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Top 90 NFL Players Not in the Hall of Fame

Dan Van WieContributor IIIJuly 11, 2012

Top 90 NFL Players Not in the Hall of Fame

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    Who are the best former and current NFL players that deserve to be included in the NFL Hall of Fame? More specifically, who are the best 90 players that deserve to be considered for induction?

    In a little less than one month from now, the NFL will be enshrining the Hall of Fame Class of 2012, which includes Curtis Martin, Dermontti Dawson, Cortez Kennedy, Jack Butler, Willie Roaf and Chris Doleman.

    For my filtering processes, we are going to establish a few parameters. First of all, every one of our 90 selections played at least nine years in the league. Why nine years? That kind of longevity in the league speaks to their ability to endure the physical punishment of the NFL and play through pain. There are some exceptional players that didn't last that long, and we have reserved the right to place them on our honorable mention page. They also had to appear in at least four Pro Bowl games, as another filter.

    The original assignment called for me to identify the best 50 players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The further I got into researching this, the more quality players I kept uncovering, to the point that it reached the current stage of 90 players. Why 90, you ask? Why not?

    With regards to current NFL players, they will be judged with the same criterion. If they have not played at least nine years, they will be added to the honorable mention page and the four Pro Bowls still applies.

    Please note that this presentation is focusing on the past 50 years of the NFL, so if you are itching for a specific player that played prior to the 1960s, that is what the Veteran's Committee in the NFL Hall of Fame is for.

    While there is no reason to slight any of these great potential Hall-of-Fame players in regards to where they are ranked here, they are listed in the presentation according to the number of Pro Bowl games they were elected to.

    For a list as subjective as this one is, ranking them according to the number of Pro Bowls is far from an ideal system, but there is no fool proof method to employ. Factors that went into making up this list included career stats and where they ranked for their position, being a member of an All-Decade team, Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams, and how dominating they were in their specific era. 

    With 90 players selected it is clear that the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters will be facing difficult choices for many years to come. All statistics quoted in this article are the courtesy of Pro Football Reference.com and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.com.

    If you feel that there is a player that should have made this list but didn't, and you read the above parameters, then by all means feel free to make your case for that player in the comments section.

Honorable Mention

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    The following is our list of players that deserve consideration, but for whatever reason, failed to crack our list of the best 90 players not in the Hall of Fame. We came up with a total of 50 players in the Honorable Mention pool, bringing our total to 140 players that we considered for this presentation.

    Jared Allen, defensive end, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.

    Dick Anderson, safety, Miami Dolphins.

    Ken Anderson, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals.

    Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles

    Ronde Barber, cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Bill Bergey, linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.

    Drew Bledsoe, quarterback, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.

    Tony Boselli, tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Cliff Branch, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders 

    John Brodie, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

    Gary Collins, flanker, Cleveland Browns.

    Charlie Conerly, quarterback, New York Giants.

    Nolan Cromwell, safety, Los Angeles Rams.

    Randall Cunningham, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens.

    Terrell Davis, running back, Denver Broncos.

    Boyd Dowler, flanker, Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins

    Donald Driver, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers 

    Kenny Easley, safety, Seattle Seahawks.

    Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals

    London Fletcher, linebacker, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.

    Bill Fralic, guard/tackle for Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.

    James Harrison, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Jim Hart, quarterback, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskins.

    Harold Jackson, wide receiver with Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks.

    Joe Jacoby, tackle/guard, Washington Redskins

    Edgerrin James, running back, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.

    Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions

    Alex Karras, defensive tackle, Detroit Lions

    Jerry Kramer, guard, Green Bay Packers

    Ty Law, cornerback, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.

    Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants

    Jim Marshall, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings

    Harvey Martin, defensive end/tackle, Dallas Cowboys.

    Frank Minnifield, cornerback, Cleveland Browns

    Ralph Neely, tackle, Dallas Cowboys

    Darrelle Revis, cornerback, New York Jets

    Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Jake Scott, safety/punt returner, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

    Sterling Sharpe, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

    Del Shofner, split end, Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants

    Ken Stabler, quarterback, Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints. 

    Mark Stepnoski, center/guard for Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans.

    Pat Swilling, linebacker/defensive end, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders.

    Mick Tingelhoff, center, Minnesota Vikings.

    Adam Vinatieri, kicker, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. 

    Hines Ward, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers.

    DeMarcus Ware, linebacker, Dallas Cowboys.

    Ricky Watters, running back, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.

    Wes Welker, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots

    Bryant Young, defensive end/tackle, San Francisco 49ers.

90) Roger Craig: 4 Pro Bowls

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    Roger Craig was a running back for the San Francisco 49ers(1983-1990), Los Angeles Raiders (1991) and for the Minnesota Vikings (1992-1993). Craig was elected to four Pro Bowl teams and was named to the First-Team All-Pro team one time.

    Craig was named as the Second-Team running back for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1980s. During the decade, Craig had the following accomplishments:

    Craig was a unique runner in that he had the size and strength to run up the middle, the speed to run outside, and hands comparable to the league’s best wide receivers.    This versatility allowed him to become the first runner in league history to gain more than 1000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season (1985). When he retired, his career rushing yards (8,189) ranked 16 all-time while his receptions (566) ranked 19th.

    Craig had that unforgettable style of running where his knees would come up unusually high, which probably made it more difficult to be tackled.

89) Kurt Warner: 4 Pro Bowls

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    Kurt Warner, quarterback for the St. Louis Rams (1998-2003), New York Giants (2004) and the Arizona Cardinals (2005-2009). Warner was elected to four Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Warner led the NFL in numerous categories during his career. He led the NFL in completion percentage three straight years (1999-2001), touchdown passes (1999 and 2001), passing yards (2001) and passing yards per game in 2000 and 2001.

    The Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis was a result of Warner throwing the ball to Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt and handing it off to Marshall Faulk. In his career, Warner threw 208 touchdowns to 128 interceptions.

88) Larry Grantham: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Larry Grantham was a linebacker for the New York Titans and the New York Jets (1960-1972). He was named to five Pro Bowl teams and to five First-Team All-Pro teams in his career.

    The Pro Football Reference.com web site for Grantham shows that he had 24 interceptions during his career, but a number of his other key stats seem incomplete.

     

     

    Photo courtesy of http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2009/02/new_jersey_treatment_facility.html

87) Cornelius Bennett: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Cornelius Bennett, linebacker for the Buffalo Bills (1987-1995), Atlanta Falcons (1996-1998) and for the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2000). Bennett was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and to First-Team All-Pro one time.

    Bennett was named as the Second-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade team of the 1990s. Some of the accomplishments of Bennett in that decade included:

    Bennett played in five Super Bowls during the 1990s beginning with four straight as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He added a fifth while with Falcons. He earned Pro Bowl honors four consecutive years during the Bills’ unprecedented run of AFC championships.

    Many Buffalo Bills fans believe that the Bills defense turned the corner when general manager Bill Polian was able to engineer a trade that brought Bennett to Buffalo. Bennett was a skilled playmaker, as he registered 71.5 sacks, forced 31 fumbles, recovered 27 fumbles and came up with seven interceptions.

86) Hardy Nickerson: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Hardy Nickerson, was a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1987-1992) ,Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-1999), Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-2001) and Green Bay Packers (2002). Nickerson was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Nickerson was named as the Second-Team linebacker in the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Nickerson's accomplishments in that decade included:

    Nickerson was named to five Pro Bowls during the decade including the last four of the ‘90s. He was an integral part of the Buccaneers defense and helped the team to an 11-5 mark in 1999 and its first division title since 1979.

85) Carnell Lake: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Carnell Lake played safety and cornerback during his NFL career. Lake played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1989-1998, the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999 and the Baltimore Ravens in 2001. Lake was named to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro one time in his career.

    Lake was named as the Second-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. During the decade, here were some of Lake's accomplishments:

    Lake played on six AFC Central Division champions in the decade (five with Pittsburgh, one with Jacksonville). He was a big reason for the Steelers run to Super Bowl XXX during the 1995 season. He earned All-Pro honors twice and voted to five Pro Bowls in the ‘90s.

84) Louis Wright: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Louis Wright was a cornerback for the Denver Broncos from 1975-1986. Wright was named to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times in his career.

    Wright was selected as Second-Team cornerback for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade were:

    Wright was named All-NFL four times, twice in the ‘70s and two times in the ‘80s. He was a key component to the Broncos’ “Orange Crush” defense that led the team to its first-ever division title and Super Bowl berth in the 1977 season followed by another division crown in 1978.

83) Andre Johnson: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Andre Johnson, wide receiver for the Houston Texans (2003-present), has been elected to five Pro Bowl teams, and has been named First-Team All-Team twice so far in his career.

    Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in 2008 (1,575 yards) and again in 2009 (1,569 yards). His average receiving yards per game has led the NFL three different times (2007, 2009 and 2010). Johnson led the NFL in receptions in 2006 (103) and 2008 (115).

    In reviewing all that he has accomplished already, Johnson is well on his way to having a Hall of Fame career.

82) Tommy Nobis: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Tommy Nobis was a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons from 1966-1976. Nobis was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro one time in his career.

    Nobis was named as a First-Team linebacker in the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. Some of Nobis accomplishments in that decade included:

    Nobis, an All-America at Texas, was the Atlanta Falcons first-ever draft pick.  He became an immediate star but suffered from the lack of talent around him.  Despite this lack of support, Nobis earned All-NFL honors in only his second season.  A relentless player who gave 110 percent on every play, he earned Pro Bowl honors five times during his 11-year career.

    He was named to the Pro Bowl each of his first three seasons and went on lead Atlanta in tackles nine times during his career. Nobis was a tough linebacker that had a nose for the ball.

     

     

    photo courtesy of http://www.notinhalloffame.com/index.php/football/item/1589-31-tommy-nobis

81) Sam Mills: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Sam Mills was a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints (1986-1994) and he played for the Carolina Panthers (1995-1997). Mills appeared in five Pro Bowl games and also was voted as First-Team All-Pro one time in his career. 

    Mills was capable of making big plays on defense. Over the span of his career, Mills generated 20.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 22 forced fumbles and 23 fumble recoveries. Mills made 1,142 tackles and came up with 123 assists during his career.

80) Ben Coates: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Ben Coates was a tight end for the New England Patriots from 1991-1999 and for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. Coates was elected to the Pro Bowl game five times and was voted in as First-Team All-Pro two times in his career.

    Coates was also selected as the Second-Team tight end for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. His accomplishments in that decade include:


    Coates was at his prime in 1994 and 1995 when he earned All-NFL acclaim after catching 96 and 84 passes respectively. He was also named to five straight Pro Bowls from 1995 to 1999. His 490 catches in the decade was second only to Shannon Sharpe.

79) Charles Haley: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Charles Haley played defensive end and linebacker during his NFL career. Haley played for the San Francisco 49ers (1986-1991), Dallas Cowboys (1992-1996) and then back to San Francisco again (1998-1999). Haley was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was named as First-Team All-Pro two times.

    If there was such a thing as a Super Bowl "good luck charm" the first two players that would jump into my mind were Haley and Deion Sanders. Haley has been a part of five Super Bowl championship teams, having won a ring at Super Bowl XXXIII, XXIV, XXVII, XXVIII and XXX.

    During his career, Haley recorded 100.5 sacks and forced 26 fumbles. He was adept at creating havoc in the backfield.

    Haley is getting very close to enshrinement, as he has been a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting for each of the past three years (2010, 2011 and 2012). It should only be a matter of time now.

78) Kevin Greene: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Kevin Greene was a linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams (1985-1992), Pittsburgh Steelers (1993-1995) Carolina Panthers (1996 and 1998-1999) and the San Francisco 49ers in 1997. Greene was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Greene was named as First-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade included:

    Greene played on four division title teams with three different NFL clubs during the decade. He twice led the NFL in sacks and was tied with DE Bruce Smith for second in total sacks during the 1990s (113.5). He was named All-Pro twice and voted to five Pro Bowls during the 1990s.

    Greene finished his career with 160 sacks. In 2012, Greene was a Hall of Fame finalist, but just fell short of becoming inducted.

77) Lester Hayes: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Lester Hayes was a cornerback for the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Raiders. Hayes played for the Raiders from 1977-1986. He was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro one time. Hayes was a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting for the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, but has still never been enshrined. 

    For the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1980s, Hayes was named as the Second-Team cornerback. Some of his accomplishments that decade included:


    Lester Hayes, an All-America linebacker in college, converted to cornerback in the pros, and quickly evolved into one of the most feared defensive backs in the league. A bump-and-run specialist who had a nose for the ball, Hayes recorded 39 interceptions for 572 yards and four touchdowns during his career. He was a first- or second-team All-Pro choice five times.

    Hayes appeared in 149 games and came up with 39 career interceptions. Hayes led the NFL in interceptions in 1980 when he came up with 13 picks. He scored four touchdowns on interception returns during his career.

76) Greg Lloyd: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Greg Lloyd was a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1988-1997 and he also played for the Carolina Panthers in 1998. Lloyd was named to five Pro Bowl teams, in addition to being on three First-Team All-Pro teams.

    During his career, Lloyd came up with 54.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 35 forced fumbles, 16 fumble recoveries, 707 tackles and 84 assists.

75) Cornell Green: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Cornell Green was a cornerback and safety for the Dallas Cowboys from 1962-1974. He was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was also a three-time First-Team All Pro player.

    Green had 34 career interceptions in his 182 career games. He scored four touchdowns for Dallas, two on interceptions returns and two on fumble recovery returns.

     

     

     

    Photo courtesy of: http://www.footballcardgallery.com/1967+Philadelphia/51/Cornell-Green/

74) Donnie Shell: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Donnie Shell, safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-1987), was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was also First-Team All-Pro three times in his career.

    Shell was part of four Super Bowl championship teams with the Steelers, as he played in Super Bowl IX, X, XIII and XIV.

    During his career, Shell was able to come up with 51 interceptions and 19 fumble recoveries. Those 70 combined turnovers went a long way towards helping Pittsburgh win those Super Bowls.

    Shell nearly was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002 when he became a finalist that year in the voting. Unfortunately, that was the last time that he has made it that far.

     

    Photo courtesy of: http://www.steelergridiron.com/history/oldphotogallery.html

73) LaDainian Tomlinson: 5 Pro Bowls

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    LaDainian Tomlinson, running back for the San Diego Chargers (2001-2009) and New York Jets (2010-2011). Tomlinson was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro three times.

    Tomlinson led the NFL in rushing two-straight years (1,815 yards in 2006 and 1,474 in 2007). Tomlinson also led the NFL in rushing touchdowns three different years. In 2003, Tomlinson led the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 2,370 yards. His 31 total touchdowns scored in 2006 led the NFL that season.

