Pro Football Analytics: The Data Shows Who Should Be Inducted in the Hall of Fame

Roger Craig Aims to Break Through the Defense Again, Targeting the Football Hall of Fame

Palo Alto, CA


14 January, 2020


TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in enterprise data, empowers its customers to connect, unify, and confidently predict business outcomes, solving the world's most complex data-driven challenges. Today, TIBCO announced that TIBCO Spotfire® has been used to assemble and analyze an extensive collection of data in advance of the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions. The assembled data builds a solid case for why former San Francisco 49ers running back – and TIBCO’s vice president, business development – Roger Craig should be among the inductees. This year’s new members will be announced on the morning of January 15, 2020.

Already a household name, Craig changed what was considered a "textbook" running back position by combining running, catching, and blocking into his unique style of offense. Craig was the first player in NFL history to run for 1,000 yards and catch for 1,000 yards in the same season. Only Marshall Faulk (1999) and Christian McCaffrey (2019) have accomplished this since, and only running back Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk and Marcus Allen have had more career receiving and rushing yards. This blog and accompanying analysis highlight Craig's career in context of data from all NFL players since 1950, making a compelling, data-driven case for Roger's induction in the Hall of Fame.

"Roger was one of the most inspirational players to ever take to the field. He changed the game forever by contributing more as a running back than any player before him. The analysis is clear, and his TIBCO family would be delighted to see him take his well-deserved place in the Hall of Fame," says Dan Streetman, chief executive officer, TIBCO. "His excellence on the field is only eclipsed by the nature of the man himself. Roger is positive, kind, and generous, and has brought his ethic of 'team-first' from the field right through to the boardroom."

In this visual analytic application, built using TIBCO Spotfire, data on total yards, rushing, receiving, touchdowns, and wins are combined and compared for all running backs since 1950. Roger Craig stands out as the leader in such combined metrics, compared to his senior era colleagues, modern-day players, and existing Hall of Famers.

Craig's tenacity and love of the game helped his teams to 11 playoffs in the 11 seasons he played. He is a three-time Super Bowl champion and the first-ever running back to score three touchdowns in one Super Bowl game. He amassed 410 total yards and five touchdowns in the 1984, 1988, and 1989 season championship games alone. Roger had four seasons in the top 10 in receptions, five seasons in the top 10 yards from scrimmage, and was a huge part of the offensive success during the 49ers dynasty, setting a new standard for running backs after him.

Craig hasn't stopped running, completing nearly every marathon in the Bay Area and helping found the San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. In addition, he works with community organizations sponsoring and creating programs to help the less advantaged. His goal is to give more to people off the field than he ever did on it. He has raised awareness and funding for United Way, Special Olympics, the Golden Heart Fund, and more. Craig is also making a contribution to the technology world as TIBCO’s vice president, business development, hosting customer meetings and events across the United States and worldwide.

Craig has been recognized with many awards and honors during his illustrious career and since, including the following:

  • Associated Press's NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1988
  • Sports Illustrated Player of the Year in 1988
  • Four-time Pro Bowl athlete, named to All-Pro team in 1988
  • First and only player selected for the Pro Bowl as a running back and a fullback
  • Named to the All-Decade Team of the 1980s
  • Roger is the only all-decade running back from the ’70s, ’80s, and ‘90s who is not in the Hall of Fame

Explore Roger Craig's data with TIBCO Spotfire, interact with the graphics, filter, mark and analyze the data, and compare all of the NFL players on single, pairwise, and multiple metrics.


TIBCO Software Inc. unlocks the potential of real-time data for making faster, smarter decisions. Our Connected Intelligence platform seamlessly connects any application or data source; intelligently unifies data for greater access, trust, and control; and confidently predicts outcomes in real time and at scale. Learn how solutions to our customers' most critical business challenges are made possible by TIBCO at

TIBCO, Spotfire, and the TIBCO logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TIBCO Software Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. All other product and company names and marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification.

TIBCO Software Inc.

Lloyd Berry

Public Relations

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