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Karlos Dansby eyes Canton, sees similarities to Cardinals’ Simmons

(Associated Press)

Karlos Dansby’s optimism about his Pro Football Hall of Fame chances hasn’t wavered since his playing days.

He still believes that, despite no Pro Bowl appearance during his 14-year NFL career, his individual statistics make that achievement possible.

“I was just consistent in trying to be the best,” Dansby said of his career while he joined Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf for Legends Week. “It got me in and amongst legends. You’re talking (Brian) Urlacher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Ray Lewis. I’m in that class.

“You know, I’m up there with them guys so people be trying to compare and trying to overlook me. How can you overlook me, man, if I’m the fifth guy ever in 100 years to get 40 sacks and 20 interceptions?”

Dansby last played for the Cardinals in 2017, becoming a member of the exclusive 40-20 club that November with an interception against the San Francisco 49ers’ C.J. Beathard.

Finishing with 43.0 sacks and 20 interceptions in his career, Dansby has a point about being in unique company.

That 40-20 benchmark is what he leans on when arguing that his career goal of making it to Canton will be reached.

“You can’t deny the numbers,” he said.

Dansby, who played for Arizona in three stints (2004-09, 2013 and 2017), said reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame was his No. 1 goal entering the NFL. He remembers telling Cardinals head coach Denny Green as much when they met at the 2004 NFL Draft Combine.

Patience will be needed on Dansby’s end to find out whether he has a chance at reaching Canton with only a Second Team All-Pro accolade on his resume. He won’t be eligible to enter the hall of fame until he’s been retired for five years.

Finding his second career in business, he doesn’t miss playing the game, but Dansby still keeps tabs on the Cardinals. Sixteen years after taking him in the second round of the draft, they selected another versatile linebacker in Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, and Dansby sees a little bit of himself in the rookie.

“Salute man, that’s a hell of a pick,” Dansby said. “Y’all got what you were looking for. Ever since I’ve left, you haven’t been able to fill that void. The body type, the range, the speed, the athleticism, the IQ of the game.

“See, what people failed to realize … I played safety at Auburn. I played safety and then I moved to linebacker. This man here? He’s got all the intangibles — and the speed. More speed than I had.”

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