HomeDa Birds NewsEric Allen and Ricky Watters Once Again Selected as Hall of Fame...

Eric Allen and Ricky Watters Once Again Selected as Hall of Fame Semifinalists from the Eagles

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PHILADELPHIA – Both have previously been down the Hall of Fame path only to find the rest of the way to Canton blocked.

Now, here they are again – cornerback Eric Allen and running back Ricky Watters, a pair of players who each spent several years with the Philadelphia Eagles – back on the list of semifinalists released on Tuesday.

It is the fourth time both have made it this far.

There are 25 who made the semifinals, whittled from a list of 173 nominees announced in September. The list will be trimmed to 15 finalists with the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class being announced just before Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.

Allen, who played for the Eagles from 1988-1994 after they picked him in the second round (30th player taken overall) in 1988 out of Arizona State, certainly has a strong case when his numbers are compared to defensive backs who have been enshrined the past two years.

He had 54 career interceptions while playing for Philly, the New Orleans Saints, and the Oakland Raiders.

Eric Allen (left) and Ricky Watters


That’s more than two corners who were inducted last year, Ronde Barber (47) and Darrelle Revis (29), though not as many as Ken Riley (65), who also went in last year.

Allen went to six Pro Bowls and was an Associated Press first-team performer once during his 14 years in the league. Barber went to six Pro Bowls in 16 seasons.

Allen also forced six fumbles and had eight touchdown returns off interceptions, including four in 1993, a record since broken by Dallas Cowboys CB Daron Bland, who has five of those this season.

Longtime Hall of Fame voter and former Philadelphia Daily News writer Paul Domowitch tweeted this about Allen: “He’s got the hearty endorsement of Troy Aikman, which should count for a lot given that Troy faced him about 20 times in his career and certainly knows a Hall of Fame corner when he sees one.”

As for Watters, there may be another former Eagles running back who could be more worthy of a spot in the Hall, and that is LeSean McCoy, who talked about his candidacy last year. He won’t be eligible until the 2026 Class.

Watters, though, could make a case to get in also. He came to the Eagles as a free agent from the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 and promptly made an impact, rushing for 1,273 yards and 11 touchdowns that season. He followed that up with 1,411 yards and 13 tocuhdowns, and 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns.

He spent just those three years in Philly, but Watters played in 144 games during his 10-year career, finishing with 14,891 yards (10,643 rushing, 4,248 receiving) and 91 touchdowns (78 rushing, 13 receiving).

Related: Eagles’ Jack Driscoll Answers Call in Lane Johnson’s Absence: ‘Not An Easy Job’

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