Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Hall of Fame Senior Nominee—Chuck Howley

 By John Turney 
Art credit: Merv Corning
Yesterday the Hall of Fame Seniors Committee met and picked three nominees that will be submitted to the entire committee before next year's Super Bowl. One of them was Chuck Howley. He will have to get 80% of the full committee to vote "yes" for him to be elected to the Hall of Fame—So it is not a sure thing though it would be unfathomable for him to be voted down. There have only been a few instances that a senior nominee was rejected by the full Hall of Fame Committee.

Here are Howley's partial statistics and his complete post-season honors. 

Howley began his career with the Chicago Bears and he played quite a lot as a rookie and picked off a pass. The next season he severely injured his knee and it kept him out of football for a year. 

In 1961 he got a ring from Dallas, and feeling his knee was sufficiently healed, the Cowboys traded for him and he began thirteen seasons with the star on his helmet.

Howley was always a favorite of famed writer Paul Zimmerman who noted his coverage ability, "Jack Ham was the best pure coverage linebacker, with second place going to...oh, I guess I’d have to say Chuck Howley." 

Howley was a terrific all-around athlete lettering in football, track, wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming at the University of West Virginia where he was named to the All-Southern Conference team three times as a gridder.

He totaled 26 sacks and 25 interceptions in his career and was a First-team All-Pro five times and was either First- or Second-team All-Conference or a Pro Bowler in 1963 and from 1965-71.
Art credit: Merv Corning
In Super Bowl V he was voted the game's MVP though Dallas lost that game to the Colts. The next year, versus Miami he picked off a pass and was a key part of the defense that dominated the Dolphins.

In eleven playoff games, Howley intercepted four passes and had 1½ sacks, and recovered two fumbles taking one of them to the house against the Browns in 1968.

 "I don't know that I've seen anybody better at linebacker than Howley," said Tom Landry. Howley himself said, "I just hope I can be considered the best at my position."

And now as one of the three senior nominees and nearly certain Hall of Fame induction he will always be considered one of the best at his position.


  1. From Brian wolf ...

    Congratulations to Chuck Howley ... Finally making it !

  2. been his advocate since 2010, among players considered by seniors committee every year since (yet for some reason was not a 2020 centennial class finalist) so great to finally see this day come for him and family!!

  3. Long overdue. This was a great choice by the committee. I've been advocating for Howley as the most deserving senior player not yet in for over a decade but he's been waiting for that Canton spot he earned for much longer. Finally. Congratulations to Chuck Howley.

  4. I was never a Dallas fan but I wore number 54 at Xavier HS in NYC. I was given the nickname Chuck by my classmates. My Irish ancestry is from Athenry County Galway in Ireland. Yes that great Dallas outside linebacker deserves induction in Canton

  5. Robert "Chuck" HowleyDecember 23, 2022 at 3:49 AM

    I really hope my fellow Howley great is inducted. I never met the man from West Virginia but I have spoken to his grandson. He ran a successful ranch and uniform business in Dallas after his retirement. I played linebacker but took to rugby and there is a Welsh great named Rob Howley who captained the Welsh side. I loved my nickname at Xavier HS where I graduated in 1974 and went to Cortland State to play rugby and learn math. The Cowboys have a great legacy under Landry who was a great coach.