Comparing Dent and Freeney

Richard Dent‘s induction to the Hall of Fame bodes well for Dwight Freeney.  Let’s compare their careers:

First Freeney

Sacks Tackles FF INT
2002 13.0 42 9 0
2003 11.0 28 4 0
2004 16.0 32 3 0
2005 11.0 30 6 0
2006 5.5 26 4 0
2007 3.5 18 4 0
2008 10.5 24 4 0
2009 13.5 19 1 0
2010 10.0 21 5 0
Total 94.0 243 40 0

Now Dent through nine seasons.

Sacks Tackles FF INT
1983 3.0 12 1 0
1984 17.5 39 4 0
1985 17.0 38 7 2
1986 11.5 75 4 0
1987 12.5 34 4 0
1988 10.5 61 3 0
1989 9.0 70 2 1
1990 12.0 81 2 3
1991 10.5 84 2 1
Total 103.5 494 29 7

Other factors:

Through 9 years, Dent had been to 3 Pro Bowls, and was a 1 time All Pro and MVP of Super Bowl XX.  His career grey ink score is 3. His black ink score is 1. He had 8 seasons of 10 sacks or more.  He is sixth all time in sacks. 

Through 9 years, Freeney has been to 6 Pro Bowls and is a 3 time All Pro. His grey ink score is 3. His black ink score is 1. He has 7 seasons of 10 sacks or more.

Summary:

Through 9 years, Dent and Freeney are quite similar. Dent has a few more sacks and tackles.  He was kept out of the Hall because of the perception that he benefited from playing on a defense with other HoF players (Hampton and Singletary).  Freeney isn’t as good a run player as Dent, but unlike Dent is the focal point of the Indy defense.  Freeney also has a Super Bowl ring, and more Pro Bowls and All Pro seasons than Dent did for his whole career. This probably balances out Dent’s Super Bowl MVP award.

Freeney still has work left to do.  Dent was productive over the final years of his career. Over the final six years of his career, Dent rang up 34 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and a pick, making one more Pro Bowl. He joined the 1994 49ers and had little impact, but did pick up a Super Bowl ring.  While only two of those six seasons were elite, there is no question that they pushed Dent’s career totals over the top and into Hall of Fame territory.

Freeney likely needs to match or pass Dent’s final six years.  34 more sacks over six seasons would push Freeney to 128 for his career.  That’s right on the borderline for the Hall of Fame.  If Freeney can reach 140, his career will sync up nicely compared to Dent.

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