Woody Paige makes case for Terrell Davis’ inclusion in Hall of Fame

With multiple accolades, including a regular season MVP, Super Bowl MVP and two NFL Offensive Player of the Year Awards, as well as two Super Bowls, former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis couldn’t have accomplished much more.

That being said, Davis has waited a decade to earn a gold jacket. He found himself on the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third time this year. Woody Paige of ESPN’s “Around the Horn” joined Gil Whiteley of Mile High Sports Radio to discuss Davis’ chances of making the HOF.

Paige, along with most sports media, knows the main reason Davis has yet to be inducted is due to his short career. He feels this isn’t a strong argument for keeping a player out of the HOF.

“Its quality, not quantity, and nobody had a better four-year run than he did,” stated Paige, “I put him above Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson, because he won two Super Bowls during that four years.”

Furthermore, there have been other players in the past who had short careers but still found themselves in the HOF.

Jim Brown quit prematurely,” stated Paige, “he rushed for nine years. He could’ve played another four or five years. And we know that Gale Sayers got in after a very short career.”

Paige also compared Davis’ stats to other HOF running backs, and didn’t think any of them outperformed him during their first four years. Davis was arguably the best player in the NFL during this span.

“I went back and looked at all the Hall of Fame running backs, particularly in the folk-modern era, and nobody had better stats,” said Paige. “Eric Dickerson’s numbers were virtually the same his first four years. Earl Campbell trailed both of them, but was pretty close.”

Davis’ postseason success is arguably his strongest argument for the HOF. Paige pointed out an accolade that sets him apart from all other running backs.

“He is the only player to rush for 1,000 postseason yards without playing 12 years. There is five other guys who have over 1,000 yards in the postseason, they all played at least 12 years.”

Despite all the accolades, Davis still has to win over the HOF voters. Paige feels he has a pretty good chance of getting in this year.

“He needs 34 out of 48. He’s got to have 80 percent. Talking to the guys, I think he’s got 18-20 votes going into it, so he’s got to figure out another 14,” stated Paige, continuing on, “I think he’s got a very legitimate chance if the voters decide to keep [LaDainian] Tomlinson on the side and say ‘let’s put Terrell in’.”

Listen to the full interview with Woody Paige, including his thoughts on missing the Super Bowl this year, in the podcast below…

Catch Gil Whiteley every weekday from 11a-12p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.