2 former Hogs among semifinalists for Pro Football Hall

By: Matt Jones
Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson yells from the sidelines during the fourth quarter at the Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 30, 1994 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Johnson's Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 30-13 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl title. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin)
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson yells from the sidelines during the fourth quarter at the Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 30, 1994 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Johnson's Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 30-13 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl title. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin)

— Two former Arkansas football players are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Steve Atwater and Jimmy Johnson are among 27 semifinalists for the hall. Atwater is a semifinalist for the seventh consecutive year, while Johnson is for the second year in a row.

Atwater was an 8-time Pro Bowl safety with the Denver Broncos from 1989-98. He was a two-time all-SWC player for the Razorbacks from 1985-88 and is the program's career leader with 14 interceptions.

Johnson helped build the Dallas Cowboys dynasty in the 1990s and won two Super Bowl championships as the team's head coach. He was an all-SWC offensive lineman on the Razorbacks' national championship team in 1964.

Arkansas has had three former players - Lance Alworth, Dan Hampton and Jerry Jones - inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jones was inducted earlier this year for his time as owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Hall of Fame will name 15 finalists in January and the next induction class will be announced the week of the Super Bowl next February. Between four and eight candidates will be inducted during a ceremony next August in Canton, Ohio.

Finalists must receive at least 80 percent of the votes from the Hall of Fame's 48-member selection committee to be inducted. Atwater was a finalist in 2016.

Semifinalists who are in their first year of eligibility for the hall are Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Richard Seymour, Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber.

Other semifinalists are: Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, LeRoy Butler, Don Coryell, Roger Craig, Brian Dawkins, Alan Faneca, Torry Holt, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae, Karl Mecklenburg, Leslie O'Neal, Terrell Owens, Simeon Rice, Everson Walls and Hines Ward.

Bobby Beathard previously was chosen as a finalist as a contributor, and Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer are finalists as senior candidates.

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