Who is the greatest NFL player to ever wear their uniform number? We run down the best of the best, from 00-99.
00 – Jim Otto, C, Oakland (1960-74)
Double Zero was history’s only All-AFL center. That’s right — Otto was named All-AFL in all 10 years of the league’s existence. The last of the original Raiders, Otto participated in nine AFL All-Star Games and in the first three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
1 – Warren Moon, QB, Houston (1984-93), Minnesota (1994-96), Seattle (1997-98), Kansas City (1999-2000)
A nine-time Pro Bowler (and a five-time Grey Cup champion in his six seasons in Canada), Moon threw for 70,553 yards and 435 TDs in 23 seasons as a professional QB. The 1990 Offensive Player of the Year was the first African-American quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2 – Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta (2008-present)
Matty Ice is the biggest star at a little-used number. Ryan was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 and has made three Pro Bowls. He’s led the Falcons to the playoffs four times in his eight seasons and guided Atlanta to the NFC Championship Game in 2012.
3 – Bronko Nagurski, FB, Chicago (1930-37, 1943)
We delve deep into the NFL archives for the greatest No. 3. Nagurski came straight out of central casting for the nascent NFL, combining size, determination and toughness into one terrifying package. He was a three-time NFL champion, a four-time first-team All-Pro and a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
4 – Brett Favre, QB, Atlanta (1991), Green Bay (1992-2007), N.Y. Jets (2008), Minnesota (2009-10)
The game’s ultimate gunslinger, Favre rewrote the NFL record book during 20 remarkable seasons under center. At the time of his retirement, the 11-time Pro Bowler held NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns (since broken). He still holds the records for attempts, completions and consecutive starts, among other milestones.
5 – Paul Hornung, HB/PK, Green Bay (1957-62, 1964-66)
The Golden Boy was one of history’s most versatile players and was a key contributor on four NFL Championship teams. Hornung scored 176 points in only 12 games in 1960 (15 TDs, 15 FG, 41 XP), setting a record that stood until LaDainian Tomlinson broke it in a 16-game season in 2006.
6 – Kevin Butler, K, Chicago (1985-95), Arizona (1996-97)
Not exactly an embarrassment of riches at No. 6, where Butler edges out Jay Cutler. In 11 seasons in Chicago, Butler became the Bears’ all-time leading scorer with 1,116 points (broken by Robbie Gould in 2015). He set a rookie record with 144 points for the legendary 1985 Bears.
7 – John Elway, QB, Denver (1983-98)
The face of the Broncos franchise since 1983, Elway was a nine-time Pro Bowler who capped his career with two Super Bowl wins in his final two seasons. He’s one of only two players to score rushing touchdowns in four different Super Bowls (along with Thurman Thomas).
8 – Steve Young, QB, Tampa Bay (1985-86), San Francisco (1987-99)
Young excelled in one of the most unenviable tasks in sports — replacing a legend, in this case Joe Montana. Young picked up where Joe Cool left off in San Francisco, earning two MVP awards, winning a record six NFL passer rating titles and leading San Francisco to victory in Super Bowl XXIX, in which he threw a record six touchdown passes.
9 – Sonny Jurgensen, QB, Philadephia (1957-63), Washington (1964-74)
Hall of Famer Jurgensen barely nudges out future Hall of Famer Drew Brees on the strength of these comments from Vince Lombardi: “He may be the best the league has ever seen. He’s the best I have ever seen. If we would have had Sonny Jurgensen in Green Bay, we’d have never lost a game.” Jurgensen’s career passer rating (82.6) was among the best of the league’s “deadball” era (pre-1978).
10 – Fran Tarkenton, QB, Minnesota (1961-66), N.Y. Giants (1967-71), Minnesota (1972-78)
Fran the Man was known for his scrambling, and he did amass 3,674 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns on 675 carries. But he was also a prolific passer, piling up 47,003 yards (a record at his retirement) and leading the league in completions in three of his last four seasons.
11 – Norm Van Brocklin, QB, L.A. Rams (1949-57), Philadelphia (1958-60)
The Dutchman still holds the single-game record for passing yards (554), but he was far from a one-hit wonder. Van Brocklin led the NFL in yards per attempt four times in a five-year period, and his 10.1 YPA in 1954 is the fourth-best figure in NFL history.
12 – Tom Brady, QB, New England (2000-present)
A compelling case can be made that Brady is the best player ever at the most important position in team sports. Brady has won 77.1 percent of his career regular-season starts; has won a record 22 playoff games, including a record-tying four Super Bowls; and is in the top five in virtually every meaningful passing category.
13 – Dan Marino, QB, Miami (1983-99)
Marino took the NFL by storm from his rookie season onward and helped transform the league into the pass-happy outfit we enjoy today. He led the NFL in yards and completions in four of his first six seasons, including a 5,084-yard, 48-TD campaign in 1984 that shattered existing single-season records.
14 – Dan Fouts, QB, San Diego (1973-87)
With Fouts at the helm, Air Coryell, the innovative passing offense of coach Don Coryell, truly took flight. Fouts’ Chargers led the league in passing yards an NFL record six consecutive years from 1978 to 1983 and again in 1985 and also led the league in total offense in each of those seasons. Fouts was the first player in history to throw for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.
15 – Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay (1956-71)
Yes, the Packers dynasty was built around a strong ground game, but Starr was far more than a game manager. Starr led the NFL in completion percentage and passer rating four times apiece, and he excelled at protecting the football and limiting turnovers. Oh, and there’s that 9–1 postseason record, with five NFL championships in six years.
16 – Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco (1979-92), Kansas City (1993-94)
Another candidate for greatest of all time, Joe Cool came to epitomize the quarterback position as the league became entrenched as the most popular sport in the country. Montana led the NFL in completion percentage five times and won four Super Bowls, posting an 11-to-0 TD-to-interception ratio in the big game.
17 – Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego (2004-present)
Rivers is underappreciated in his own time, laboring in a relatively small market for a mediocre franchise. But Rivers’ numbers compare favorably to those of any of his peers. He’s thrown for 4,000-plus yards in seven of the last eight seasons and is eighth all-time in passer rating.
18 – Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis (1998-2011), Denver (2012-15)
Only some puzzling postseason struggles prevent Peyton from being a slam-dunk choice as the greatest quarterback in history (although he did win two Super Bowl rings). He’s tops all-time in passing yards (71,940) and TD passes (539), and he made 14 Pro Bowls.
19 – Johnny Unitas, QB, Baltimore (1956-72), San Diego (1973)
Johnny U was the man under center as the NFL came of age. Unitas wasn’t the most physically gifted quarterback, but he was incomparably tough and competitive, as he displayed in the Colts’ 23–17 win over the Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship, aka the Greatest Game Ever Played. Unitas finished with 40,239 passing yards and 290 TD passes.
20 – Barry Sanders, RB, Detroit (1989-98)
Sanders, author of the greatest individual season by a running back in college football history, continued to dominate at the next level, averaging better than 1,500 yards rushing per season with a dazzling combination of quickness and elusiveness. Sanders — like Jim Brown before him — enhanced his legend by retiring at the peak of his powers.
21 – Deion Sanders, CB, Atlanta Falcons (1989-93), San Francisco (1994), Dallas (1995-99), Washington (2000), Baltimore (2004-05)
Arguably the greatest cover corner in history, Sanders was an eight-time Pro Bowler who recorded 53 interceptions (nine of them returned for scores) despite rarely being challenged by opposing quarterbacks. Sanders also excelled as a return man with nine career TDs via kick or punt return.
22 – Emmitt Smith, RB, Dallas (1990-2002), Arizona (2003-04)
The NFL’s all-time rushing leader compiled mind-boggling stats that will likely never be equaled — 4,409 attempts, 18,355 yards, 164 rushing TDs. Smith led the league in rushing yards four times and was part of three Super Bowl-winning Dallas teams.
23 – Troy Vincent, DB, Miami (1992-95), Philadelphia (1996-2003), Buffalo (2004-06), Washington (2006)
Vincent was a five-time Pro Bowler who compiled 47 career interceptions. He was also one of football’s greatest leaders, serving as a team captain for the last 13 seasons of his career. He’s currently the NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
24 – Champ Bailey, CB, Washington (1999-2003), Denver (2004-13)
Bailey spent his 15-year career taking away one side of the field from opposing quarterbacks. He posted 52 career interceptions and forced 25 fumbles, and he was selected to 12 Pro Bowls in his career, the most ever for a cornerback.
