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US Pro Football Hall of Fame Elects  New Members - 2004-02-01

The U.S. Pro Football Hall of Fame will add four new members this year. They were announced Saturday in Houston, the day before the Super Bowl will be played there.

Quarterback John Elway and running back Barry Sanders were elected in their first year of eligibility, five years after they retired from their stellar careers in the National Football League.

Elway is the winningest quarterback in NFL history, and he led the Denver Broncos to Super Bowl championships in his final two seasons. He said he is honored to enter the Hall of Fame.

"Super Bowl was my number one goal because football is such a team sport, especially as a quarterback. So winning that Super Bowl was definitely number one," he said. "Now as an individual football player, this is absolutely the ultimate compliment that you could have."

John Elway won 148 games during his 16-year pro career. He was the 1987 league Most Valuable Player, and he is the first Denver Bronco to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Unlike Elway, Barry Sanders retired from the Detroit Lions in his prime at age 31. At the time he was close to breaking the NFL career rushing record. He was the first to rush for at least 1,000 yards in his first 10 NFL seasons.

Also entering the Hall of the Fame will be Minnesota Vikings defensive star Carl Eller, who played in four Super Bowls, and offensive lineman Bob Brown, who played for three teams before retiring in 1973.