    The end of Tomlinson's career didn't end like it began, as his quest for a Super Bowl ring never materialized. He won't be the last great player that fails to win the ring, but hopefully hanging on for a few extra years won't cost him his chance at being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

72) Jeff Saturday: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Jeff Saturday, center for the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2011) and the Green Bay Packers (2012-present). Saturday was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Saturday has been credited for working well with Peyton Manning over the years in calling out pass protection assignments and changing up blocking schemes at the line of scrimmage. The two of them seemed to operate as if they had one collective mind.

    Due to his work with the NFLPA in helping to bring about the new collective bargaining agreement during the 2011 offseason, Saturday's profile continues to rise. Now he gets to work with Aaron Rodgers in 2012, so he has the chance to continue going back to the postseason.

71) Darren Sharper: 5 Pro Bowls

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    Darren Sharper, safety for the Green Bay Packers (1997-2004), Minnesota Vikings (2005-2008) and New Orleans Saints (2009-2010). Sharper was elected to five Pro Bowl teams and First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Sharper was voted as the Second-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments during that decade were:

    Everywhere Sharper went during the decade, he always found the ball.  He intercepted nine passes in a season with each team he played for during the 2000s.  In 2009 with the Saints, his nine picks resulted in an NFL record for most return yards in a season (376).

    Sharper didn't play in 2010 and has since announced his retirement. Sharper was a hard-hitting safety that had a nose for the football, as was displayed by his 63 career interceptions. Sharper scored 11 touchdowns on pass interceptions returns and another two touchdowns on fumble returns. He had eight forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries, to go along with 734 tackles and 211 assists.

70) Chuck Howley: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Chuck Howley, linebacker for the Chicago Bears (1958-1959) and the Dallas Cowboys (1961-1973). Howley was named to six Pro Bowl games and was First-Team All-Pro five times.

    Howley was the MVP of Super Bowl V and was also part of the Super Bowl VI championship team. Howley was credited with 25 interceptions over his career, to go along with 18 fumble recoveries.

     

    Photo courtesy of http://rayonsports.com/?p=2896

69) Jerome Bettis: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, was a running back for the Los Angeles Rams and St. Louis Rams (1993-1995) and for the Pittsburgh Steelers(1996-2005). Bettis was elected to six Pro Bowl teams and was named as First-Team All-pro two times.

    Bettis was a powerful running back that could carry the full workload for a team, but in the process would be able to wear out a defense by the fourth quarter. In 1997, the Steelers handed the ball off to Bettis 375 times that season, which led the entire NFL for total rushing attempts.

    During his career, Bettis gained 13,662 yards on 3,479 attempts, which comes out to an average of 3.9 yards per attempt, to go along with 91 rushing touchdowns.

    Bettis has wound up as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in both 2011 and in 2012, so 'the Bus" is knocking on the door. He should be able to run it over in short order.

68) Claude Humphrey: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Claude Humphrey was a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons (1968-1978) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-1981).  Humphrey was elected to six Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Three different times Humphrey has made it all the way to being a finalist for Hall of Fame induction, only to fall just short all three years (2003, 2005 and 2006). He hasn't been a finalist since the 2006 voting.

     

     

    Photo courtesy of: http://www.fanbase.com/photo/586414

67) Cliff Harris: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Cliff Harris was a safety for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970-1979. Harris was elected to six Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro three times.

    Harris was named as First-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s. Some of the things he accomplished that decade were:

    A standout in the Cowboys secondary, Harris was named first-team All-NFL each season from 1975 to 1978 and voted to six Pro Bowls. He had multiple interceptions during each of his 10 seasons including a career-high 5 picks during the Cowboys’ Super Bowl season in 1977.

    Harris was a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting in 2004, but never got any closer to enshrinement than he did that year.

     

    Photo courtesy of: http://www.bestsportsphotos.com/product.php?productid=39768&cat=299&page=5

66) Isiah Robertson: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Isiah Robertson was a linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams (1971-1978) and for the Buffalo Bills (1979-1982). Robertson was voted on to six Pro Bowl teams and to First-Team All-Pro teams twice in his career.

    Robertson intercepted 25 passes out of the linebacker slot during his career, and scored three touchdowns on interception returns, proving what kind of an athlete he was.

    For a detailed rundown on why he should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, here is a link to his career highlights at Crazy Canton Cuts.com.

     

     

    photo courtesy of http://crazycantoncuts.blogspot.com/2011/03/isiah-robertson.html

65) Neil Smith: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Neil Smith was a defensive end that played his entire career in AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs (1988-1996), Denver Broncos (1997-1999) and the San Diego Chargers (2000). Smith was elected to six Pro Bowl teams and to one First-Team All-Pro squad.

    Smith was voted in as the Second-Team defensive end of the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. During that decade, some of his accomplishments were:

    Smith was voted to the Pro Bowl six times over a seven-season span in the 1990s. He recorded double-digit sack totals in four straight seasons from 1992 to 1995. Smith was an integral part of the Chiefs’ two division titles and the Broncos Super Bowl victories in the decade.

64) Karl Mechlenburg: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Karl Mecklenburg, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos (1983-1994), was elected to six Pro Bowl teams and has been named as First-Team All-Pro three times.

    Mecklenburg excelled at rushing the passer, as he came up with 79 sacks during his career, to go along with five interceptions and 16 forced fumbles.

    In the most recent ballot voting for the Hall of Fame class of 2012, Mecklenburg wound up as a semi-finalist, so he still has a legitimate chance to get over the hump.

     

    Photo courtesy of http://sportsthenandnow.com/2009/10/05/karl-mecklenburg-gives-all-pro-advice-in-heart-of-a-student-athlete/

63) Julius Peppers: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Julius Peppers, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers (2002-2009) and for the Chicago Bears (2010-present), has been elected to six Pro Bowl games and to the First-Team All-Pro team three times in his career.

    Peppers has generated exactly 100 sacks in his career to date and has also scored two touchdowns on interception returns and once on a fumble return.

    Another feather in Peppers' cap was being voted in as the Second-Team defensive end for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade included:

    Peppers, a three-time All-Pro selection and five-time Pro Bowler, is one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL.  At 6-7, 283 pounds, his tremendous size and strength combined with his speed creates nightmares for opposing lineman.  He has recorded double-digit sacks every season but two during his career.

62) Joey Browner: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Joey Browner played cornerback and safety for the Minnesota Vikings (1983-1991) and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1982). Browner was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro three times.

    Browner was voted in as Second-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1980s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade were:

    Browner, a first round pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, served as one of the leaders of the Vikings defense for nine seasons.   A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Browner also served as an excellent special teams player.  His play seemed to improve every year of his career.  Browner’s four All-Pro selections, three of which were consensus choices, occurred in 1987-1990.

61) Deron Cherry: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Deron Cherry was a safety for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1981-1991. He was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro three times.

    Cherry was elected as the Second-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1980s. His accomplishments during that decade included:

    Cherry, who signed as a rookie free agent with the Chiefs in 1981, was regarded as one of the finest free safeties of his era.  During his career he was selected to six straight Pro Bowls and was voted for a total of five All-Pro teams.  During his 11-year career he compiled 50 interceptions for 688 yards, one TD and nearly 1,000 tackles.

60) Bob Kuechenberg : 6 Pro Bowls

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    Bob Kuechenberg played tackle, center and guard for the Miami Dolphins from 1970-1983. Kuechenberg was elected to six Pro Bowl teams and was a First-Team All-Pro one time.

    Kuechenberg has been very close to becoming enshrined, but just keeps coming up a little short of the needed votes. So far he has made it to the Hall of Fame finals in voting in eight-straight years from 2002-2009. He must think by now that they are playing a cruel joke on him, getting so close so many times, but still on the outside looking in.

     

     

    Photo courtesy of: http://www.thepurplepeopleeaters.com/gpage9.html

59) L.C. Greenwood: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Member of the infamous "Steel Curtain", Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood (1969-1981), was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Greenwood was voted in as the Second-Team defensive end for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s. Here are some of his accomplishments from that decade:

    A big part of the front line to the Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain Defense,” Greenwood was named first-team All-Pro in each of the team’s first two Super Bowl seasons. A six-time Pro Bowl choice, he played in all six of the Steelers’ championship games and four Super Bowl victories.

    Of the various players in this presentation, some of them have already come very close to being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Greenwood is one example. He was a finalist in 1991, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2005 and 2006. So close, and yet so far.

58) Nate Newton: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Nate Newton played guard and tackle for the Dallas Cowboys (1986-1998) and for the Carolina Panthers (1999). Newton was elected to six Pro Bowl games and was First-Team All-Pro two times.

    When Newton first tried out in the NFL, he was waived by the Washington Redskins, so he wound up playing in the USFL for the Tampa Bay Bandits for two years (1984-1985) before he joined the Cowboys.

    Newton was part of three Super Bowl championship teams with the Cowboys, as they won Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII and XXX. Newton was a key cog in the offensive line opening up holes for Emmitt Smith and protecting Troy Aikman.

57) Brian Waters: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Brian Waters played guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, (2000-2010) and for the New England Patriots (2011).  Waters was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was also named as First-Team All-Pro two times. 

    As of now, Waters is expected to return to the Patriots in 2012, but he is also getting up there in years, as he is now 35 years old.

56) La'Roi Glover: 6 Pro Bowls

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    La'Roi Glover was a defensive tackle and nose tackle for the Oakland Raiders (1996), New Orleans Saints (1997-2001), Dallas Cowboys (2002-2005) and for the St. Louis Rams (2006-2008). Glover was elected to six Pro Bowl games and to one First-Team All-Pro team.

    Glover was voted in as the Second-Team defensive tackle for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade included:


    Glover, a fifth round pick in the 1996 draft, actually played in NFL Europe before finding success in the NFL.  In 2000 he led the league in sacks with 17.5 and was named to the first of his six Pro Bowls and two All-Pro selections.

    Glover ended his career with 83.5 sacks and 16 forced fumbles.

55) Dick Schafrath: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Dick Schafrath was a guard, tackle and defensive end for the Cleveland Browns from 1959-1971. During his career, Schafrath was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro four times.

    When Schafrath joined the Browns out of college he was 220 pounds. Within one year, he had put on 50 pounds thanks to the eating regimen that Paul Brown ordered. Schafrath was the left tackle and during his career in Cleveland, he was blocking for running backs such as Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell, and Leroy Kelly.

     

    Photo courtesy of http://topics.cleveland.com/tag/dick%20schafrath/photos.html

54) Drew Brees: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Drew Brees, quarterback for the San Diego Chargers (2001-2005) and for the New Orleans Saints (2006-present), has been elected to six Pro Bowl teams and has been named to the First-Team All-Pro team one time in his career.

    Brees set the new NFL single-season record in 2011 by passing for 5,476 yards. Brees has an uncanny knack for being able to spread the ball around to his many weapons on offense and is very adept at scrambling around in the pocket and finding a target while scrambling.

    Some of the other many accomplishments from Brees career includes: named as Sports Illustrated's 2010 Sportsman of the Year, NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2008, and Super Bowl XLIV MVP winner.

    Regarding the 2012 season, we all hope that Brees will sign a contract and play for New Orleans this year as the team is in dire situation without his leadership. Whether he plays in New Orleans beyond 2012 remains to be seen.

53) Kevin Williams: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Kevin Williams played defensive tackle and defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings from 2003-present. Williams has been voted in to six Pro Bowl games and to First-Team All-Pro five times.

    Williams was voted in as the Second-Team defensive tackle for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. During that decade, some of his accomplishments included:

    Williams, a first round pick by the Vikings in the 2003 NFL Draft, has the size and speed desired by all defensive tackles. At 6-5, 311 pounds, opposing teams would be mistaken to take him lightly. In each of his first two seasons he registered more than ten sacks and has a total of 40 passes defensed in his career.  He is a five-time All-Pro choice and five-time Pro Bowler.

52) Eric Allen: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Eric Allen was a cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles (1988-1994), New Orleans Saints (1995-1997) and for the Oakland Raiders (1998-2001). Allen was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was elected to First-Team All-Pro one time in his career.

    His 54 career interceptions demonstrated how skilled a ball hawk Allen was. He returned eight interceptions for touchdowns in his career. 

51) Olin Kreutz: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Olin Kreutz was a center for the Chicago Bears from 1998-2010 and for the New Orleans Saints in 2011. Kreutz was named to six Pro Bowl teams and to First-Team All-Pro one time.

    Kreutz was named as the Second-Team center for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments in that decade included:

    Kreutz was named to the Pro Bowl six times in the decade and was the first-team All-NFL in 2005 and again in 2006. He was a key part of the Bears front line that produced 1,000-yard runners six times in the decade.


     

50) Jason Taylor: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Jason Taylor, defensive end for the Miami Dolphins (1997-2007, 2009 and 2011), Washington Redskins (2008) and New York Jets (2010), was named to six Pro Bowl teams as well as First-Team All-Pro three times during his career.

    Taylor excelled at rushing the quarterback and his career total of 139.5 sacks places him at No. 6 all-time in NFL history.

    Was voted in as the Second-Team defensive end for the NFL All-Decade team of the 2000s. His accomplishments in that decade included:

    Taylor, a third round pick by the Dolphins in 1997, has been the anchor of Miami’s defensive line for 12 seasons.   A three-time All-Pro choice and a six-time Pro Bowl selection, Taylor holds the NFL record for most fumbles recovered for a TD (6).

49) Terrell Owens: 6 Pro Bowls

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    Terrell Owens, wide receiver, has played for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Owens has been named to six Pro Bowl games, and named First-Team All-Pro five different times. 

    Owens was named to the Second-Team wide receiver for the NFL All-Decade team of the 2000s. Here are the highlights from that entry:

    Owens had 784 of his 1,006 career catches in the decade and was one of only four players to record more than 100 TDs in the 2000s. He ranked second in the decade with 114 TD catches and his 11,644 receiving yards were third most. Owens earned All-NFL acclaim five times (2000-02, 2004, 2007).

48) Richmond Webb: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Richmond Webb was a tackle for the Miami Dolphins from 1990-2000 and for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2001-2002. Webb was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and was voted two times as the First-Team All-Pro tackle.

    Webb was named as the Second-Team tackle for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. His accomplishments in that decade included:

    Webb was named first- or second-team All-Pro four straight seasons from 1992 to 1995. He also was named to the Pro Bowl seven straight times during the 1990s. Noted for his durability, he started 118 consecutive games during a stretch that spanned from 1991 to 1998.

47) Michael Strahan: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Michael Strahan, defensive end for the New York Giants (1993-2007), was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and to First-Team All-Pro teams four times in his career.

    Strahan was voted in as First-Team defensive end for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments during that decade include: 


    Not only was Strahan one of the most dominant pass rushers in the league during his time, but he was just as good of a defender against the run.  A seven-time Pro Bowl pick, four of which occurred during the 2000s, Strahan had an NFL record 22.5 sacks during the 2001 season.  He capped his memorable career with a victory in Super Bowl XLII.

    Strahan ended his career with 141.5 sacks, four interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries. He seems like a sure-fire Hall of Fame candidate.

46) Zach Thomas: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Zach Thomas was a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins from 1996-2007. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2008. Thomas was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro five times.

    Thomas was elected as the Second-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade included:

    Thomas was a classic sideline-to-sideline linebacker who had a strong nose for the ball and a motor that never quit.  Always one of the hardest working players on the team, he racked up six of his seven career trips to the Pro Bowl during the decade and was a first- or second-team All-Pro selection four times.

45) Richard Seymour: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Richard Seymour has played both defensive end and defensive tackle during his career. He began with the New England Patriots (2001-2008) and has been with the Oakland Raiders (2009-present) ever since. Seymour was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and also voted on to First-Team All-Pro three times in his career.

    Seymour was voted in as the First-Team defensive tackle for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade include:

    Seymour was the prototype tackle which his team could count on to clog up the middle.  Extremely strong, he typically drew double teams from opposing linemen.  A five-time Pro Bowl selection, he was vital to the Patriots Super Bowl success during the decade.

    As a defensive tackle, Seymour is unique in that he is a playmaker as well, having made 54.5 sacks during his career, two interceptions and seven fumble recoveries.

44) Orlando Pace: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Orlando Pace was a tackle for the St. Louis Rams (1997-2008) and for the Chicago Bears (2009). Pace was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and to First-Team All-Pro status three times.

    Pace was named as the Second-Team tackle on the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments that decade were:

    Named to six Pro Bowls in the decade, Pace was also named first-team All-NFL at tackle four times in a five year span, 2000-04. He helped led the way for the Rams’ famous “Greatest Show on Turf,” offense that led the NFL in total yards three straight seasons from 1999 to 2001. The 2000 Rams set the NFL single-season record of 7,075 total passing-rushing yards.

43) Andy Russell: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Andy Russell, linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1963-1976, was named to seven Pro Bowl teams but according to his player page on Pro Football Reference.com, he was never voted to any All-Pro First-Teams.

    Russell was credited with 18 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries during his career. Russell was part of the Steelers Super Bowl championship teams in Super Bowl IX and X.

     

    photo courtesy of http://www.autograph-sports.com/s3_Andy_Russell.asp

42) Randy Gradishar: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Randy Gradishar, linebacker for the Denver Broncos, (1974-1983), was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and was named as First-Team All-Pro two times.

    In the past 10 years, Gradishar was twice been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2003 and 2008) but he fell short both times.

    In 1978, Gradishar was awarded as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

     

     

    photo courtesy of http://broncotalk.net/2007/08/140/denver-broncos/randy-gradishar-belongs-in-the-hall-of-fame/

41) Ray Guy: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Ray Guy was a punter for the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Raiders from 1973-1986. Guy was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro three times in his career.

    Guy was a dangerous weapon as a punter because he could kick your team out of bad field position and change momentum in the game with a single punt.

    The Pro Football Hall of Fame can't seem to make their mind up about what to do with Guy. So far he has made it as a finalist in the voting in 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2007 and 2008. You would think by now that the Hall had a pretty good handle on how they felt about him.

40) Torry Holt: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Torry Holt, wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, was elected to seven Pro Bowl teams in his career, as well as one time being elected First-Team All-Pro. 

    Holt was named as a Second-Team member of the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Here are the highlights from that entry:

    No player in the NFL caught more passes or racked up more receiving yardage than Torry Holt did during the 2000s. In all, he had 868 catches for 12,594 yards that included eight straight 1,000-yard seasons. His finest year came in 2003 when he had career highs in catches (117), yards (1,696), and TDs (12).

39) Steve Tasker: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Steve Tasker, wide receiver and special teams standout for the Houston Oilers (1985-1986) and the Buffalo Bills (1986-1997), was elected to seven Pro Bowl games during his career. 

    Tasker wasn't very big in physical stature, but he played with a huge heart and with lots of passion. He was only 5'9" and weighed 185 pounds.Tasker was a capable wide receiver, but he really excelled at special teams. He would be known for using his quickness to block a punt or a kick, or to serve as a gunner and make a big hit on the coverage team.

    The NFL Hall of Fame hasn't typically recognized special teams players for consideration to the Hall of Fame, but there was a groundswell of support for Tasker, who wound up being a semi-finalist for the Hall of Fame in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

    So obviously, there are enough voters out there that thinks a player like Tasker could make it in—there just aren't enough of them yet.

38) Troy Polamalu: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Troy Polamalu, safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2003-present), has been elected to seven Pro Bowl games so far in his career, in addition to First-Team All-Pro four times. 

    Polamalu was voted in as the Second-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade included:

    Polamalu, who was a ferocious hitter with world class speed, was one of the elite safeties during the decade.  A five-time Pro Bowl selection, he always seemed to create a big play in the Steelers biggest games.  The Steelers benefitted greatly from his strong leadership during two successful Super Bowl runs in the century’s first decade.

    One of the things that you notice about Polamalu is that he has instincts that are of the charts. From anticipating where the pass is going, to anticipating when the ball will be hiked, reading the direction and type of play being called, he just knows where to go and gets there before the offense can. He has saved the Steelers in crunch time numerous times during his career.

37) Randy Moss: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Randy Moss, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, has been elected to seven Pro Bowl games so far, and has been named First-Team All-Pro four times. 

    From his entry as being named to the First-Team wide receiver for NFL 2000s All-Decade Team:


    Moss caught 777 passes for 11,739 yards and a decade-leading 120 TD catches during the 10-season span. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark eight times in the decade. He recorded career highs of 111 receptions for 1,632 yards with the Vikings in 2003. Then, in 2007 he broke Jerry Rice’s mark for TD catches in a season with 23.

    While Moss sat out the 2011 season, he looks to be ready to become a force again in the NFL, as he signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers. Reports coming out of the 49ers during OTA's and mini-camp was that Moss looks good and that he is focused again.

36) Warren Sapp: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Warren Sapp played defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sapp was elected to seven Pro Bowl games and to four First-Team All-Pro teams. 

    Sapp was voted in as the First-Team defensive tackle for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his better accomplishments in that decade included:

    Perhaps no defensive tackle in the history of the NFL had more of a flashy style and drew more attention than Warren Sapp.  He knew how to play the game and play it well but also had fun while doing it. Already a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990s, he started out the decade by registering 16.5 sacks in 2000.

    One of the few players to be voted on to two different All-Decade teams, Sapp was also voted in as the Second-Team defensive tackle for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Some of the things he did in that decade included:

    Sapp earned Pro Bowl honors after each of the final three seasons in the ‘90s during which time he recorded 30 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1999 after he amassed 12.5 sacks in leading the Buccaneers to a NFC Central Division title.

    Sapp finished his career with 96.5 sacks, four interceptions and 19 forced fumbles.

35) Steve Hutchinson: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Steve Hutchinson was a guard for the Seattle Seahawks (2001-2005) and the Minnesota Vikings (2006-2009). Hutchinson was named to seven Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro five times.

    Hutchinson was named as the First-Team guard for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments in that decade were:

    Hutchinson was named first-team All-NFL at guard five times during a six-season span from 2003 to 2008. He was elected to seven Pro Bowls during the decade including following the ’09 campaign. He had led the way 57 times for a runner to reach 100 yards in a game and was the blocker for three 200-yard efforts.
     

34) Dwight Freeney: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Dwight Freeney, defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts (2002-present), has been elected to seven Pro Bowl games and to First-Team All-Pro teams three times in his career.

    Freeney was elected as a First-Team defensive end for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000's. Some of his accomplishments from that decade include:


    Freeney has been a one-man wrecking crew since joining the Colts in 2002.   A five-time Pro Bowl selection, he had played a vital role on the defensive side of the ball for the Colts and their success as the winningest team of the decade. He accumulated 84 sacks and 36 forced fumbles.

33) Johnny Robinson: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Johnny Robinson was a safety, flanker and running back with the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs from 1960-1971. Robinson was voted on to seven Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro six times.

    Robinson was a finalist for the Hall of Fame six different times, but still has not been enshrined. Those six years were 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1986.

    He wound up with 71 career interceptions and led the AFL in interceptions twice. Robinson had 10 interceptions in both 1966 and 1970 to lead the league. He converted from offense to defense beginning with his third year with the team.

     

    Photo courtesy of http://www.remembertheafl.com/AFLGuestEssays.htm

32) Robert Brazile: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Robert Brazile was a linebacker with the Houston Oilers from 1975-1984. Brazile was named to seven Pro Bowl teams and was First-Team All-Pro two times in his career.

    Brazile was named as a Second-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s. Some of his accomplishments from that decade were:

    By his second season Brazile was regarded as an elite linebacker in the NFL. He earned All-Pro accolades for the first of four times in 1976. He was also voted to the first of seven straight Pro Bowls following that season.

     

    Photo courtesy of http://sheltonmedia.blogspot.com/2010/08/hall-of-fame-to-robert-brazile-wait.html

31) Ed Budde: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Ed Budde was a guard for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1963-1976. During his career Budde was named to seven Pro Bowl teams, along with two First-Team All-Pro honors.

    Budde was tough and durable as he didn't miss any starts from 1963-1971. Budde was a member of the Chiefs team that won Super Bowl IV.

     

    Photo courtesy of http://crazycantoncuts.blogspot.com/2008/10/ed-budde.html

30) Andre Reed : 7 Pro Bowls

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    Andre Reed, wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills (1985-1999) and for the Washington Redskins (2000). Reed was elected to seven Pro Bowl games. 

    In his career, Reed established great chemistry with Jim Kelly, as they perfected the hurry up offense out of the K-Gun. Reed caught 951 passes over his career for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. Reed was fearless going over the middle and excelled at picking up yards after the catch.

    As we have detailed with some other players in this presentation, Reed is another of the NFL veterans that have been tantalizingly close to being enshrined. So far, Reed has been a finalist for each of the last six years (2007-2012) but is caught in this logjam with Tim Brown and Cris Carter at wide receiver.

     


29) Tom Brady: 7 Pro Bowls

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    Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, has been elected to seven Pro Bowls so far, in addition to being named First-Team All-Pro two times in his career.

    Brady is responsible for operating the dynamic Patriots offense which has led the team to winning five AFC Championships and three Super Bowl championships (Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX). Brady set the NFL record with 50 touchdown passes in 2007.

    With two Super Bowl MVP awards to go along with all of the accomplishments, there is no doubt that Brady will become another quarterback addition to the Hall of Fame.

28) Steve Wisniewski: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Steve Wisniewski was a guard for the Los Angeles Raiders and Oakland Raiders from 1989-2001. Wisniewski was named to eight Pro Bowl teams and was twice named First-Team All-Pro.

    Wisniewski was selected as the Second-Team guard for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. During that decade, some of Wisniewski's accomplishments were:

    Wisniewski was named first-team All-Pro five straight seasons to start the 1990s. He was also was named to the Pro Bowl eight times in his career with all but one coming in this decade. In all, he played 206 career games including 159 out of a possible 160 from 1990-99.

     

27) Aeneas Williams : 8 Pro Bowls

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    Aeneas Williams was a cornerback and safety for the Phoenix Cardinals and Arizona Cardinals (1991-2000) and for the St. Louis Rams (2001-2004). Williams was elected to eight Pro Bowl games and was also named as First-Team All-Pro three times. 

    Williams was voted in as the Second-Team cornerback for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. During that decade, some of his accomplishments included:

    Williams earned first-team All-Pro honors four times in his career with three of those selections coming in 1995, 1996, and 1997. He was voted to the Pro Bowl six straight times in the ‘90s and his 41 interceptions during the decade ranked second among cornerbacks.

    Williams came close to being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as he was a finalist in 2012. Although he didn't come up with the necessary votes this year, I suspect he won't have to wait very much longer before he gets that special phone call.

26) Lemar Parrish: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Lemar Parrish, cornerback and punt returner for the Cincinnati Bengals (1970-1977). Washington Redskins (1978-1981) and Buffalo Bills (1982). Parrish was voted on to eight Pro Bowl teams and to one First-Team All-Pro team.

    Parrish returned four punts for touchdowns and one kickoff return for a touchdown while he was with the Bengals. He had a total of 47 interceptions during his career and returned four on those for a touchdown. In addition, Parrish had three fumble recoveries that he returned for a touchdown, making him a threat to score any time he had his hands on the ball.

    For an excellent overview on Lemar Parrish's career, here is a link to a story by J.W. Nix from Bleacher Report on why Parrish deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

     

    photo courtesy of http://www.claremontshows.com/catalog/football/parrish/parrish.htm

25) Marvin Harrison: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Marvin Harrison played wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts (1996-2008). Harrison was elected to 8 Pro Bowl games and was named to three NFL First-Team All-Pro teams. 

    From Harrison's entry as the First-Team wide receiver for the NFL All-Decade team of the 2000s:

    Harrison won two reception titles including in 2002 when he established the single-season record with 143 catches. He recorded seven straight 1,000-yard campaigns, 2000-06, and was selected first-team All-NFL five times in the 2000s. In all, he caught 791 passes for 10,439 yards and 95 TDs in the 10-year period.

    Harrison was the perfect compliment to Peyton Manning. They could read each other and with a simple nod of the head they would know exactly what the other player was thinking and knew what kind of a pattern had to be run. They worked together like surgeons on the football field.

24) Brian Urlacher : 8 Pro Bowls

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    Brian Urlacher, linebacker for the Chicago Bears from 2000-present, has been elected to play in eight Pro Bowls so far in his career, in addition to being named First-Team All-Pro four times. 

    Urlacher was voted in as the First-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade included:

    Urlacher, who was drafted in the first round of 2000 draft, played free safety in college.  He successfully converted to linebacker and won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with the Bears.  In 2005 he added Defensive Player of the Year to his resume. He is a six-time Pro Bowl pick and was selected to four All-Pro teams.

    The first tackle that Urlacher makes in the 2012 season will be No. 1,000 for his career. He also has been credited with 291 assists, 41.5 sacks, 21 interceptions, nine forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries and two touchdowns scored on returns.

23) Steve Atwater: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Steve Atwater was a safety for the Denver Broncos from 1989-1998 and for the New York Jets in 1999. Atwater was elected to eight Pro Bowl games and was named First-Team All-Pro two times. 

    Atwater was selected as the First-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. During that decade, some of Atwater's accomplishments included:

    A punishing tackler, Atwater also had 21 picks during the 1990s. He played in 151 of a possible 160 games during the decade. A six-time All-AFC choice, he brought veteran leadership to the Broncos to help the team capture back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998.

    During the voting for the 2012 Hall of Fame class, Atwater wound up advancing to the semi-final round, and he ran out of steam there. There is still plenty of years ahead for Atwater to be elected into the Hall.

22) Ed Reed: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Ed Reed, safety for the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-present, has been named to eight Pro Bowl games to date, along with five First-Team All-Pro teams. 

    Reed was named as the First-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his highlights during that decade included:

    Reed was a dynamic playmaker with great defensive instincts and a tremendous knowledge of the game.  These skills not only earned him five first team All-Pro selections during the decade, but helped him receive NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.  He owns the record for the two longest interception returns in NFL history (107 and 106 yards).

    So far in his career, Reed has either led the NFL or been tied for the NFL lead in interceptions three different times (2004, 2008 and 2010). Reed has 57 career interceptions and 122 passes defended. Reed has scored eight times in his career off of turnover returns.

21) Kevin Mawae: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Kevin Mawae played center and guard during his NFL career. Mawae played for the Seattle Seahawks from 1994-1997, New York Jets from 1998-2005 and for the Tennessee Titans from 2006-2009. During his career, Mawae was voted to eight Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro three times.

    Mawae was elected as the First-Team center for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments in that decade were:

    Mawae was named the NFL’s first-team center five seasons in the decade. He was also was voted to the Pro Bowl seven times during the 10-season span. In all, Mawae has blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher 13 times in his 16-season career including every season but one in the 2000s.

20) Antonio Gates: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Antonio Gates, tight end for the San Diego Chargers, has been elected to eight Pro Bowl games and was named First-Team All-Pro three times in his career. 

    Gates wound up being voted as the Second-Team tight end for the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. He lost out on the first team to Tony Gonzalez, so there is no shame in that. Some highlights of Gates' performance in that decade:

    A basketball star in college who hadn’t played football since his senior year of high school, Gates made a phenomenal transition in the NFL to become among the league’s best tight ends. After a fairly quiet rookie campaign, Gates exploded on the NFL scene in his second season when he caught 81 passes for 964 yards and had 13 TDs. He has posted 60 or more catches and eight or more TD receptions every year since that time. He was named first-team All-NFL in 2004 and ’05 and a second-team All-Pro in 2009.

    Gates appears to be healthy in 2012 as he has been hampered by foot problems over the past few seasons. He is looking to pad his career totals with a strong 2012 season.

19) Charles Woodson: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Charles Woodson, cornerback for the Oakland Raiders (1998-2005) and for the Green Bay Packers (2006-present), has been elected to eight Pro Bowl games so far, as well as three First-Team All-Pro selections. 

    Woodson was named as the First-Team cornerback for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. During that decade, some of Woodson's accomplishments included:

    Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner,  ended the decade in style as he earned 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors after he intercepted nine passes and returned three for TDs, had a total of 74 tackles 18 passes defensed and four forced fumbles.  In all, he had 39 picks during the decade.

    Woodson has totaled 54 career interceptions, defensed 130 passes, 753 tackles, 143 assists and  15.5 sacks so far in his career.

18) Brian Dawkins: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Brian Dawkins was a safety for the Philadelphia Eagles (1996-2008) and for the Denver Broncos (2009-2011). Dawkins was named to eight Pro Bowl teams and First-Team All-Pro four times during his career.

    Dawkins was voted First-Team safety for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Highlights from that decade include:

    Dawkins was the definition of “ball hawk” during the decade and was an integral component to the Eagles’ success.  A five-time first-team All-Pro selection, he was just as effective as a pass rusher as in coverage evidenced by his 17.5 sacks during the decade. 

    Back in April, Dawkins announced that he was retiring from the NFL. With career totals of 37 interceptions, 26 sacks, 120 passes defended, 911 tackles and 235 assists, Dawkins stands a great chance to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

17) Cris Carter: 8 Pro Bowls

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    Cris Carter played wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles (1987-1989), Minnesota Vikings (1990-2001) and for the Miami Dolphins in 2002. Carter was elected to eight Pro Bowl games and voted as First-Team All-Pro two times in his career.

    Carter was elected as the First-Team wide receiver for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. During that decade, his accomplishments were:

    He finished second in the decade with 835 receptions that included back-to-back seasons with 122 catches in 1994 and 1995. Three times in the ’90s he led the NFL in TD catches. He finished his 16-season career with 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 TDs.

    As far as getting elected into the Hall of Fame, Carter has been a finalist in each of the last five years, just falling short each year. He is involved in a logjam with Andre Reed and Tim Brown, where the three receivers seem to be cancelling each other out from gaining the final necessary votes required.

16) George Kunz: 8 Pro Bowls

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    George Kunz, tackle for the Atlanta Falcons (1969-1974) and for the Baltimore Colts (1975-1980). Kunz was elected to eight Pro Bowl teams and was named First-Team All-Pro one time in his career.

    In the 1969 draft, Atlanta selected Kunz with the No. 2 overall draft pick. That worked out pretty well, since he was elected to eight Pro Bowls.

15) John Lynch: 9 Pro Bowls

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    John Lynch was a safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-2003) and for the Denver Broncos (2004-2007). Lynch was named to nine Pro Bowl games, as well as First-Team All-Pro two times.

    Lynch was known as a devastating hitter in the secondary, which was easier then do the less-stringent rules on laying out an unprotected receiver. Lynch was part of the strong Bucs defense that led the team to a win in Super Bowl XXXVII.

    In his career, Lynch amassed 13 sacks, 26 interceptions, forced 16 fumbles and recovered nine fumbles. I would be interested to learn how many concussions he doled out over his career.

14) Walt Sweeney: 9 Pro Bowls

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    Walt Sweeney was a guard for the San Diego Chargers from 1963-1973 and for the Washington Redskins from 1974-1975. Sweeney was named to nine Pro Bowl teams and to First-Team All-Pro two times.

    For a detailed look at the Chargers teams back in the mid-to-late 1960s, check out this story on ESPN.com.

     

     

    Photo courtesy of http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837

13) Walter Jones: 9 Pro Bowls

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    Walter Jones, tackle for the Seattle Seahawks from 1997-2008, was elected to nine Pro Bowl teams and was voted First-Team All-Pro four times.

    Jones was elected as a First-Team tackle of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team. According to the article that includes highlights of the All-Decade team, includes the following:

    Jones was named first-team All-NFL at tackle six times in the 2000s and was picked to the second team twice more. He was a big part of the Seahawks offensive line that helped RB Shaun Alexander set a team record 1,880 yards and a then-NFL record 28 total TDs during the 2005 NFL season.

12) Alan Faneca: 9 Pro Bowls

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    During his NFL career, Alan Faneca played both guard and tackle. Faneca was with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1998-2007 and played for the New York Jets from 2008-2009. Faneca was named to nine Pro Bowl teams and to six First-Team All-Pro teams.

    Faneca was named as the First-Team guard for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments in the decade were:


    Faneca has been especially durable and started every regular season game during the decade. He helped anchor lines that helped the Steelers (2001) and the Jets (2009) lead the NFL in rushing. He was named All-NFL first-team six times and second-team twice in the 2000s.

11) Tim Brown: 9 Pro Bowls

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    Tim Brown played wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Raiders from 1988-2003 and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. Brown was elected to nine Pro Bowl games but was never voted in as a First-Team All-Pro during his career. 

    Brown was voted in as the Second-Team wide receiver for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. His accomplishments during that decade included:

    A Heisman Trophy winner, Brown had a spectacular career in the NFL as not only a receiver but an exciting return man. By 1993, Brown started posting huge numbers and did not have a single season with less than 80 catches through the end of the decade. He led the NFL with 104 receptions in 1997. He was named to seven of his nine career Pro Bowls during the decade.

    As for the Hall of Fame, Brown has been a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting for each of the last three years. He is part of a trio of wide receivers (Brown, Andre Reed and Cris Carter) that seem to be creating a logjam. All three are getting enough votes to be a finalist but none of them are getting enough to be enshrined. Hopefully the logjam is broken soon.

10) Jonathan Ogden : 11 Pro Bowls

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    Jonathan Ogden was a tackle for the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-2007. He was elected to 11 Pro Bowl games was voted First-Team All-Pro four times. 

    Ogden was named as the First-Team tackle for the NFL All-Decade team of the 2000s. Here are some of Ogden's highlights:

    Ogden started all 16 games of his rookie season at guard before switching back to his natural left tackle position. He earned eight Pro Bowl bids and was named first-team All-NFL five times in the 2000s. He helped the team to a victory in Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000 NFL season.

9) Derrick Brooks: 11 Pro Bowls

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    Derrick Brooks was a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1995-2008. Brooks was elected to 11 Pro Bowl games and to First-Team All-Pro five times in his career. 

    Brooks was named as the First-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of the accomplishments for Brooks in that decade included:


    Brooks was the complete package at linebacker, equally adept at run coverage as well as dropping back and defending the pass. He was the unquestioned leader of the Bucs’ defense during his career.  Always around the ball, he intercepted an incredible 25 passes during his career, an excellent number for a linebacker.  He was tabbed for 11 career Pro Bowls, all but three occurring in the 2000s decade.

    Brooks ended his career with 1,301 tackles, 414 assists, 25 interceptions, 13.5 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and seven defensive touchdowns.

8) Champ Bailey: 11 Pro Bowls

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    Champ Bailey, cornerback for the Washington Redskins (1999-2003) and for the Denver Broncos (2004-present), has been elected to 11 Pro Bowl games in addition to First-Team All-Pro status three times in his career. 

    Bailey was elected as the First-Team cornerback for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments from that decade included:

    Bailey was one of the most feared cornerback in the NFL during the decade.  Teams routinely avoided throwing into his area.  Despite this, he was able to register 41 interceptions and more than 100 passes defensed during that time.

    So far in his career, Bailey has recorded 50 interceptions, deflected 162 passes and scored on four interception returns. He has also recorded 738 tackles and 91 assists in his career to date.

7) Larry Allen: 11 Pro Bowls

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    Larry Allen was a guard and tackle for the Dallas Cowboys from 1994-2005 and also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2006-2007. Allen was elected to 11 Pro Bowl games, as well as being voted to six First-Team All-Pro teams. 

    Allen was named as the Second-Team guard for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000's. Some of his accomplishments that decade included:

    Allen began the decade at the prime of his career as evidenced by earning first-team All-NFL honors in 2000 and 2001. He also earned six of his 11 career Pro Bowl berths during his eight seasons played in the 2000s.

    Allen was named as the Second-Team guard for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s as well. His accomplishments that decade were:

    Allen earned Pro Bowl honors five times, at tackle and guard, during the 1990s. The former second round pick was integral in the Cowboys’ win in Super Bowl XXX. He earned All-Pro recognition seven straight times in his career including five seasons in the ‘90s.

6) Peyton Manning: 11 Pro Bowls

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    Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts (1998-2011) and the Denver Broncos (2012 - present), has been elected to 11 Pro Bowl games so far in his career, along with five First-Team All-Pro selections.

    Manning has passed for at least 4,000 plus yards in 11 of his 13 active seasons. He is a four-time AP NFL MVP award winner (2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009). Manning has led the NFL in passing yardage twice in his career. Led the NFL in touchdown passes three times in his career. Has thrown 399 career touchdown passes and only thrown 198 interceptions. 

    Even if he never plays another down in the NFL, Manning will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

5) Brett Favre: 11 Pro Bowls

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    Brett Favre played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), Green Bay Packers (1992-2007), New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2009-2010). Favre was elected to 11 Pro Bowl games and was named First-Team All-Pro three times. 

    Favre was named as the Second-Team quarterback for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Some of his accomplishments during that decade included:

    No quarterback in the NFL threw for more touchdowns than Brett Favre in the 1990s as he fired 235 TD passes. He was voted the league’s MVP in 1995, 1996, and 1997 to become the first player in NFL history to be named NFL MVP three times. The highlight of the decade for him came as he guided Green Bay to a victory in Super Bowl XXXI.

    Favre was voted the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, Favre shared the award with Barry Sanders. Favre holds numerous NFL records. Some of the most important ones include being ranked as the No. 1 all-time QB in passing yardage with 65,127 yards. His 464 touchdown passes are also No. 1 all-time in NFL history. Finally, his consecutive game streak of starting at quarterback in 297 games is another record that is equally impressive. 

4) Will Shields: 12 Pro Bowls

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    Will Shields was a guard for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1993-2006. Shields was elected to 12 Pro Bowl games and was voted as First-Team All-Pro twice. 

    Shields was named as the Second-Team guard for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His accomplishments in that decade were: 


    Shields earned a starting spot in the second game of his rookie season and started every one of the next 223 games before he retired after the 2006 season. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after every season he played in the 2000s and continued to earn All-NFL acclaim up until the end of his career. He was named first-team All-Pro in 2002 and 2003 and second-team each season from 2004-06.

     

3) Tony Gonzalez : 12 Pro Bowls

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    Tony Gonzalez, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons. Gonzalez was elected to play in 12 Pro Bowl games and has been elected as Fist-Team All-Pro five times. 

    Gonzalez was elected as the First-Team tight end of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team. Some of his highlights from that entry:

    Gonzalez earned a Pro Bowl spot each season during the 2000s decade except the 2009 season. The leading tight end receiver of the decade, he ranked 7th in receiving yards and 6th in TD catches for the 10-year period. He became the NFL’s all-time leader for catches and TDs by a tight end in 2007 and the all-time receiving yardage among tight ends the following season.


    While there has been speculation that Gonzalez would be retiring, he continues to strap on the helmet in hopes that he can win a Super Bowl ring. You would have to think that time is running out for Gonzalez, but he is still a player that has to be game planned for.

2) Junior Seau: 12 Pro Bowls

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    Junior Seau, linebacker for the San Diego Chargers (1990-2002), Miami Dolphins (2003-2005) and New England Patriots (2006-2009), was elected to play in 12 Pro Bowl games and was named First-Team All-Pro six times. 

    Seau was named as the First-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Some of the things that Seau accomplished that decade included:

    The heart and soul of the Chargers defense, Seau was named to a Pro Bowl nine straight times during the 1990s. He helped lead the Chargers to an AFC championship and an appearance in Super Bowl XXIX. He also was named first-team All-Pro eight times in his career including seven seasons in the ‘90s.

    Seau passed away earlier this year, when he took his own life. Seau wanted his brain to be studied as a way to help the NFL and the medical profession understand how numerous concussions had been wearing on him over the years, causing him much discomfort. Even at the end of his life, Seau was still giving everything he had to give.

1) Ray Lewis: 13 Pro Bowls

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    Ray Lewis tops our list of 90 players, as he is the only player in this elite group that was elected to 13 Pro Bowls. In addition, Lewis has been named as First-Team All-Pro a whopping seven times in his career. Lewis has been the linebacker, heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-present.

    Lewis was named as the First-Team linebacker for the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Some of his accomplishments from that decade include:

    Lewis is one of the most dominant defenders in the history of the NFL. He started the 2000s off in style when he led the Baltimore Ravens to a victory in Super Bowl XXXV.  For his efforts he was awarded the first of two Defensive MVP awards in his career and was also named the Super Bowl MVP.  Five of his eight career All-Pro honors and six of his 10 Pro Bowl nominations have occurred in the decade.

    To date, Lewis has recorded 1,529 tackles, 487 assists, 40.5 sacks, 31 interceptions, (three of which he returned for a touchdown), 80 passes deflected, 18 forced fumbles and 19 fumble recoveries. Where on earth would the Baltimore Ravens be without Ray Lewis?

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