Do you remember a cornerback in Dallas named Everson Walls? No? Maybe this will jog your memory. (Warning: this video is not for the faint-of-heart Cowboys fans)
You see Walls coming into frame at the end of the catch, wearing number 24. But because he made that last frame that is now immortalized in posters and highlight reels, he has forever been associated with that one play. And that association, according to Walls, could keep him out of the National Football League Hall of Fame.
“I think a lot of people like to associate me with that play,” said Walls, who was posterized on the cover of Sports Illustrated to help that moment live in infamy. “Which goes to show the ignorance of some of the Hall of Fame voters. I had two interceptions and recovered a fumble in that game. I’d have been the MVP if we’d have won it.”
In addition to overlooking Walls’ stellar play in that NFC Championship against the 49ers, HOF voters could be turning a blind eye to Walls’ stellar 13-year career. During his time in the NFL, Walls was selected to the Pro Bowl four times (’81, ’82, ’83 and ’85), led the league in interceptions three times (’81, ’81 and ’85) and finished his career with 57 interceptions, enough for 10th on the all-time list. It’s fair to say that Walls’ career was remarkable. It’s especially remarkable to have that kind of career as an undrafted free agent from Grambling State in 1981. But Walls has never even made it close to getting into the NFL Hall of Fame. His best shot so far came in 2006, when Walls made the list of preliminary nominees. Not even giving a kidney to former teammate Ron Springs in 2007 helped Walls’ HOF chances. So will Walls ever make it into the Hall of Fame? Nobody knows, but this slight from HOF voters isn’t bothering Walls very much.
“They can’t take away what I’ve done on the field,” Walls said. “I don’t think anyone who wasn’t drafted has ever had 57 interceptions before. I think I’ve got my niche.”