DAVIE–During Jason Taylor’s incredible run with the Dolphins, the only other player close to his iconic status with the franchise was Zach Thomas.
Taylor was selected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer last week. Thomas is still waiting.
Thomas finished playing in 2009, two years before Taylor retired, and failed to make the cut for the 15 modern era finalists this year. Taylor, his brother-in-law, thinks the voters are making a mistake.
“There’s a handful of guys that I played with that are elite status as far as players, people, competitors, teammates, and Zach Thomas is No. 1 on that list,” he said this afternoon. “He made everybody that played with him better. He’s one of those guys that never got the respect he deserved, never got the attention he deserves. To me, is he a Hall of Famer? Absolutely. Without Zach, there’s no way in the world I’m standing here right now — without Sam (Madison), without Pat (Surtain).
“There’s a handful of guys that there’s absolutely no way—Trace Armstrong—that I’m here without them. Richmond Webb and Zach Thomas are two Hall of Famers. Whether their busts are in Canton or not, they’re Hall of Famers to me, and hopefully one day people wake up and see that and they’ll get a chance to go through this too.”
Thomas starred at middle linebacker for the Dolphins from 1996 through 2007, then spent a year with the Cowboys and did some practice squad work with the Chiefs in ’09. He had 1,110 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles in his career.
While in Miami, he made seven Pro Bowls and was chosen as a first-team all-pro by the Associated Press five times. The majority of eligible players who made all-pro at least five times have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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