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Talk of Fame Network

Dallas owner Jerry Jones and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue are the two contributor candidates for the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame's Class of 2017, and history says they should make it. Of the three contributor candidates proposed since the category was created in 2015, all three have made it.

But this year could be tougher.

Tagliabue, in particular, is a controversial choice. He's been a finalist three times (2007-09) and made it to the final five in his first attempt. But he did not receive the 80 percent approval required of inductees and fell short -- with his candidacy running out of steam in 2009 when he failed to reach the final 10 in his last attempt as a finalist.

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But now he's back as a contributor candidate (contributors are defined as everyone but coaches and players), and the vote will be close. It could be with Jones, too, except that his candidacy seems less combustible to voters.

NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal evaluates the chances of each and believes that, as in the past two years, both will reach Canton -- though he concedes the vote will be tight. To see why, log on to ...

(Paul Tagliabue photo courtesy of NFL)

(Jerry Jones photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)