By Mark Gaughan
NEW ORLEANS -- Buffalo BIlls receiver Andre Reed fell short again today in a bid to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Reed was among 15 modern-era finalists for the Hall for a seventh straight year. He made the cutdown from 15 to 10 during the selection meeting. But in a reduction vote from 10 down to a final five, he was eliminated from contention. It was the fourth straight year Reed made the cutdown to 10 but was eliminated on the last round of voting.
Former Minnesota receiver Cris Carter, who has been neck and neck with Reed in recent years, made the final five and was elected to the Hall of Fame. Carter was a finalist for a sixth straight year and and has been in the final 10 three times. Carter caught 130 touchdown passes in his career, fourth on the NFL's all-time list and 43 more than Reed. Carter's 1,101 career receptions rank fourth in NFL history. Reed's 951 catches rank 11th.
Also getting elected among the modern-era finalists were coach Bill Parcells, Dallas guard Larry Allen, Baltimore tackle Jonathan Ogden and Tampa and Oakland defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Senior committee nominees Curley Culp and Dave Robinson also were elected.
Eliminated along with Reed in the cutdown from 10 to five were running back Jerome Bettis, defensive ends Charles Haley and Michael Strahan and cornerback Aeneas Williams.
Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, in the 1986 and 1990 seasons. The latter came over the Buffalo Bills. Parcells compiled a 172-130 record in 19 years as an NFL head coach. He made the playoffs 10 times with four different teams and five different quarterbacks. He went 4-1 in the post-season against three other Hall of Fame coaches. Parcells was 2-1 vs. San Francisco's Bill Walsh in the playoffs, 1-0 vs. Washington's Joe Gibbs and 1-0 vs. Buffalo's Marv Levy.
Allen and Sapp are among 14 men in NFL history to be named to two All-Decade teams. All 14 are in the Hall of Fame. Both Allen and Sapp were on the NFL's all-decade team for both the 1990s and the 2000s. Allen was first-team All-Pro six times for Dallas in a career that spanned from 1994 to 2007. Sapp had 96.5 career sacks, second most ever by a defensive tackle.
Ogden, 6-foot-9 and 340 pounds, was an All-Decade player in the 2000s for Baltimore. He was a six-time first-team All-Pro. Both Ogden and Allen are regarded among the top five players at their positions in NFL history.
Seniors candidates are men whose careers ended more than 25 years ago. Culp was the best nose tackle of his era (1968 to 1980) and helped lead dominant defenses in Kansas City and Houston. Robinson, helped lead Green Bay to five NFL titles in a seven-year span. He was an All-Decade pick in the 1970s.
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