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Final 15: DeMarcus Ware and Darren Woodson named Hall of Fame finalists

As we inch closer to the NFL , and are two of the 15 modern-era finalists for the 2023 class, the announced Wednesday.

The modern-era player finalists are determined by a vote of the Hall's Selection Committee, a process that began with 129 nominees. That group of nominees was trimmed to 28 semifinalists in November.

Ware was a finalist last year. His first season of HOF eligibility, but he was not selected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

A first-round pick by the Cowboys in 2005, Ware is the all-time sack leader for Dallas with 117. He finished his career with seven All-Pro selections (four first-team), nine Pro Bowls honors, two sack titles (2008, 2010), and won with the . He is also a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team.

Six. That is the number of times Woodson has been a semifinalist and coming into this year, and he had never advanced beyond that mark.

Woodson retired following the 2003 season as the franchise's all-time leading tackler who was also a five-time Pro Bowler, a four-time first-team All-Pro, and a three-time champion.

Additionally, is a finalist as a senior candidate. Howley was a five-time first-team All-Pro selection and six-time Pro Bowler. He is the only player to win Super Bowl honors for the losing team.

Although he spent only one year with Dallas, the last year of his career, is another player with a Cowboys connection that advanced to the round of 15 finalists. He played the final season of his 13-year career in Dallas in 2008. Thomas played 12 seasons for the Dolphins and earned eight selections.

I don't know as much about Howley as I do DWare and Woodson. Nonetheless, I would be shocked if all three didn't make it. Ware should have been a first ballot last year and will go down as one of the biggest snubs in

This year's field is loaded. Woodson will make it at some point in his career. I hope he doesn't have to wait again. 

The other 13 are Jared Allen, Willie Anderson, Ronde Barber, Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester, Torry Holt, Andre Johnson, Albert Lewis, , , Zach Thomas, Reggie Wayne, and Patrick Willis.

Ware will serve as the 's for the Pro Bowl on Feb. 5. Less than a week later. The league will announce the 2023 Hall of Fame class during “” on Thursday, Feb. 9.

When the class is announced, a maximum of five modern-era finalists for enshrinement will be chosen.

My picks to get in are DWare, Joe Thomas, Dwight Freeney, Darrelle Revis, and Devin Hester. 

Looking at the other 13 names above, finding a spot for Woodson might take a lot of work. He will get in at some point, but this class seems unpredictable. 

I may be wrong about Hester; he is my wildcard to make it, but you could make a case for Woodson, Johnson, and even Thomas to get in over him.

Let's hope this is the last time I have to write about DWare being a finalist. He should have been in the previous year.  

Shane Taylor
Shane Taylor
Cowboys fan from the Midwest. Writing is fun, Staff writer for Inside The Star. Follow me on twitter @ShaneTaylor43

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