clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rick Gosselin is dead wrong that Terrell Davis lowers the bar for the Hall of Fame and here is why

New, comments

Gosselin, a Hall of Fame voter, was not a fan of Terrell Davis getting voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Terrell Davis Broncos

Peter King from The MMQB interviewed Rick Gosselin from The Dallas Morning News on his podcast when the topic of Terrell Davis came up. It became clear that Gosselin was against Davis getting voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, saying his induction lowers the bar for everyone else.

“I think it has lowered the bar. And I think a lot of people now are going to think they are Hall of Fame candidates because Terrell Davis is in. Terrell Davis had three Hall of Fame-caliber seasons. A guy like Sterling Sharpe played seven years. He's going to say, ‘Hey, I had a longer stretch of greatness than Terrell Davis. I should be considered.’ It's to a point where he is going to become the Lynn Swann of running backs. Every receiver not in wants to point to Lynn Swann's 300-plus catches. Hey, look, I had better stats than Lynn Swann! And that's the low bar. Every receiver that wants in, that is not in, points to Lynn Swann, and every running back that is not in is going to point to Terrell Davis. And I think a lot of players from other positions as well are going to point to Terrell Davis. I think he got in for the 2,000 yards and the playoff performances. But bottom line is, he is in the Hall of Fame for three seasons in his career.”

I have one question for Gosselin to answer about his lowering of the bar view. Name one player who was more dominant in the playoffs than Terrell Davis? Then again, Peter King opened with that statement and Gosselin ignored it.

Player Y/G Years Teams
Player Y/G Years Teams
Terrell Davis 142.5 1995-2001 den
John Riggins 110.7 1971-1985 was
Eric Dickerson 103.4 1983-1993 2TM
Emmitt Smith 93.3 1990-2004 dal
Steve Van Buren 91.3 1944-1951 phi
Marcus Allen 84.2 1982-1997 2TM
Franco Harris 81.9 1972-1984 pit
Tony Dorsett 81.4 1977-1988 dal
Dutch Clark 80 1931-1938 det
Curtis Martin 79.5 1995-2005 2TM
Larry Csonka 74.3 1968-1979 mia

The problem with voters like Gosselin is that they are too focused on longevity and career stats and less focused on what they should be focused on, which is impact to the history of the game. Lynn Swann is in because of the impact he made on NFL History with his playoff performances and now Terrell Davis is in for similar reasons.

There are no flood gates opening up for players with short careers who had really great regular seasons. What this does is open things up for players who had short careers and really great postseasons. And that list isn’t very long, because the playoffs are hard and it takes a special talent to consistently dominate in the playoffs.

For some reason, this reality escapes some Hall of Fame voters like Gosselin. They just can’t seem to look at each case within a vacuum with a focus on how each player impacted the game. Which is why Hall of Fame caliber players like Davis wait year after year. Fortunately, TD’s wait is over and will take his rightful place in Canton this summer.