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Urlacher Pushing for Thomas

Brian Urlacher is adamant that former Miami Dolphins star Zach Thomas belongs in the Hall of Fame along with him

Zach Thomas has been a Hall of Fame finalist the past three years, but the Hall of Famer often used as an example for why he belongs says it's past time he was inducted.

Appearing on the Pat McAfee Show, Brian Urlacher could not have been more clear about his feelings regarding Thomas and his Hall of Fame candidature.

“How the F--- is Zach off not in the Hall of Fame?" Urlacher told McAfee. "Put his stats up with mine, Ray (Lewis), any other linebacker who's even close to a Hall of Famer or in the Hall of Fame, he’s right there with us, if not better.”

Urlacher says he's at a loss to understand why Thomas remains on the outside looking in 14 years after his playing career ended with one season with the Dallas Cowboys.

“Maybe because he’s 5-10," Urlacher surmised. "I don’t know. I have no idea. I don't know. I don't get it. It pisses me off. Every year I advocate for him to get in. And he was a finalist a couple years, but they don't put him in. I don't understand it.”


Urlacher isn't the first Hall of Famer to advocate for Thomas because longtime Jets center Kevin Mawae did the same thing during his Hall of Fame induction speech.

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“Zach Thomas was my nemesis,” Mawae said about three-quarters into his 27-minute Hall of Fame speech. “My first year with the Jets before my first game we played against each other, (Coach) Bill Parcells told me in front of my entire team, ‘If you don’t block Thomas, we won’t win the game,’ and for the next 16 matchups I never forgot that.

"Zach was one of, if not the smartest player I ever faced. He loved the game, had fun when he played and brought the best out of me. When people ask me who’s not in the Hall of Fame and that I think should be here, it’s an easy one for me: number 54 from the Miami Dolphins.”


In 184 NFL games, Thomas had 1,727 tackles, 17 interceptions, 20.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 8 fumble recoveries, 4 touchdowns and 74 tackles for loss (though those stats weren't kept before 1999). Thomas made the Pro Bowl eight times and was a five-time All-Pro selection.

In 182 career games, Urlacher had 1,354 total tackles, 22 interceptions, 41.5 sacks , 11 forced fumbles, 15 fumble recoveries, 4 defensive touchdowns and 138 tackles for loss. Urlacher made the Pro Bowl eight times and was a four-time All-Pro selection.

If somebody wants to use Urlacher playing in a Super Bowl while Thomas didn't as an argument against Thomas' candidacy, we'd counter that by pointing out Thomas went to the playoffs five times in his 12 seasons with the Dolphins compared to four times in 13 seasons for Urlacher with the Bears.

Here's another (important) argument in Thomas' favor: The Dolphins defense ranked in the top 10 in total yards allowed eight times in 12 seasons with Thomas; the Chicago defense with Urlacher ranked in the top 10 only three times.

Again, Urlacher was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, while Thomas' first year of eligibility was 2014.

Urlacher is right that Thomas belongs in the Hall of Fame and hopefully he won't have to advocate for him much longer.