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Steelers Bettis, Dawson among Hall finalists

Jerome Bettis and Dermontti Dawson are at the doorstep of football immortality.

The former Steelers are among the 15 modern-day finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame that includes former Allderdice High and Pitt standout Curtis Martin and Chris Doleman, who also starred at Pitt.

Two senior nominees also will be considered during the vote Feb. 5, the day before Super Bowl XLV.

A nominee must receive at least 80 percent of the vote from the 44-person selection committee to gain entrance into the Hall of Fame. No fewer than four people -- and no more than seven -- are inducted every year.

Bettis and Martin, as well as running back Marshall Faulk and cornerback Deion Sanders, are among the former players that are finalists in their first year of eligibility.

Martin and Bettis are fourth and fifth on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 14,101 yards and 13,662 yards, respectively.

Dawson, a Hall of Fame finalist last year, is considered one of the greatest centers of all time.

One of four finalists who played with the same team his entire career, Dawson made the Pro Bowl seven consecutive seasons (1992-98). He was a first-team All-Pro pick from 1992-97.

Hall call

Here are those announced as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

• Jerome Bettis, RB

• Tim Brown, WR

• Cris Carter, WR

• Dermontti Dawson, C

• Richard Dent, DE

• Chris Doleman, DE

• Marshall Faulk, RB

• Charles Haley, DE

• *Chris Hanburger, LB

• Cortez Kennedy, DT

• Curtis Martin, RB

• Andre Reed, WR

• *Les Richter, LB

• Willie Roaf, OT

• **Ed Sabol

• Deion Sanders, CB/RS

• Shannon Sharpe, TE

*Senior nominee

**Nominated as a special contributor

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