Syracuse Football: Tom Coughlin, Dwight Freeney merit Pro Hall of Fame

Syracuse football (Syndication: Indianapolis)
Syracuse football (Syndication: Indianapolis) /

This weekend, I saw that former Syracuse football player and NFL head coach Tom Coughlin is among 29 semifinalists in the “coach/contributors” category for a chance to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As noted in the article I found, this is separate from the players list that former Syracuse football defensive end Dwight Freeney was on.

And while I admit that I’m a Syracuse homer 99 percent of the time, both men earned this honor and deserve to be in. The nominations are an honor but I truly think both men deserve to be in Canton, Ohio, in 2024.

Both have tremendous name recognition, accomplishments in the NFL worthy of the honor and a testament to the talent worthy of being voted in.

Former Syracuse football players Tom Coughlin and Dwight Freeney deserve Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Putting Dwight Freeney’s accomplishments for Syracuse football to the side, since this is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but ask any offensive lineman who lined up against him if he and that spin move of his are worthy of the HOF, and I bet they’ll agree. Freeney, sadly, didn’t get selected in 2023 but hopefully, this oversight is fixed for 2024.

In 16 seasons, Dwight earned multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, a Super Bowl ring with the Indianapolis Colts and retired with 125.5 sacks. Alongside teammate Robert Mathis, the two were dominant in their era and deserve proper recognition for their work.

And as for Tom Coughlin, the guy coached and won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and was the first coach in Jacksonville Jaguars’ history to take them to two AFC Championship games. He not only coached for 20 seasons but also was a team executive with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a squad that also made the AFC championship game in 2018.

And while the end of his tenure as an executive at Jacksonville may not have ended ideally, you can’t deny his successes that, in my opinion, are plenty worthy of a golden jacket.

Both men were winners and competitors at the highest level and did so for over a decade. One guy (Coughlin) even beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick TWICE during their dynasty-worthy run, their only Super Bowl losses during that run. The other guy (Freeney) once had 16 sacks in a season and has the best spin move ever for a defensive end/linebacker.

I do hope in 2024, both men get the honor they deserve and earned in their professions. Yes, I’d love to see two more Syracuse football players get in but even if I look at it objectively, what both brought to the game is worthy of being inducted. Good luck to both men and go Orange!

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