CANTON, Ohio -- Reggie White, a two-time NFL defensive player of the year who died last year at 43, heads a list of players, coaches and contributors eligible for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
White is eligible for the first time along with quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Warren Moon. Other first-year eligible players include running back Thurman Thomas, wide receiver Andre Reed and offensive lineman Dermontti Dawson.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime owners Art Modell and Ralph Wilson are on the preliminary list that includes five former head coaches and 11 contributors.
A member of the NFL's 75th anniversary team, White was named to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times from 1986-98. He earned top defensive player honors in 1987 and 1998. He retired in 2000 as the career sacks leader with 198, a mark later passed by Bruce Smith.
White, who played with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina, died on Dec. 26 in Cornelius, N.C.
From a preliminary list, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalists. That list will be trimmed to 13 candidates, who will join veterans committee nominees John Madden and Rayfield Wright as finalists.
The Class of 2006 will be announced on Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl in Detroit.