See more of the story

Jared Allen, the former Vikings defensive end who ranks 12th on the NFL's career sacks list, was chosen as a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist for the second straight year.

Allen, in his second year of eligibility, is joined by seven players in their first year of eligibility, including former Cowboys edge rusher DeMarcus Ware, who ranks ninth on the career sacks list.

Allen, who played 12 seasons for four teams, had 85 ½ of his 136 career sacks in his six seasons (2008-13) with the Vikings. Three of his four first-team All-Pro nods and four of his five Pro Bowls came as a Viking.

Ware had 138 ½ sacks. Joining him on the list of 26 semifinalists as players in their first year of eligibility are Anquan Boldin, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Robert Mathis, Steve Smith and Vince Wilfork.

Eddie George, who retired in 2004, reached the semifinalist stage for the first time. Ricky Watters, who retired in 2001, became a semifinalist for the second time.

Other semifinalists are Eric Allen, Willie Anderson, Ronde Barber, Tony Boselli, LeRoy Butler, Torry Holt, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Steve Tasker, Fred Taylor, Zach Thomas, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis, Darren Woodson and Bryant Young.

The list of semifinalists will be trimmed to 15 finalists to be voted on by the hall's selection committee in January.