The NFL announced Saturday that former Steelers CB Rod Woodson will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. It was his first year of eligibility.
Woodson was an All-Pro player at cornerback and free safety in his career, and also excelled as a return man for much of his 17-year career. He made 11 Pro Bowls for the Steelers, Baltimore and Oakland.
Dawson was named to the final list of 15, but did not make the final cut to 10. He was named All Pro six consecutive years, from 1993 through 1998, never once missing a start in that time.
Other inductees are Bruce Smith, Randall McDaniel, Bob Hayes, Derrick Thomas and Ralph Wilson.
In a fine example of his class and respect, former Cowboys wide receiver, Michael Irvin, A 2008 inductee, said on ESPN Radio 1250 in Pittsburgh that Woodson "was soft."
Irvin made it on the second ballot, which is one more than it took for Woodson. Making it on the first ballot is generally considered to be "elite," while making it on the second ballot isn't as good.
Dawson can take some solace in knowing that McDaniel made it on his third try. While Dawson will have to wait at least until his fifth year of eligibility (in 2010), McDaniel was clearly one of the best at his position for most of his generation. The same argument can be made for Dawson.