HOF Profile: Richard Dent

As we continue to look at the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 we reach the modern era nominees that are from a more recent period. The first of the modern era nominees is a Chicago Bear from the vaunted Bear defence of the 1980s. Dent was drafted in the 8th round by the Bears in 1983 out of Tennessee State. In his rookie season Dent was not expected to play much but ended up playing in every single game during the season and started in three of them. The next year he remained in the same spot until the final 10 games of the season. In the final 10 weeks Dent became the starting defensive end. During the season he also entered the Bears record books as he earned 17.5 sacks during the 1984 season also becoming the sack king in the NFC. The next year was much of the same as Dent was a bona-fide starter who led the league in 1985 with 17 sacks. That year he helped the Bears to Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots and had an amazing game. In Super Bowl XX Dent had 3 sacks, 1.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles that earned him the Super Bowl XX MVP. Throughout Dent’s 10 years in the NFL he only recorded less than 10 sacks twice. The consistency that he showed was amazing as even when he didn’t get 10 sacks he got 9 and 8.5. These type of numbers were never common place in the 1980s and a big part of it was that he played for one of the best defences in NFL history. The Bears defence was widely considered the best in the league during the 80s and even earned a nickname. The Monsters of the Midway revolutionized defences as Buddy Ryan created the 46 Defence. This defence is now known as the 4-3 defence that was the base defence for almost every team from the mid 80s to the mid 00s. Richard Dent was a key member to this defence as defensive pressure from the front 4 lineman became essential to success.

Dent was a menace for every line that faced him and even when he was known for being a menace the lines couldn’t stop him. The consistency to which Dent played showed that no matter how much the opposing teams planned for him he still found a way to get through and sack the QB. After his 10 seasons Dent retired 3rd on the all-time sack list behind Hall of Famers Reggie White and Bruce Smith. Dent is in the Hall of Fame because he was a very important member of one of the best defences of all time in the 46 defence. He is also in for his consistently great play in that defence. Although the personalities going into the hall may be bigger than Richard Dent’s he is still one of the best defensive ends to play in the NFL and will now be immortalized as his bust is revealed on Saturday August 6th, 2011.


Richard Dent, DE (1983-1997)

6’5”, 265 lbs

Chicago Bears (11 yrs)

203 games

137.5 scks

– 4 Pro Bowls (1985-’86, 1991, 1996)

– 1 Super Bowl Win (SB XX)

– Super Bowl XX MVP

– 2 Super Bowl Appearances (SB XX, SB XXIX)

– Also played with S.F. 49ers (1994), Ind. Colts (1996), Phil. Eagles (1997)

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