TAMPA, Fla.--Richard Dent's disappointment today at missing the Pro Football Hall of Fame might linger for a little while.
But the Super Bowl XX MVP could be in good shape moving forward. It's a good sign that Dent made the cut from 15 to 10 for the second consecutive year. It was the fifth time in six years that he was among the final 15.
Two pass rushers have been selected in the last two classes--Bruce Smith and Derrick Thomas this year and Andre Tippett and Fred Dean in 2008. What bolsters Dent's chances are the fact that there are not any more elite pass rushers coming on to the ballot in the coming seasons. Without more competition at defensive end, Dent could be aided. Of course, he needs to get one of the five modern-era slots and Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith will be slam dunks at this time next year. Some of the first-year eligible players in 2011 are also impressive.