25 – Fred Biletnikoff, WR, Oakland (1965-78)
The sure-handed Biletnikoff was a six-time Pro Bowler who moved the sticks for the Oakland Raiders for 14 productive seasons and had 76 career TD catches. The annual award for college football’s top receiver is named in his honor.
26 – Rod Woodson, DB, Pittsburgh (1987-96), San Francisco (1997), Baltimore (1998-2001), Oakland (2002-03)
Woodson can stake a claim as history’s greatest defensive back. His 71 career interceptions rank third all time, and he holds the NFL record for interceptions returned for touchdowns (12). Woodson was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1993 and made 11 Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
27 – Steve Atwater, S, Denver (1989-98), N.Y. Jets (1999)
Atwater is one of the more glaring current omissions from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The hard-hitting safety was nicknamed the “Smiling Assassin” for his bone-rattling hits. He had 1,180 career tackles and 24 interceptions and made eight Pro Bowls.
28 – Marshall Faulk, RB, Indianapolis (1994-98), St. Louis (1999-2005)
Faulk established the blueprint for dual-threat running backs, amassing 19,154 yards from scrimmage and 136 touchdowns. In 1999, playing for the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, he joined Roger Craig as the only players with 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving in a single season, compiling 2,429 yards from scrimmage.
29 – Eric Dickerson, RB, L.A. Rams (1983-87), Indianapolis (1987-91), L.A. Raiders (1992), Atlanta (1993)
Dickerson took the NFL by storm, setting rookie records for rushing attempts (390), yards (1,808) and touchdowns (18). He topped himself the following season with 2,105 rushing yards, an NFL record that still stands. Dickerson, who led the NFL in rushing four times, finished with 13,259 career yards and 96 total touchdowns.
30 – Terrell Davis, RB, Denver (1995-2001)
Davis presents a difficult conundrum for Hall of Fame voters: He had a brilliant career, but it was extremely short —basically four full seasons followed by three injury-shortened ones, leaving him 55th all time in rushing yards. But what a marvel those four seasons were, culminating with 2,008 yards and 23 total TDs for the Super Bowl champs in 1998.
31 – Donnie Shell, S, Pittsburgh (1974-87)
Shell was a rock at the back end of the fabled Steel Curtain defense. He was a Pro Bowler each season from 1978 to 1982, a four-time All-Pro selection, and the Steelers team MVP in 1980. Shell played in 201 games, second-most in Steelers history, and retired as the NFL strong safety career leader in interceptions with 51.
32 – Jim Brown, RB, Cleveland (1957-65)
Arguably the greatest football player in history, Brown led the league in rushing eight times in his brilliant nine-season career, retiring while still in his prime to pursue an acting career. The eight-time first-team All-Pro averaged 5.2 yards per carry and still ranks ninth in NFL history with 12,312 rushing yards and fifth all-time with 106 rushing touchdowns.
33 – Tony Dorsett, RB, Dallas (1977-87), Denver (1988)
The 1977 Heisman Trophy winner earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors on his way to a decorated career that included eight 1,000-yard seasons. He holds an unbreakable record with his 99-yard touchdown jaunt on Monday Night Football in 1982. Dorsett ranks one spot ahead of Brown on the all-time rushing list with 12,739 yards.
34 – Walter Payton, RB, Chicago (1977-87)
Sweetness was the heart and soul of the Bears franchise for 11 seasons, breaking Jim Brown’s NFL rushing record and posting 10 1,000-yard seasons, often while playing for bad teams and running behind porous lines until later in his career. Payton finished with 16,726 rushing yards, second all-time, and 125 total touchdowns.
35 – Aeneas Williams, DB, Phoenix/Arizona (1991-2000), St. Louis (2001-04)
A 2014 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Williams was an eight-time Pro Bowler who finished with 795 tackles, 55 interceptions and nine touchdowns. His 268 fumble return yards are an NFL record. He was also one of the NFL’s true good guys, winning the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award in 1999.
36 – Jerome Bettis, RB, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (1993-95), Pittsburgh (1996-2005)
The Bus rumbled his way to 13,662 career yards (sixth all-time) during a career that was remarkable for its longevity as well as its production. Bettis made six Pro Bowls in a span of 12 seasons and retired following the Steelers’ win in Super Bowl XL.
37 – Doak Walker, RB, Detroit (1950-55)
Walker was a Heisman Trophy winner whose name adorns the annual award for college football’s best running back, but he also had a productive (albeit brief) pro career, earning first-team All-Pro honors five times in his six seasons and helping the Lions to two NFL Championships.
