Richard Dent is the 27th long-time member of the Chicago Bears to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Dent led the NFL in sacks (17) during the Chicago Bears Super Bowl championship season in 1985. Seven times that year he recorded multi-sack games.
Dent's first career INT came 48 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Dent had eight career interceptions including two during the Bears’ Super Bowl season. His interception that he returned for a TD against the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Danny White on Nov. 17, 1985 was the lone “pick six” of his career. The one-yard return was the first score of the Bears’ 44-0 blowout of the Cowboys that day.
Dent’s first of eight career interceptions came in a game against Tony Eason of the New England Patriots on Sept. 15, 1985. Surprisingly for the defensive lineman, his interception came 48 yards away from the line of scrimmage on a last second “Hail Mary” to end the first half.
Dent’s personal best for sacks in a game was 4.5 sacks, a feat he accomplished twice during his 15-year career. Both times were against the Los Angeles Raiders, the first being in his second season in 1984 when he sacked quarterback Jeff Kemp. He matched the output in 1987 in a game when the Bears defense sacked QB Marc Wilson eight times and added one more when safety Dave Duerson sacked running back Marcus Allen on a halfback pass.
Only eight defensive players have earned Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors. He was the fifth player on the defensive side of the line to be named the game’s MVP after his performance in Chicago’s 46-10 rout of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
Dent recorded multiple sacks in a single game 35 times during his NFL career. The first time occurred on Dec. 11, 1983 during his rookie season when he dropped Minnesota Vikings quarterback Steve Dils twice.
Beginning in 1984, when Dent recorded a career high 17.5 sacks, he tallied a remarkable string of eight double-digit sack seasons in a ten-year period. It included a stretch of five consecutive seasons with 10 or more sacks from 1984-88. His only double digit misses came in 1989 when he logged 9 sacks and 1992 when he registered 8.5 quarterback drops.
“I think he deserves it as much as anybody else from the defensive end position. You go look at any second- or third-and-long scenario or anytime the Bears were ahead and the other team was trying to pass to catch up. Richard was the biggest threat on the Bears defense. Look at how he performed in the big games. He was the Super Bowl MVP. You look at his performance in the playoffs and in the big games during the regular season throughout his career. But Richard was an every-game player. Big game or small game, he was always out there.” - former Bears guard Tom Thayer
“I think Richard is very deserving to be in the Hall of Fame. When you think of the Chicago Bears, you think of specific individuals that not only were game-changers but were a part of something that changed the history of the game. That’s what I look at as the Hall of Fame, is where do you fit in in the history of professional football, and I think he was one of the most athletic, most dominant defensive ends to play the game. His quickness, his agility and his tenacity were all things you had to take note of. Richard Dent to me was a defensive player that you had to pay the same kind of attention to that you did a Lawrence Taylor. I can’t pay him any higher compliment than that.” - former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann
“He was a big-play guy. He had a knack for making huge plays, like when he flew over a blocker against the 49ers [to sack Joe Montana] or shook Craig James like a wet towel until he dropped the ball [in Super Bowl XX].” - former Bears center Jay Hilgenberg
“I think I’m a pretty good historian and that I have followed the game extremely close ever since I’ve been involved and even before, and I’ve got a good perspective of what I think is right and wrong, and when it comes to the Hall of Fame, to me there’s no question that he belongs.” - former Giants quarterback Phil Simms
"I'm very happy…When you start a career you never think about the Hall of Fame ... watching a guy like Walter Payton, he would say 'Don't do what I say, do what I do.' If you can do your thing the way he does his, the possibility is you will get in the Hall of Fame." - Richard Dent
"I don’t think Richard was ever fully appreciated as being part of that dominant Bears team in 1985, because they had so many large personalities. But he was as good a pass rusher as you’ll find. During his prime years, he was the best at what he did.’’ – former Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks