The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2023 on Thursday night, during the yearly NFL Honors awards. This year offered perhaps the deepest class in recent memory, as all 15 modern-era finalists for inclusion were more than worthy of consideration.
For more on the voting process, you can read the Selection Process FAQ provided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Here is the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Ronde Barber, Defensive Back
Ronde Barber spent his entire 16-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing cornerback for the first 15 seasons before moving to safety for his final season in the NFL. Barber was a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection at cornerback, and tied for the league lead in interceptions during the 2001 season.
Barber was part of the Tampa Bay team that won Super Bowl XXXVII. Barber’s Pick-Six late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles punched Tampa Bay’s ticket to the Super Bowl, and is considered one of the greatest plays in franchise history.
This was Barber’s third time as a finalist.
Darrelle Revis, Cornerback
When you think of modern era cornerbacks, you likely think of “Revis Island.” During a stretch of time in his career Darrelle Revis was the premier shutdown cornerback in the league. He recorded only 29 interceptions over his 11-year career, due in large part to the fact that opposing quarterbacks would be reluctant to test him, and receivers would struggle to separate from him.
He was a four-time First-Team All-Pro selection, including in three-straight seasons. Revis was a member of the New England Patriots when they won Super Bowl XLIX, and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2010s.
Revis was a first-time finalist.
Joe Thomas, Offensive Tackle
For over a decade, Joe Thomas manned the left tackle spot for the Cleveland Browns without missing a snap. His streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps played is the longest since the league started recording snap counts during the 1999 season.
Thomas was a six-time First-Team All-Pro selection, a two-time Second-Team selection, and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2010s. According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas allowed just 30 sacks over his 11-year career.
This was the first time Thomas was a finalist.
Zach Thomas, Linebacker
For 12 seasons, Zach Thomas manned the linebacker spot for the Miami Dolphins, carving out a reputation as one of the NFL’s most well-respected defenders. Thomas was a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection, and he led the league in tackles in two different NFL seasons. He finished second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting in 1996 — to pass rusher Simeon Rice — and was third in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 1998.
This was the fourth time Thomas was a finalist.
DeMarcus Ware, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
DeMarcus Ware spent the first nine seasons of his career tormenting quarterbacks as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. During his time in Dallas, Ware recorded 117 sacks, which remains a franchise record and those numbers alone would have placed him 23rd on the official all-time sack list. (The NFL did not start recording sacks as an official statistic until 1982. An unofficial list that dates back until 1960 is also available).
Ware then joined the Denver Broncos, and was part of the Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50. He recorded another 21.5 sacks while a member of the Broncos, and now ranks ninth all-time in sacks.
This was Ware’s second time as a Hall of Fame finalist.
In addition to the five Modern-Era selections, four other finalists earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday night.
Joe Klecko, Defensive lineman
A member of the famed New York Jets’ “Sack Exchange,” Klecko played for 12 seasons in the NFL, the bulk of which were with the Jets. He recorded 78 sacks over his NFL career, including 20.5 during the 1981 season.
Klecko was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and two-time First-Team All-Pro selection. He was also named to the Second Team All-Pro in 1983.
Ken Riley, Defensive back
A quarterback in college for Florida A&M University, Riley was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 1969 Draft. Bengals head coach Paul Brown converted him to cornerback, and Riley played his entire NFL career for Cincinnati in the defensive backfield. Over his NFL career, Riley recorded 65 interceptions.
Chuck Howley, Linebacker
Chuck Howley was drafted in the first round of the 1958 Draft by the Chicago Bears, and actually retired from the NFL after two seasons due to a serious knee injury. But he returned to the game, and the field, having been traded to the Dallas Cowboys.
While with Dallas, Howley started 160 games over 13 seasons, and recorded 25 interceptions. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time First-Team All-Pro, and a Super Bowl Champion, as he was part of the Cowboys team that won Super Bowl VI.
Howley was also named the MVP of Super Bowl V, a game the Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts. His two interceptions in that game saw him earn MVP honors, and to this day he is the only player from a losing team to win Super Bowl MVP.
Don Coryell, Coach
Don Coryell was a head coach for two different NFL teams, first the St. Louis Cardinals and later the San Diego Chargers. During his time with the Chargers, he crafted one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history, a system that would later be termed the “Coryell offense,” or more notably, “Air Coryell.” This was a passing offense that focused on the vertical passing game, and its designs can be traced to a number of modern NFL offenses.