38 – George Rogers, RB, New Orleans (1981-84), Washington (1985-87)
The 1980 Heisman winner proved himself at the next level with a 1,674-yard rookie season for the Saints. Rogers rushed for 7,176 yards with 54 touchdowns in seven seasons, retiring following the Redskins’ win in Super Bowl XXII.
39 – Larry Csonka, RB, Miami (1968-74, 1979), N.Y. Giants (1976-78)
The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champ was punishing and relentless with the football and was arguably the best fullback in NFL history, posting three straight 1,000-yard seasons, remarkable for his position. He rushed for a career-best 1,117 yards for the undefeated 1972 Dolphins.
40 – Gale Sayers, RB, Chicago (1965-71)
The Kansas Comet was possibly the most gifted open-field runner in NFL history but had his career cut short by injuries. Sayers, who led the NFL in TDs as a rookie with 22, was first-team All-Pro in each of the five full seasons of his career (1965-69) and led the NFL in rushing in 1966 and ’69. He’s also the NFL’s career leader in kickoff return average (30.6).
41 – Eugene Robinson, S, Seattle (1985-95), Green Bay (1996-97), Atlanta (1998-99), Carolina (2000)
Robinson was a solid pro who made three Pro Bowls and intercepted 57 passes. He picked off John Elway in the end zone in a losing cause in Super Bowl XXXII as a member of the Packers. As a Falcon, Robinson made unfortunate headlines by being arrested for soliciting a prostitute the night before Super Bowl XXXIII.
42 – Ronnie Lott, DB, San Francisco (1981-90), L.A. Raiders (1991-92), N.Y. Jets (1993-94), Kansas City (1995)
A sledgehammer at the safety position, Lott was a 10-time Pro Bowler, eight-time first-team All-Pro and four-time Super Bowl winner. Lott was known for his thunderous hits but also led the NFL in interceptions twice (1986, ’91). For his career, Lott had 63 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and 17 fumble recoveries.
43 – Troy Polamalu, SS, Pittsburgh (2003-14)
Much like Lott, Polamalu is remembered for delivering devastating blows but was also a prodigious playmaker for the Steelers. Polamalu was a two-time Super Bowl champ and eight-time Pro Bowler and finished with 770 tackles, 32 interceptions and 14 forced fumbles.
44 – John Riggins, RB, N.Y. Jets (1971-75), Washington (1976-79, 1981-85)
Nicknamed “The Diesel” for his relentless battering-ram style, Riggins was the centerpiece of the great Redskins teams of the early 1980s, leading the NFL in rushing TDs in 1983 and 1984. He finished his Hall of Fame career with 11,352 rushing yards and 104 rushing TDs.
45 – Emlen Tunnell, DB, N.Y. Giants (1948-58), Green Bay (1959-61)
The legendary Tunnell, the first African-American player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was a nine-time Pro Bowler and eight-time All-Pro who had 79 career interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and six special teams touchdowns.
46 – Tim McDonald, SS, St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1987-92), San Francisco (1993-99)
McDonald excelled for two franchises, making three Pro Bowls as a Cardinal and three as a 49er. In 191 career games, the reliable McDonald posted 1,263 tackles, 40 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries. He is now the defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills.
47 – Mel Blount, CB, Pittsburgh (1970-83)
One of history’s greatest cornerbacks, Blount blanketed half the field for the Steel Curtain defense for 14 seasons, earning All-Pro recognition six times and gaining a spot on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. He finished with 57 career interceptions.
48 – Daryl Johnston, FB, Dallas (1989-99)
Moose may seem to be an unlikely choice here, but he’s primarily responsible for the existence of a fullback position in the Pro Bowl (and frankly, there aren’t many options at this number). The versatile Johnston had more career receptions (294) than carries (232). He was a key contributor for three Super Bowl-winning teams in Dallas.
49 – Bobby Mitchell, HB/FL, Cleveland (1958-61), Washington (1962-68)
Mitchell was an electric dual-threat, gashing foes for 11 seasons primarily from the flanker position. Mitchell helped integrate the Washington Redskins in 1962, a season in which he led the NFL in receptions (72) and receiving yards (1,384). During a career that produced 83 receiving and rushing scores, Mitchell had a 99-yard TD reception and a 90-yard TD run.
