MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Maybe 2023 will be the year WVU Sports Hall of Famer Chuck Howley finally gets the credit he deserves for what he accomplished at the NFL level.
Howley, one of the top players in West Virginia University football history, has been named a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023.
The Wheeling, West Virginia native is one of 25 semifinalists in the Seniors category.
He has been eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame through the Seniors Committee since 1999.
Howley lettered in five sports during his collegiate career at WVU. Along with football, he excelled in track, gymnastics, swimming, and wrestling. He was the first, and likely the last, Mountaineer athlete to letter in five different sports.
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Howley was selected by the Chicago Bears with the No. 11 pick in the 1958 draft. But, once he got to the NFL, Howley had to overcome adversity early in his career.
He missed most of two seasons due to an injury that forced him to trade in his shoulder pads in Chicago for a service station attendant’s uniform in Wheeling.
Luckily, Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys gave Howley a second chance at an NFL career 1961. He took advantage of the opportunity.
Howley became a fixture in Dallas’ defense for more than a decade, during which he was named All-Pro six times. He was part of one of the most famous games in NFL history, the storied “Ice Bowl” of the 1967 postseason.
The former Mountaineer took on new fame five years later. Howley and the Cowboys lost Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts.
However, Howley was named Super Bowl MVP, and remains the only player from the losing team to win the game’s MVP honors.
He was inducted as a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1977, inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1991, and was named an inaugural member of the Mountaineer Legends Society in 2016.
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website, 12 of the 25 Seniors semifinalists will be voted through to the next round in this process. Those results will be announced on July 27.
After that, the Seniors Committee will meet on August 16 to select up to three Seniors for final consideration as members of the Class of 2023.