Troubled great Lawrence Taylor, who revolutionized the game from his outside linebacker spot, and running back Eric Dickerson, who owns the single-season rushing record, highlight the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 1999 nominees.
Taylor, the former New York Giants superstar, and Dickerson, who ran for 2,105 yards for the Los Angeles Rams in 1984, lead a list of 76 former stars that includes New England Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett, Los Angeles Raiders defensive end Howie Long, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Harvey Martin and Giants quarterback Phil Simms.
Other first-time nominees are Marv Levy, who coached the Buffalo Bills into four Super Bowls; Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Jim Youngblood; Chicago Bears offensive lineman Jay Hilgenberg; and Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls.
Taylor, a member of two Super Bowl teams with the Giants, routinely forced opposing offenses to change their game plans while redefining his position in the 1980s and early '90s. Taylor has made news lately due to his ongoing battle with drugs, and reportedly has checked into a substance abuse clinic in New Jersey.
Dickerson, third on the career rushing list with 13,259 yards, overtook O.J. Simpson for the single-season record in his second season. He rushed for a rookie record 1,808 yards in 1983, had seven 1,000-yard seasons and collected 64 100-yard games.
The class of 1999 will be detemined at the selection committee's annual meeting in Miami Jan. 30. The rules stipulate between four and seven new members may be selected each year.
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