50 – Mike Singletary, LB, Chicago (1981-92)
The heart and soul (and the eyes) of the legendary Bears defenses of the 1980s, Singletary was an eight-time first-team All-Pro and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1985, ’88). For the ’85 Bears, perhaps the best defense ever assembled, Singletary recorded 109 solo tackles, three sacks, three fumble recoveries and 10 defended passes. He recovered two
fumbles in Super Bowl XX.
51 – Dick Butkus, LB, Chicago (1965-73)
Singletary’s predecessor as the embodiment of the Monsters of the Midway, Butkus made eight Pro Bowls in his nine-season career. Despite playing on mostly losing teams, Butkus was perhaps the most feared player in NFL history due to his matchless intensity and aggression. He recovered 27 fumbles in his career and forced countless others. He also intercepted 23 passes and finished his career with 1,020 tackles.
52 – Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore (1996-2012)
Lewis’ numbers speak for themselves: 13 Pro Bowls, 2,055 career tackles, 41.5 sacks, 67 pass deflections, 31 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles, three TDs and a Super Bowl MVP (XXXV). Lewis’ legacy is tarnished by his involvement in an incident that resulted in the murders of two men, but he became something of an elder statesman and spiritual leader late in his career.
53 – Harry Carson, LB, N.Y. Giants (1976-88)
Lawrence Taylor made the headlines, but Carson was the rock at middle linebacker for the great Giants defenses of the 1980s. Carson led the Giants in tackles in five seasons and was a team captain in 10. The nine-time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
54 – Randy White, DT/LB, Dallas (1975-88)
The Manster began his career as a backup linebacker, but after moving to defensive tackle, he blossomed into one of the greatest defensive linemen in NFL history. He was first-team All-Pro every season from 1977-85 and finished with 111 career sacks. He was co-MVP (with Harvey Martin) of Super Bowl XII.
55 – Junior Seau, LB, San Diego (1990--2002), Miami (2003-05), New England (2006-09)
A 10-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowler, Seau was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s, although he had many productive seasons in the 2000s as well. He led the Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX, posting 16 tackles in the 1994 AFC Championship Game while playing with a pinched nerve in his neck. Seau’s suicide at age 43 has brought much attention to the problem of chronic brain injuries among former football players.
56 – Lawrence Taylor, LB, N.Y. Giants (1981-93)
One of the greatest players in history, LT made his reputation as a fearsome pass rusher from his outside linebacker position, finishing his career with 132.5 sacks. Taylor made first-team All-Pro every season from 1981-90, was a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was NFL MVP in the Super Bowl season of 1986.
57 – Rickey Jackson, LB, NEw Orleans (1981-93), San Francisco (1994-95)
Jackson was a Saints legend who made six Pro Bowls during his 13 seasons in New Orleans and left with a number of club records. He had double-digit sacks in six different seasons and led the NFL in fumble recoveries in 1990 and 1991. He also won a Super Bowl ring in San Francisco.
58 – Jack Lambert, LB, Pittsburgh (1974-84)
Lambert was the heart of the Steel Curtain defenses of the Pittsburgh dynasty of the late 1970s. The gap-toothed Lambert specialized in intimidation but was also effective against the pass, with 28 career interceptions. He was NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976.
59 – Jack Ham, LB, Pittsburgh (1971-82)
The gifted, instinctive Ham was one of the greatest big-play linebackers of all time. His 53 takeaways (32 interceptions, 21 fumble recoveries) are the most by a non-defensive back. Ham was on four Super Bowl-winning teams in his 12-year career.
60 – Chuck Bednarik, LB/C, Philadelphia (1949-62)
Concrete Charlie was the last full-time two-way player in the NFL, missing only three games in his 14 seasons as a rock at linebacker and center for the Eagles. A 10-time All-Pro selection, Bednarik knocked Giants running back Frank Gifford out of football for 18 months with one of the most famous tackles in NFL history. He was part of two NFL Championship teams (1949, ’60).
61 – Nate Newton, G, Dallas (1986-98), Carolina (1999)
Newton was one of the best guards in the NFL for more than a decade and was a key component of the Dallas dynasty of the early 1990s, opening holes for running back Emmitt Smith and protecting quarterback Troy Aikman. Newton was a six-time Pro Bowler, tied for second most among Cowboys offensive linemen behind only teammate Larry Allen (10).
