An eighth-round draft pick out of Tennessee State, rookie defensive end Richard Dent immediately exceeded the Chicago Bears' expectations. Dent played in every game as a rookie in 1983 and even started in three.
Dent is the first alum from Tennessee State to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For Dent, the 1984 season was the beginning of a remarkable 10-year period during which he recorded 10 or more sacks in eight of the next ten seasons including five consecutive (1984-88).
Dent’s NFC leading 17.5 sacks in 1984 was immediately followed up with an NFL best 17 sacks in 1985.
Dent, a pass-rushing force, was a dominant player on a dominant defense. “He’ll make the guy in front of him know he’s in for a day’s work,” former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes said of Dent when he signed him late in his career.
At the time of his retirement, Dent’s 137.5 career sack total was third behind Reggie White and Bruce Smith.
Aside from his 137.5 career sacks, Dent also had 8 interceptions, a safety, and fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Dent had 10 or more sacks in a season five consecutive times from 1984-88.
Dent brings down the Cowboys' Danny White.
Dent's career-high for sacks in a game is 4.5. He accomplished the feat twice, both times against the Raiders.
Dent was elected to four Pro Bowls.
Dent was named the MVP of Super Bowl XX as he helped lead the Bears past the Patriots, 46-10. He had three tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in the win.
Richard was a member of seven division winning teams in his career.
Dent had double-digit sack totals eight times in 10 seasons. That ranked tied for second all-time when he retired.
Richard Dent is the 27th long-time member of the Bears elected to the Hall of Fame.
Dent tied a NFL playoff record with 3.5 sacks against the New York Giants on Jan. 5, 1986.
In all, Dent played in 203 regular season games during his 15-season career.
Dent was named first-team All-Pro in 1984 and again in 1985.
Linemate Dan Hampton (99) preceded Dent in Canton in 2002.
Dent's athletic ability made him tough to handle.
Richard was named All-NFC five times.
He racked up 17.5 sacks in his second season despite starting just 10 games.
Dent played two games with 49ers' Super Bowl team in 1994.
Dent picked up 6.5 sacks in his one season with the Indianapolis Colts in 1996.
Dent spent his NFL season with Philadelphia. He had 4.5 sacks with the Eagles that year.
Richard is measured by sculptor Blair Buswell two days after being elected the Hall of Fame. It is the first step in the process of creating his Hall of Fame bronze bust.
Dent signs footballs that will be sold exclusively in the Hall of Fame store as HOF Vice President Steve Strawbridge (left) looks on.
Dent is measured for his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket.