Why Herman Moore Should Replace Michael Irvin on 1990s All-Decade Team

Marcus McGrawContributor IJune 28, 2009

12 Nov 2000:  Detroit Lions'' receiver Herman Moore #84 makes a long fourth quarter reception that resulted in a game tying field goal against the Atlanta Falcons at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. The Lions won the game 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Tom Pidgeon/Allsport

Many people judge players only by how much they win, or how many Super Bowl rings they have.

And that is a big mistake.

To truly evaluate someone and compare them to another player, one must first look at their stats, as well as their surroundings and the characteristics that make a good player at that position.  At the wide-receiver position, the player must have a good combination of size and speed, as well as the ability to come through in the clutch.  

Wide receivers must also have the ability to come over the middle of the field and withstand hits by the defensive backs, and they must have good hands and be able to consistently catch a good number of passes every week of the season.

A good receiver must be able to use their size/speed every week of the season, especially when their team needs it the most.

And that is where the distinction between receivers such as Michael Irvin and Herman Moore comes in.

Michael Irvin is remembered for being part of the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s that won three Super Bowls in '92, '93, and '95.  He was a big receiver that was known for never being called for offensive pass interference, and made five Pro Bowls from 1991-1995. 

He also made first team All-Pro in 1991 and second team All-Pro in 1992 and 1993. However, he only posted 100 receptions more than once, in 1995, and the year after, his career basically fell off a cliff.

Herman Moore played for in Detroit, a team that only won one playoff game during the 1990s, but he was a big part of the six playoff teams in '91, '93, '94, '95, '97, and '99.

His years from 1993-1998 were his best, as he was selected to four Pro Bowls from 94-97. He also earned second team All-Pro honors in 1994 and first team All-Pro from 1995-1997.

In 1995, Moore set an NFL record with 123 catches, and teammate Brett Perriman also caught 108.  When you have teammates constantly distracting attention from you (Barry Sanders, Brett Perriman, Scott Mitchell) and you still manage to post a new NFL record, that's pretty impressive. 

He also led the league in receptions in 1997 and became the second person, other than Jerry Rice, to have three straight 100-catch seasons, from 1995-1997.

Michael Irvin wasn't nearly as productive as perceived.  Even though he had a "Hall of Fame quarterback" in Troy Aikman, he only had one season where he caught more than 100 passes, and he got away with pass interference all the time.

The Cowboys weren't the same after 1995, and neither was Irvin.  He wasn't as productive as he had been during the glory days of the Trio.

Herman Moore was one of those players that had a great combination of size and speed. He was 6'4" and could use his size in any way, but he also had the breakaway speed of Jerry Rice.  Moore could break tackles and run after the catch, and he consistently caught passes over the middle.

Another reason Herman Moore should be on the All-Decade Team of the 1990s is because so many players have gotten onto an All-Decade Team, despite only having three or four good years.  Terrell Davis was only a star running back from 1996-1998, but he still managed to claim a spot on the 90's All-Decade team. 

Jerry Rice only had four good years in the '80s (1986-1989), but still managed to grab a spot on the '80s All-Decade team.  Jack Lambert only played during the early '80s, and only had four good years (1980-1983), but still earned a spot on the '80s All-Decade team.

Moore had a span of six good years from '93 to '98, even when he was fighting age and injuries later in his career.

Herman Moore established himself as one of the top receivers in the league from 1993-1998, and although injuries limited his career after that, he still managed to be a respectable member of the Lions in his later years. 

He helped turn the Lions into a playoff team during the '90s and made Scott Mitchell a respectable quarterback.  Despite having Barry Sanders to detract attention from him, he still managed to post over 100 catches three seasons, only one of two players to do so.

In conclusion, Herman Moore would make a better choice for the 1990s All-Decade team due to the fact that Moore had more All-Pros, better stats during his prime, and played on a mediocre team, while Irvin played on the Cowboys during the dynasty days.