Thomas earned a Pro Bowl nod after each of his first nine seasons.
Individually and as a group, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s newly elected Class of 2009 has some impressive career achievements. Collectively, the five players in the class elected on the day before Super Bowl XLIII – , , , and – have earned a total of 46 Pro Bowl berths. The sixth member of the Hall’s Class of ’09 is long-time Buffalo Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson, Jr.
Only the Class of 1990 has more total Pro Bowls than this year’s group. The six players in the ’90 class – Buck Buchanan (8), Bob Griese (8), Franco Harris (9), Ted Hendricks (8), Jack Lambert (9) and Bob St. Clair (5) – accounted for 47 Pro Bowl nominations. That does not include the one Pro Bowl that coach Tom Landry, also a member of the 1990 class, earned as a defensive back with the New York Giants following the 1954 season. Landry coached in six Pro Bowls as well.
Class of ’09 in the Pro Bowl:
, WR – 3 Pro Bowls: 1966, 1967, 1968
McDaniel was selected to play in a record 12 straight AFC-NFC Pro Bowls.
Labeled the world’s fastest human after winning gold medals in track during the 1964 Olympics, Hayes made a seamless transition to the NFL. He shocked defenses with an astonishing 21.8-yard per catch average as a rookie and recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons to begin his career. Hayes earned Pro Bowl berths after each of his first three years in the NFL.
, G – 12 Pro Bowls: 1990-2001
No NFL player has been elected to more Pro Bowls since the game went to the AFC-NFC format in 1971 than McDaniel (Kansas City’s Will Shields is tied with him). McDaniel earned a Pro Bowl berth in each season of his 14-year career except his first and last year. He played in 11 Pro Bowls representing the Minnesota Vikings. His final Pro Bowl appearance came as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Smith earned the Player of the Game award in the 1988 Pro Bowl.
, DE – 11 Pro Bowls: 1988-1991, 1993-99
All of Smith’s Pro Bowl elections came during his days with the Buffalo Bills. He played in eight of the 11 Pro Bowls to which he was named. He did not play in 1993, 1994 or 1997. Smith’s finest Pro Bowl performance came in the game following the 1987 regular season when he earned the 1988 Pro Bowl Player of the Game honors. He recorded five tackles and two sacks in his first Pro Bowl appearance as the AFC downed the NFC, 15-6, on February 7, 1988.
He had three sacks and blocked a field goal in the 1991 Pro Bowl but teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Jim Kelly was named Player of the Game. In all, he registered 7.5 sacks in the Pro Bowl which ranks as third most since 1971 behind fellow Hall of Famers Reggie White and Howie Long.
Thomas earned a Pro Bowl nod after each of his first nine seasons. He was voted to the game as a starter in the first six appearances. With him being named to the Pro Bowl after his rookie season in 1989, he became the first Chiefs’ outside linebacker to go to the Pro Bowl since fellow Hall of Famer Bobby Bell in 1973.
Thomas’ nine Pro Bowl berths was a Kansas City Chiefs team record at the time.
, CB/S – 12 Pro Bowls: 1990-95, 1997, 2000-03
Woodson earned Pro Bowl berths a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders and at three different positions (kick returner, cornerback and safety). He was named to his first Pro Bowl following his third season in 1989 as a kick returner. The following year he was named the Pro Bowl starter at cornerback for the first of six straight All-Star Games.
Woodson had a record-tying two interceptions during his final Pro Bowl appearance in 2003.
Hall of Fame Classes with the Most Pro Bowls
1990 – (47) – Buck Buchanan (8), Bob Griese (8), Franco Harris (9), Ted Hendricks (8), Jack Lambert (9) and Bob St. Clair (5)
2009 – (46) – (3), (12), (11), (9) and (11)
2007 – (44) – Gene Hickerson (6), Michael Irvin (5), Bruce Matthews (14), Charlie Sanders (7), Thurman Thomas (5) and Roger Wehrli (7)
2006 – (43) – Tory Aikman (6), Harry Carson (9), Warren Moon (9), Reggie White (13), Rayfield Wright (6)
1987 – (43) – Larry Csonka (5), Len Dawson (7), Joe Greene (10), John Henry Johnson (4), Jim Langer (6), Don Maynard (4) and Gene Upshaw (7)
earned election to the Pro Bowl with three teams.
, LB – 9 Pro Bowls: 1990-98
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