Charles Haley Dallas Cowboys & San Francisco 49ers
"Whatever goals you have, whether you play football, or whether you're a businessperson or a schoolteacher, the goal is to always achieve the ultimate…I'm a ballplayer and I want to get to that big prize…and I'm willing to sacrifice for it. That's the key to everything: Are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal? What are you willing to sacrifice?"
Charles Haley joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1986 as the team’s fourth round draft pick. He developed into one of the NFL’s most devastating pass rushers during a career split between the 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.
He is the first player in NFL history to win five Super Bowls. Haley was a member of two 49ers’ championship teams (Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV) before his trade to Dallas. He earned three more Super Bowl rings during his first four seasons with the Cowboys.
Haley began his NFL career at linebacker and led San Francisco in sacks in each of his first six seasons. He recorded four double-digit sack totals with the 49ers including 12 sacks as a rookie and a career-high and NFC-leading 16 sacks in 1990.
He was moved to defensive end after his trade to Dallas and continued to excel at pressuring the quarterback. He added two more double-digit sack seasons in 1994 and 1995. Haley then suffered a serious back injury in 1996 that limited him to just five games. He retired after undergoing surgery.
However, after a two-year hiatus, Haley resigned with the 49ers as a backup defensive end for two playoff games in 1998. He came back to play one final season in 1999 and added three sacks to his career total.
When he walked away for the final time, Haley had amassed 100.5 sacks during his 169-game career. He was twice named NFC Defensive Player of the Year (1990 and 1994), voted to five Pro Bowls and named All-Pro two times, once as a linebacker and once as a defensive end.
He played in six NFC championship games over a seven-season period. He started at left outside linebacker for the 49ers in the 1988, 1989, and 1990 games and at right defensive end for the Cowboys in the conference championships in 1992, 1993, and 1994. He was inactive for the Cowboys’ victory in the 1995 NFC Championship Game.
Haley was a member of 10 division championship teams during his 12-season NFL career. His final season marked the only year he played on a team with a losing record. Prior to that, the fewest number of wins in a season any 49ers and Cowboys team recorded with Haley on the roster was 10.