Former Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas was among the most feared players at his position during NFL career.
Spanning 13 seasons [12 with Miami, one with Dallas], the native of Pampa, Texas put together an impressive career. Thomas was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a seven-time All-Pro selection [five of which were to the first team] and was selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
As such, he is considered to be among the league’s most-likely alumni to earn enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
In fact, one prominent member of the Hall believes that Thomas should have been inducted already. Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, was elected in 2018, appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” last Wednesday and expressed his displeasure at Thomas having yet to gain his spot in the Hall of Fame.
“How the f— is Zach Thomas not in the Hall of Fame,” Urlacher said (edited for profanity). “Put his stats up with mine, Ray [Lewis], any other linebacker who’s either close to the Hall of Fame or been in the Hall of Fame. He’s right there with us if not better.
“Every year I advocate for him to get in, but they don’t put him in and I don’t understand it.”
Thomas was a Hall of Fame finalist for the first time in 2022 in what was his ninth year of eligibility. Statistically, he has a strong case for enshrinement, having compiled 1,734 total tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles during his career. While his numbers may fall short of Lewis’ career prowess, they do compare favorably with that of Urlacher, who finished his 13-year career with 1,361 total tackles, 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles.
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Though he may be best known for his days with the Dolphins, Thomas did spend one season with the Cowboys in 2008. Despite the homecoming nature of the story, Thomas’ signing with Dallas surprised both the media and observers, as he was considered a poor fit for the Cowboys’ 3-4 defense. Still, Thomas earned a starting spot at inside linebacker, alongside Bradie James and outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis. He finished the season with 94 combined tackles (65 solo), three passes defensed, and one sack in 16 games.
Thomas was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015 for his stellar tenure at linebacker for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
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