Aikman among six selected for Hall of Fame

Sunday, February 5, 2006

DETROIT -- Troy Aikman made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's biggest class in years. The guy he threw to -- Michael Irvin -- will have to wait once again.

Reggie White, Warren Moon, Harry Carson, John Madden and Rayfield Wright also were elected Saturday. Not since 2001 had the maximum number of candidates been chosen.

Emmitt Smith, who joined with Aikman and Irvin to win three Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys, had campaigned vigorously for his two former teammates. But Irvin, plagued by off-the-field troubles in recent years, was left out in his second try.

"I wouldn't want to get into why he didn't make it in," Aikman said. "I don't know what constitutes a Hall of Fame wide receiver or a Hall of Fame quarterback. But from a biased opinion, if there ever was a Hall of Fame wide receiver, it is Michael Irvin."

The late White, the NFL career sacks leader when he retired in 2000, and star quarterbacks Aikman and Moon made it in their first year of eligibility.

Moon became the first black quarterback in the Hall.

"To be the first African-American quarterback into the Hall of Fame, all African-American QBs who played before me should share in this," Moon said. "I don't want to make this a racial thing, but I think it is significant. It shows that we have arrived at the pinnacle of our sport."

Madden and Wright were seniors committee candidates and Carson was in his seventh year as a finalist.

The class of 2006 will be inducted in Canton, Ohio, on the weekend of Aug. 5 and 6.

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