Sometimes eight times is a charm.
In Dermontti Dawson's case, that certainly appears to be true. After being overlooked by football Hall of Fame voters -whether it was the fact that there were already "too many steelers" or better players to choose from- for 7 years, Dawson will finally be enshrined as one of football's immortals. Going with him are Curtis Martin, Jack Butler, Will Roaf, Chris Doleman, and Cortez Kennedy.
Dawson was selected by the Steelers with the 44th pick, in the second round, of the 1988 NFL Draft. He played alongside Mike Webster before permanently replacing him in 1989. From there, Dawson became a 7-time Pro Bowler, including 6 selections to First-Team All-Pro and the 90's All-Decade Team. The Steelers led the league in rushing twice in Dawson's 13 year career and they also put up the most points in the AFC (406) during their Super Bowl season in 1995. At roughly 6'2 290 pounds, Dawson was strong but also extremely fast for his size. He was best known for "pulling" to throw the lead block on wide running plays.
Dawson played in all 16 regular season games from 1989-1998 but ended up retiring in 2000 after dealing with chronic hamstring injuries. He is second in franchise history in consecutive games played with 170.
Despite never officially retiring his number, the Steelers have never had another player wear #63 in honor of Dawson's contributions to the Steelers. It is nice to see the NFL finally pay tribute after nearly a decade of rejecting one of the greatest centers of all time.