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Super Bowl XXV champion Everson Walls a finalist for Hall of Fame


Former Giants cornerback Everson Walls - who played on the 1990 championship team - is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

– Only one of the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2017 played for the Giants.

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Cornerback Everson Walls, a Giant from 1990-92 and a standout on the team that won Super Bowl XXV, is one of four defensive backs to make the cut to 15. The others are cornerback Ty Law, and safeties Brian Dawkins and John Lynch.

Walls joined the Giant as a free agent in 1990, after playing nine years for the Dallas Cowboys. That season, he started all 19 regular-season and postseason games. Walls led the Giants with six interceptions and 17 passes defensed, and had 58 tackles (40 solo). He returned one of the picks 28 yards for a clinching touchdown in a victory in Washington, the only defensive touchdown in his career.

In the three-game postseason, Walls intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards in a divisional playoff victory against Chicago. He also had seven tackles, including perhaps the most important one of his career. With the Giants clinging to a 20-19 over Buffalo in the final moments of the Super Bowl, Walls brought down Thurman Thomas after a 22-yard gain, Without Walls, Thomas would have scored on an 81-yard run. Because he didn't, Scott Norwood famously missed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide right with four seconds remaining. Oddly, in the game's official play-by-play, Carl Banks, who was on the other side of the field, is credited with the tackle instead of Walls.

Bill Belichick, then the Giants' defensive coordinator, has lauded Walls' play for the last 27 years. Ironically, Walls was known as an indifferent and not particularly good tackler.

"Probably one of the biggest tackles that I've ever been a part of was by a guy who had a reputation of not being a great tackler, and that was Everson Walls," Belichick said in one of his Walls testimonials. "But he brought down Thurman Thomas in the open field in Super Bowl XXV. That was a huge, huge play that if you would have said Everson Walls tackled Thurman Thomas, I don't know which one of those you would have bet on."

Walls was released by the Giants after the sixth game of the 1992 season, and ended his career by playing 10 games for the Cleveland Browns under Belichick.

In 1981, Walls made the Cowboys' roster as a rookie free agent from Grambling. He led the NFL interceptions in each of his first two seasons, with 11 and seven, respectively, and again in 1985 with nine.

Walls played 13 NFL seasons and was a four-time Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro in 1983.

Last year, two players who were with the Giants for a single season were elected to the Hall of Fame: kicker Morten Andersen (2001) and quarterback Kurt Warner (2004).

Neither Andersen nor Warner are among the 20 Hall of Famers who spent all or a significant portion of his career with the Giants. That is the third-highest total among the 32 NFL franchises; Green Bay has 23 and Pittsburgh has 22.

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