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Talk of Fame Network

Calling Don Coryell “a pioneer and an architect,” Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Fouts makes a passionate plea on behalf of his former coach for inclusion with the Hall's Class of 2015 on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast.

Coryell is one of 15 finalists this year, the second time he made it this far. But, frankly, the odds are against him making it to the finish line … and his 3-6 playoff record, with no Super Bowl appearances, is a big reason why.

Fouts understands, yet he offers a defense of his former coach that is hard to refute.

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“I think it is legitimate concern,” he said of Coryell’s postseason record, “but if you look at his contribution to the game … and the way the game is played … and the disciples that have won Super Bowls with his offense … that should not be ignored.

“I remember when Jimmy Johnson (also a Hall-of-Fame finalist this year) took over in Dallas, and he was looking for an offensive coordinator. And Jimmy called me and said, ‘What about this guy named Norv Turner who’s with the Los Angeles Rams?' I know Norv. I played football with him at the University of Oregon, and, basically, Jimmy didn’t want to know anything about his character or the fact that we were friends. He wanted to know one thing: Will he bring that offense with him to Dallas?”

He did, of course, and the Cowboys won two Super Bowls with it. Then Turner was hired by Washington as a head coach, and Dallas hired former Coryell acolyte, Ernie Zampese, to run the offense. And it won another Super Bowl.

“It was really a great era to be part of,” said Fouts. “I feel lucky to have a pioneer and an architect like Don Coryell.”