Eagles great Eric Allen named Hall of Fame semifinalist


Eagles great Eric Allen, who had 58 interceptions in his brilliant 14-year career, is among 28 players named Tuesday as semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This is Allen’s third consecutive year as a semifinalist. 

Allen, the Eagles’ 2nd-round pick in 1988 out of Arizona State, spent his first seven years here and had 34 regular-season interceptions and three in the postseason as well as a franchise-record five pick 6’s and another in the postseason.

He made five Pro Bowls and 1st-team all-pro once before finishing his career with three seasons in New Orleans and four with the Raiders. 

Allen missed only one game in seven seasons as an Eagle. His best seasons were 1989, when he had eight interceptions, and 1993, when he returned an NFL-record four of six INTs for touchdowns.

Allen shares the Eagles’ interception record with Bill Bradley and Brian Dawkins. He ranks 10th among all cornerbacks in NFL history with his 54 interceptions and third with his eight returns for touchdown. Allen’s four postseason INTs are 15th-most in history among cornerbacks.

The only defensive players in Eagles history selected to more than Allen’s five Pro Bowls are Chuck Bednarik, Dawkins and Reggie White (seven each), and Fletcher Cox (six).

There are only four cornerbacks who’ve had 58 interceptions and nine pick-6’s in their career including regular season and postseason, and the only ones who aren’t in the Hall of Fame are Allen and former Eagles Asante Samuel.

Other corners in the group of semifinalists are Ronde Barber (47 INTs), Albert Lewis (42 INTs) and Darrelle Revis (29 INTs).

Also making the list of semifinalists is Ricky Watters, who spent 1995 through 1997 with the Eagles. He was also a semifinalist in 2020 and 2022.

Despite only playing 48 games in an Eagles uniform, Watters ranks seventh in franchise history with 3,794 rushing yards and sixth with 31 touchdowns and made two Pro Bowls.

The only running backs in Eagles history named to Pro Bowls are Billy Ray Barnes, Timmy Brown and LeSean McCoy.

The list of 28 Hall of Fame semifinalists was reduced from an original list of 129 nominees announced in September.

The 28 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists, and the Hall of Fame’s 49-member selection committee will select the 2023 Hall of Famers Super Bowl week in Arizona in February. They will be announced Feb. 9.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 5.

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