Three Miami Dolphins players that deserve to be in the Hall of Fame
By Brian Miller
To be honest, the debate on whether or not Zach Thomas belongs in the Hall of Fame has raged for years with fans and realists going back and forth. Despite making an initial cut in 2017, Thomas is still waiting for his chance and this year he didn’t come close missing the initial cut.
Thomas however watched this years electors select two linebackers for the Hall of Fame. Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. It is Urlacher that HOF voters should look at when discussing Thomas in 2019. It is where Salguero should start his presentation and maybe even end it.
Thomas was never that singular player that stood out in the NFL as a superstar. Not like Urlacher did. Urlacher was a media magnet. They loved him. They loved his tenacity and his prototypical size and the fact he played for the Chicago Bears, a team with a long history of stellar middle linebackers. Thomas played for some pretty bad NFL teams.
Where Jason Taylor had the statistics to back up his HOF claim, Thomas’ stats needed to be researched. This is where Urlacher comes in and could help Thomas in the future because if Urlacher is a Hall of Fame linebacker than so is Zach Thomas.
There are key categories that are brought up when discussing HOF credentials. Sacks are one of them and when Thomas and Urlacher are compared this is a glaring difference between the two. Urlacher recorded 21 more sacks over his career than Thomas did but that is where the differences really end.
Urlacher holds a lead over Thomas with 22 interceptions to Thomas’ 17 but the two are tied with four touchdowns apiece. Thomas has 16 forced fumbles to Urlacher’s 11 and recorded 627 assisted tackles to Urlacher’s 314. This is a huge difference that slants in Thomas’ favor.
The real difference in what seems to matter however is Thomas leads the two in tackles. Thomas’ 1100 tackles is 60 more than Urlacher who posted 1040.
Both players played 13 NFL seasons both were 5 time first team All-Pro’s and Thomas was a 7 time Pro-Bowl player to Urlachers’ eight. Of course Urlacher was a first round draft pick and Zach Thomas was taken in the 5th.
Statistically very little separates the two and if the HOF voters believe that Urlacher’s sack total is enough to get him in over Thomas this year then next year it should be Thomas’ turn. Thomas was as much a leader in Miami as Urlacher was in Chicago. Both players appeared in the post-season with Thomas having one more game on his resume. They both won three post-season games but neither team made it deep.
The reality is that if Brian Urlacher is a Pro-Football Hall of Fame linebacker then the other 54, Zach Thomas is as well.