62 – Jim Langer, C/G, Miami (1970-79), Minnesota (1980-81)
Langer is one of only three Dolphins (joining Dan Marino and Paul Warfield) to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. One of the greatest centers of all time, Langer became the starter during the Dolphins’ undefeated 1972 season and was All-Pro four seasons in a row (1974-77). He played in three Super Bowls with the Dolphins, winning two.
63 – Gene Upshaw, G, Oakland (1967-81)
A mainstay at guard on some great Raiders teams, Upshaw is the only player in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl in three different decades for the same franchise. Upshaw and tackle Art Shell formed a legendary left side of a dominant offensive line. The six-time Pro Bowler went on to head the NFL Players Association.
64 – Randall McDaniel, G, Minnesota (1988-99), Tampa Bay (2000-01)
The reliable, durable, versatile Hall of Famer started 202 consecutive games for the Vikings and also started 12 consecutive Pro Bowls. With the Bucs, he even became the oldest player to score his first touchdown reception, at 36 years, 282 days.
65 – Gary Zimmerman, T, Minnesota (1986--92), Denver (1993-97)
Zimmerman is one of four Pro Football Hall of Fame players who began their careers in the USFL, joining Reggie White, Steve Young and Jim Kelly. The seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro was an offensive line stalwart for two different franchises, helping the Broncos to their first Super Bowl win in the last season of his career in a game in which the Broncos rushed for 179 yards.
66 – Ray Nitschke, LB, Green Bay (1958-72)
One of the greatest linebackers in history, Nitschke was the defensive anchor for the classic Vince Lombardi teams of the 1960s. Nitschke had 25 career interceptions and was a key member of five NFL Championship teams. He earned MVP honors for the 1962 NFL Championship game after two fumble recoveries. He also had a role in the 1974 comedy classic “The Longest Yard.”
67 – Kent Hull, C, Buffalo (1986-96)
Hull began his career with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, blocking for Herschel Walker for three record-setting seasons. He then became a mainstay at center for the Bills, playing in four straight Super Bowls and three Pro Bowls and earning a spot on the Bills’ 50th anniversary All-Time Team.
68 – Will Shields, G, Kansas City (1993-2006)
Shields never missed a game in 14 seasons for the Chiefs and failed to start only one — the first game of his rookie season. He blocked for Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson during a career that earned him enshrinement in Canton.
69 – Jared Allen, DE, Kansas City (2004-07), Minnesota (2008-13), Chicago (2014-15), Carolina (2015)
One of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history, Allen finished his 12-year career with 136 quarterback sacks and set an NFL record with 11 consecutive games with at least one sack. He also shares the NFL record with four career safeties.
70 – Jim Marshall, DE, Cleveland (1960), Minnesota (1961-79)
Sadly, Marshall is remembered for running the wrong way with a fumble, resulting in a safety, but he was one of the greatest players in Vikings history. He recovered an NFL-record 30 opponent fumbles and was credited with 127 sacks. He was also the NFL’s original iron man, playing in 282 consecutive games. Vikings coach Bud Grant called him the greatest player he ever coached.
71 – Walter Jones, T, Seattle (1997-2009)
One of the greatest offensive tackles in NFL history, Jones was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team. In more than 5,500 passing plays during his career in Seattle, Jones gave up a total of only 23 quarterback sacks and was penalized for holding just nine times. In 2004, John Madden referred to Jones as the best player in the NFL.
72 – Dan Dierdorf, T, St. Louis Cardinals (1971-83)
Dierdorf is known by today’s fans as a broadcaster, but he had a stellar 13-year career as one of the NFL’s best offensive tackles. Dierdorf was a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro, and he was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1970s. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
73 – John Hannah, G, New England (1973-85)
Bear Bryant called Hannah the greatest lineman he ever coached, and Hog carried that level of excellence from college to the NFL. Hannah was named All-Pro every season from 1976 until his retirement following the 1985 season. He was on the cover of a 1981 issue of Sports Illustrated with the tagline “The Best Offensive Lineman of All Time.”
74 – Bruce Matthews, OL, Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans (1983-2001)
The incredibly durable Matthews played for 19 seasons and blocked for both Earl Campbell and Eddie George. He holds the NFL record for games played by a lineman with 296. Matthews made 14 Pro Bowls, tying an NFL record held by another legend to wear No. 74, Merlin Olsen.
