It took Terrell Owens three years for his gold jacket. Randy Moss is in on the first ballot. The wide receivers will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame together as part of the Class of 2018.
Owens and Moss are joined by safety Brian Dawkins, linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Brian Urlacher, seniors candidates Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor Bobby Beathard in earning selection Saturday.
Lewis was the only lock on the list of 15 modern-era candidates, and selectors spent only six minutes discussing him. His 17 seasons, 31 interceptions, eight All-Pro selections, 13 Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl rings made his case.
Not surprisingly, the wide receivers elicited the most debate, with Owens the longest discussion of the day at 45 minutes, 23 seconds and Moss second at 34:42.
Both ended up making it, with comparable stats and comparable careers. It just took Owens a little longer, though some, including Owens, would argue it took two years longer than it should have.
Owens caught 1,078 passes for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns in 16 seasons, while Moss made 982 catches for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns in 14 seasons.
Moss became the first receiver elected on the first ballot since Jerry Rice, who earned enshrinement in 2010.
Urlacher joined Moss and Lewis as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Dawkins was in his second year of eligibility.
The 47 selectors took eight hours to debate the class, with the inductees getting at least 80 percent positive votes. Isaac Bruce, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, John Lynch and Everson Walls failed to make the cut to 10, and Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson, Ty Law and Kevin Mawae were eliminated in the cutdown to five.
It was the 20th and final year of eligibility for Walls and Jacoby, with both now going to the seniors pool.