2011 NFL Hall of Fame Class: Deion Sanders, Richard Dent, 1994 49ers

Today's announcement of the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame class brought two former 49ers into Canton in the form of cornerback Deion Sanders and defensive end Richard Dent. Both players spent a single season with the 49ers, but fittingly enough it was with the same team: the 1994 San Francisco 49ers that rolled to a Super Bowl victory over the San Diego Chargers.

At the time they both played for the 49ers, Sanders was in the prime of his career. He was coming off back-to-back All Pro selections and had recorded 24 interceptions in five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. In his lone season with the 49ers "Prime Time" had arguably the best season of his impressive career. He recorded six interceptions, ran three of them back for touchdowns, and brought home AP Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Richard Dent was on the tail end of his career and only appeared in two games with that 49ers team. If his Pro Football Reference game log is correct he started the first two games of the year. He finished those two games with two sacks, but it looks like he was lost to injury sometime after that.

Even with Dent's injury issues in 1994 these two guys are rather representative of that 1994 team. That 49ers team had a lot of home-grown talent but it was a team that featured a lot of big time free agents as well. Although people pull the "they bought the title" card, I think that 1994 team was a good example of how you develop your own talent and then supplement it with quality free agents. It's also a good example of Eddie DeBartolo's willingness to do whatever was necessary to win Super Bowls. Money was no object. It was definitely an entertaining time.

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