75 – Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh (1969-81)
Mean Joe was the cornerstone of the Steel Curtain defenses of the 1970s and was one of the greatest defensive linemen in NFL history. In Super Bowl IX, Greene became the first player ever to record an interception, a forced fumble and fumble recovery in a single Super Bowl. A 10-time Pro Bowler, Greene finished with 78.5 career sacks.
76 – Orlando Pace, T, St. Louis Rams (1997-2008), Chicago (2009)
This NFL Hall of Famer was no less important to the Greatest Show on Turf than Kurt Warner or Marshall Faulk. Pace made seven consecutive Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s. He blocked for three straight NFL MVPs (the aforementioned Warner and Faulk).
77 – Willie Roaf, T, New Orleans (1993-2001), Kansas City (2002-05)
The man they called Nasty made 11 Pro Bowls in his 13-year career and was on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for both the 1990s and 2000s. A testament to his athleticism: Roaf considered playing basketball at Louisiana Tech before focusing solely on football and becoming one of the greatest tackles in NFL history.
78 – Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo (1985-99), Washington (2000-03)
Arguably the greatest pass rusher in NFL history, Smith amassed some amazing numbers in his 19-year career: 200 sacks (an NFL record), two interceptions, 46 forced fumbles, 15 fumble recoveries and a touchdown. A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1990, ’96), Smith made 11 Pro Bowls and was a nine-time first-team All-Pro selection.
79 – Ray Childress, DT, Houston Oilers (1985-95), Dallas (1996)
One of the more popular players in Oilers/Titans history, Childress made five Pro Bowls — one at defensive end and four at defensive tackle. Childress had 13 multi-sack games in his career, and he shares the NFL record for fumble recoveries in a single game with three.
80 – Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco (1985-2000), Oakland (2001-04), Seattle (2004)
The numbers boggle the mind: 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards, 197 receiving touchdowns, 208 total touchdowns, 23,546 all-purpose yards — these are only a few of the 100-plus NFL records held by the GOAT. Rice was a 13-time Pro Bowler, three-time Super Bowl champion and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIII.
81 – Tim Brown, WR, L.A./Oakland Raiders (1988-2003), Tampa Bay (2004)
A Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame, Brown was one of the most prolific receivers in NFL history and one of the greatest Raiders of all time. Brown was a nine-time Pro Bowler who finished with 1,094 catches for 14,934 yards and 105 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
82 – Ozzie Newsome, TE, Cleveland (1978-90)
Newsome set a standard of durability and excellence for tight ends that still stands. He never missed a game in his 13-year Browns career, finishing with 662 receptions for 7,980 yards, both franchise records. The Hall of Famer then embarked on a successful front-office career with the Browns and Ravens.
83 – Andre Reed, WR, Buffalo (1985-99), Washington (2000)
A standout on four Super Bowl teams in Buffalo, Reed is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, finishing his career with 951 receptions, 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns — numbers that earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He had 27 receptions in Super Bowls, second only to Jerry Rice’s 33.
84 – Randy Moss, WR, Minnesota (1998-2004), Oakland (2005-06), New England (2007-10), Minnesota (2010), Tennessee (2010), San Francisco (2012)
Moss may be the most talented receiver in history. He holds the NFL single-season touchdown reception record (23 in 2007), the single-season touchdown reception record for a rookie (17 in 1998), and is second on the NFL all-time regular season touchdown reception list with 156.
85 – Jack Youngblood, DE, L.A. Rams (1971-84)
Youngblood’s legend was secured when he played Super Bowl XIV on a fractured fibula, but he was a great player throughout his 14-year career for the Rams. Youngblood was credited with 151.5 career sacks, was a seven-time Pro Bowler, and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1975 and ’76.
86 – Buck Buchanan, DT, Kansas City, (1963-75)
The Grambling product was a Chiefs legend and one of the greatest players in AFL history. Buchanan was a key factor in Kansas City’s 23–7 win over Minnesota in Super Bowl IV, dominating All-Pro center Mick Tingelhoff. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
87 – Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis (2001-14)
Wayne’s tenure in Indy overlapped with Peyton Manning’s, resulting in some huge numbers for the former Miami Hurricane. Wayne caught 67 touchdown passes from Manning (second only to Marvin Harrison’s 113). The six-time Pro Bowler finished with 1,070 receptions for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns.
