The Pittsburgh Steelers Center that revolutionized the position will be joining Steeler great Jack Butler in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the class of 2012. They will be enshrined on August 4, 2012, in Canton Ohio.
Dawson made seven Pro Bowls as the Steelers’ center, a rare player who could also block defensive players one on one no matter what the name. Dirt Dawson played with the Steelers from 1988-2000, replacing the legendary Mike Webster who was the teams Center for 15 years and is also in the Hall of Fame. He played in 184 games in his career, starting in 181 of them; going 171 straight as starter. His career was cut short by a few more years due to hamstring injuries but his legacy is secure. Dawson was a pioneer in Centers that could pull out and lead block for the running back. A feat not so easy even for today’s players.
Jack Butler played for the Steelers as a cornerback from 1951-59, intercepting 52 passes, at the time second most in NFL history. But he was best known for his tackling skills and was feared in the secondary as much as any defensive back in the history of the game. The Steelers picked up Jack Butler as an undrafted free agent in 1951. In his rookie year he picked off 5 passes, then in 1953 he lead the lead with 9 interceptions. His uncanny ability to find the football even when he was seemingly not even in the play gave Quarterbacks and Receivers fits.
In October 2008, Butler was named as one of the 33 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of all-time. The Steelers named players to this team as part of their 75th anniversary season celebration. He was named to the National Football League 1950s All-Decade Team and named as a senior nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for 2012.
Jerome Bettis, “The Bus”, did make the cut of 15 finalists but did not make the top 10 or the subsequent final cut to the 6 that will enter the hall this summer. Bettis’ time will come, I have no doubt of that. This was one of the closest votes in quite awhile and there just were not enough spots for The Bus this year.
Class of 2012: Curtis Martin, RB. Dermontti Dawson, Center., Chris Doleman, DE., Cortez Kennedy, DT., and Willie Roaf, OT.
List of all Steelers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Arthur J. Rooney -Elected in 1964.
Daniel M. Rooney -Elected in 2000.
Bert Bell -Elected in 1963.
Johnny ‘Blood’ McNally -Elected in 1963
Bill Dudley -Elected in 1966.
Walt Kiesling -Elected in 1966.
Bobby Layne -Elected in 1967.
Ernie Stautner -Elected in 1969.
Joe Greene -Elected in 1987.
John Henry Johnson -Elected in 1987.
Jack Ham -Elected in 1988.
Mel Blount -Elected in 1989.
Terry Bradshaw -Elected in 1989.
Franco Harris -Elected in 1990.
Jack Lambert -Elected in 1990.
Chuck Noll -Elected in 1993.
Mike Webster -Elected in 1997.
Lynn Swann -Elected in 2001.
John Stallworth -Elected in 2002.
Rod Woodson -Elected in 2009.