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Who is Charles Haley?

By Evan Brooks, Contributing Writer
Posted 12:35 AM EST, Thurs., Feb. 16, 2017

What do Tom Brady and Charles Haley have in common? Five Super Bowl Championship rings.

Charles Haley was the first African-American NFL player to win five Super Bowl rings in the Super Bowl era. Haley was born on Jan. 6, 1964 in Gladys, Virginia. Upon graduating from high school, Haley attended James Madison University and was named a two-time All-American.

Haley would later be the 96th pick in the fourth round of the 1986 NFL Draft. He was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers. During his first years with the 49ers, Haley finished his rookie year with 12 sacks and was voted to the NFL’s all-rookie team. In 1990, Haley finished with 58 tackles, 9 passes defended, and was third in the league with 16 sacks.

Haley was voted the United Press International NFC Defensive Player of the Year and was a consensus All-Pro. His career with the 49ers ended in 1991, after leading the team in sacks every season and winning two Super Bowl Championships (XXIII and XXIV).

In 1992, Haley was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys, for a second round pick. While with the Cowboys, Haley accounted for 39 tackles, six sacks and 42 quarterback pressures, helping the team improve from 17th in total defense, in 1991, to first. Once again, Haley received the UPI NFC Defensive Player of the Year and was named an All-Pro.

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Haley continued to be one of the most dominating forces in the NFL, and in 1995, during his third season with the Cowboys, would help the team defeat the Green Bay Packers, 38 to 27,in the NFC Championship game. The Cowboys moved on to Super Bowl XXX, where they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Haley recorded one sack, three quarterback hurries and five tackles.

Haley would eventually go on to win two more Super Bowl Championships with the Cowboys, bringing his total to five Super Bowl Championship rings.

Haley was later inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.  In 2015, he was inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame.

Since retiring, Haley has served as the assistant defensive coach for the Detroit Lions’ 2001-2002 season. Haley currently serves as a special advisor, mentoring rookies for the Cowboys and 49ers. He also spends his time helping fund several local initiates with organization such as the Jubilee Center and the Salvation Army.


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