After playing 4 years at Tennessee State University, Dent was drafted in the eighth round by the Bears, with 203rd overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. At 6'5, 265 lbs., Dent was a great pass rusher who beat offensive tackles with his speed. He was part of the core of great players who made the Bears' defenses of the 1980's legendary. Between 1984 and 1985, Dent recorded 34.5 sacks.
In the 1985 season, Dent and the Bears had one of the most spectacular seasons in NFL history, finishing the season with a 15-1 record and shutting out both their opponents in the playoffs. Dent was a major factor in Chicago's success, leading the NFL with 17 sacks, while recovering 2 fumbles and intercepting 2 passes(1 of which was retured for a touchdown). The Bears went on to crush the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX, then the largest margin of victory in Super Bowl history. Dent, who shared 2 sacks, forced 2 fumbles, and blocked a pass, was selected as the game's MVP.
Dent would remain with the team until the end of the 1993 season, after the Bears had won just one playoff game since their loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 1988 NFC Championship Game, and head coach Mike Ditka had been replaced by Dave Wannstedt.
Dent won a Super Bowl ring after spending the 1994 season under contract with the 49ers, though he spent almost the whole year injured. Injuries would continue to hamper Dent after his return to Chicago in 1995. Dent would spend 1996 and 1997 with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles respectively.
Dent retired after with 137.5 sacks, and 8 interceptions, which he returned for 89 yards and a touchdown. He also recovered 13 fumbles, returning them for 56 yards and a touchdown. 124.5 of his sacks came during his first stint with the Bears, from 1983 to 1993.
Dent has been nominated several times for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but to this day he has not been enshrined. This is puzzling to many, as Dan Hampton, his teammate on the Bears defensive line, has been enshrined, despite recording only 57 sacks in his 12 seasons. However, Dent remains a strong candidate for future enshrinement. In 2005, he was among the top 15 finalists in the selection process.
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