland receiver Tim Brown was eliminated in the cut from 15 to 10 for a fourth straight year.
Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, in the 1986 and 1990 seasons. The latter came in a 20-19 decision over the Buffalo Bills. Parcells compiled a 172-130 record in 19 years as an NFL head coach. He made the playoffs 10 times with four different teams and five different quarterbacks. He went 4-1 in the postseason against three other Hall of Fame coaches. Parcells was 2-1 vs. San Francisco’s Bill Walsh in the playoffs, 1-0 vs. Washington’s Joe Gibbs and 1-0 vs. Buffalo’s Marv Levy.
Allen and Sapp are among 14 men in NFL history to be named to two All-Decade teams. All 14 are in the Hall of Fame. Both Allen and Sapp were on the NFL’s all-decade team for both the 1990s and the 2000s. Allen was first-team All-Pro six times for Dallas in a career that spanned from 1994 to 2007. Sapp had 96.5 career sacks, second most ever by a defensive tackle.
Ogden, 6-foot-9 and 340 pounds, was an All-Decade player in the 2000s for Baltimore and a six-time first-team All-Pro. Ogden and Allen are regarded among the top five players at their positions in NFL history.
Seniors candidates are men whose careers ended more than 25 years ago. Culp was the best nose tackle of his era (1968-80), leading dominant defenses in Kansas City and Houston. Robinson, helped lead Green Bay to five NFL titles in a seven-year span. He was an All-Decade pick in the 1960s.