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2012 NFL Hall Of Fame Finalists: Eddie DeBartolo, Charles Haley Among Prominent 49ers

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced their finalists today and the 49ers have members of the 17-member class of finalists. Former owner Eddie DeBartolo and defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley were the most prominent former 49ers to be included on the list. Kevin Greene and Chris Doleman were also former 49ers, albeit for only a combined four years. Roger Craig was unable to move past the semifinalists list.

This is Eddie Debartolo's first time as a finalist. The selection committee began with a list of 105 preliminary nominees and cut that down to 26 semifinalists. The selection committee will meet again on February 4 to elect the 2012 class and announce it from the Super Bowl media headquarters.

DeBartolo took over ownership of the team in 1977 and had to relinquish ownership in 2000 following a riverboat gambling scandal. He turned over ownership to his sister Denise DeBartolo York and her husband John York. While they maintain their ownership, their son Jed York has became the face of ownership and has frequent conversations with Eddie about the team.

During his ownership, the 49ers became one of the dominant teams in the NFL, claiming five Super Bowls, including four in the 1980s. After some initial struggles with the team, DeBartolo hired Bill Walsh and the turnaround was almost immediate. The team drafted Joe Montana and shortly thereafter the franchise was on its way to a period of dominance rarely seen in the league.

Charles Haley split his career between the 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. He is the only player to play on five winning Super Bowl teams. He began his career as an outside linebacker and was the 49ers sack-leader in his first six seasons. He was twice named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, voted to five Pro Bowls, and named to two All-Pro teams.

Here are the 17 finalists (*-denotes senior nominee):

" Jerome Bettis, RB -- 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
" Tim Brown, WR/KR -- 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
" *Jack Butler, CB -- (1951-59 Pittsburgh Steelers)
" Cris Carter, WR -- 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
" Dermontti Dawson, C -- 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
" Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner -- 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers
" Chris Doleman, DE/LB -- 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
" Kevin Greene, LB/DE -- 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
" Charles Haley, DE/LB -- 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
" Cortez Kennedy, DT -- 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
" Curtis Martin, RB -- 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
" Bill Parcells, Coach -- 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
" Andre Reed, WR -- 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
" Willie Roaf, T -- 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
" Will Shields, G -- 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
" *Dick Stanfel, G -- (1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins)
" Aeneas Williams, CB/S -- 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams