Defensive end Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears points as he looks over the Atlanta Falcons offense during a game at Soldier Field. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

2011 NFL Hall Of Fame Enshrinees: Richard Dent Finally Gets In!

Who will make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year?

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NFL Hall Of Fame Class of 2011: The Bears' Richard Dent Is In!

As announced by Steve Perry, the president and executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, the enshrinees for 2011 are: Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe.

Dent has been waiting nine years for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame; his tough play at defensive end for the Bears from 1983-1993 was one of the key reasons for the team’s success in that era; the photo accompanying this StoryStream™ shows the intensity with which Dent always played. The Bears’ great defense was anchored by him and he was an important part of the Bears’ Super Bowl title season.

Congratulations to Dent and to the Bears and to the other enshrinees, including Ed Sabol, who changed the way we watch football through his work at NFL Films.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 6, 2011, the culmination of a 10-day enshrinement festival.


2011 NFL Hall Of Fame Finalists: Will Richard Dent Finally Get In?

Like the Cubs' Ron Santo, Richard Dent of the Bears has been -- in the opinion of many -- denied his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame. Dent was a dominant defensive end for the Bears during the Ditka era, from 1983-1993 and also played for the 49ers, Colts and Eagles at the end of his career.

Today, we'll find out whether Dent -- or any of the 16 other finalist nominees -- will make the Hall of Fame. From the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, here is a complete list of finalists (* indicates "senior nominee):

Jerome Bettis– Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Dermontti Dawson– Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Doleman– Defensive End/Linebacker – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Marshall Faulk – Running Back – 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005 St. Louis Rams

Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

* Chris Hanburger– Linebacker – 1965-1978 Washington Redskins

Cortez Kennedy– Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Curtis Martin – Running Back – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets

Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

* Les Richter – Linebacker – 1954-1962 Los Angeles Rams

Willie Roaf– Tackle – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Ed Sabol– Founder/President/Chairman – 1964-1995 NFL Films

Deion Sanders – Cornerback/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens

Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens

You can find out who made it and who got snubbed on a one-hour special on the NFL Network, Saturday night, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. CST.

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