88 – Alan Page, DT, Minnesota (1967-78), Chicago (1978-81)
Page was one of the greatest defensive linemen ever to play the game. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler, six-time first-team All-Pro and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was NFL MVP in 1971, the only defensive lineman to be so honored (and one of only two defensive players ever to earn the award). After his retirement, he embarked on a distinguished legal career that included 22 years on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
89 – Mike Ditka, TE, Chicago (1961-66), Philadelphia (1967-68), Dallas (1969-72)
One of history’s greatest tight ends, Iron Mike was a five-time first-team All-Pro who finished with 427 receptions for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns. He was a key member of the Bears’ 1963 NFL Championship team and won a Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys before coaching the legendary 1985 Bears to a win in Super Bowl XX.
90 – Julius Peppers, DE/OLB, Carolina (2002-09), Chicago (2010-13), Green Bay (2014-present)
The future Hall of Famer has been one of the elite defensive players of the 2000s. Through Week 9 of the 2016 season, Peppers has 139.5 career sacks, 72 pass deflections, 46 forced fumbles and six touchdowns. He’s a nine-time Pro Bowler and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.
91 – Kevin Greene, LB/DE, L.A. Rams (1985-92), Pittsburgh (1993-95), Carolina (1996), San Francisco (1997), Carolina (1998-99)
One of the game’s great sackmasters, Greene retired following a 12-sack season in 1999, finishing his Hall of Fame career with 160 sacks, third all time behind Bruce Smith and Reggie White. The 1996 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Greene led his team in sacks 11 times in his 15 seasons.
92 – Reggie White, DT/DE, Philadelphia (1985-92), Green Bay (1993-98), Carolina (2000)
The late, great Minister of Defense set the standard for NFL defensive linemen. A 13-time Pro Bowler and 10-time first-team All-Pro, White was also a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1987, ’98). His 198 sacks are second all time, and his nine consecutive seasons with at least 10 sacks are an NFL record.
93 – John Randle, DT, Minnesota (1999-2000), Seattle (2001-03)
No less an authority than Brett Favre called the Texas A&M-Kingsville product the toughest defender he ever faced. A six-time All-Pro, Randle finished his Hall of Fame career with 137.5 sacks, a remarkable number for an interior lineman. He led the NFL in sacks in 1997 with 15.5.
94 – DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas (2005-13), Denver (2014-present)
Ware has been among the most dominant and disruptive defenders in the game for more than a decade. Through Week 9 of the 2016 season, Ware has 136.5 career sacks, 35 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and three touchdowns. He is a nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro.
95 – Richard Dent, DE, Chicago (1983-93), San Francisco (1994), Chicago (1995), Indianapolis (1995), Philadelphia (1997)
Dent was a stalwart on the 1985 Bears defense, arguably the greatest in history, and was MVP of Chicago’s 46–10 over New England in Super Bowl XX. He finished his career with 137.5 sacks, eight interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries, numbers that earned him enshinement in Canton.
96 – Cortez Kennedy, DT, Seattle (1990-2000)
The Tez was an eight-time Pro Bowler who had one of the great seasons by a defensive tackle in 1992 for the 2–14 Seahawks, posting 14 sacks and earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Hall of Famer had 668 tackles in 167 games with Seattle.
97 – Simeon Rice, DE, Arizona (1996-2000), Tampa Bay (2001-06), Denver (2007), Indianapolis (2007)
In a sterling 12-year NFL career, Rice recorded 122 sacks, forced 25 fumbles, recovered eight fumbles and intercepted five passes. Rice had five tackles and two sacks in Tampa Bay’s win in Super Bowl XXXVII after posting 15.5 sacks for the 2002 season, including 11 in a five-game span. He was the second-fastest to 100 sacks, behind only Reggie White.
98 – Jessie Armstead, LB, N.Y. Giants (1993-2001), Washington (2002-03)
The talented Miami Hurricane had a great career with the Giants, earning five consecutive Pro Bowls (1997-2001). A member of the Giants’ Ring of Honor, Armstead finished his career with 967 tackles, 40 sacks and 12 interceptions.
99 – Warren Sapp, DT, Tampa Bay (1995-2003), Oakland (2004-07)
The outspoken Sapp backed up his boasts throughout a stellar 13-year career. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1999. The anchor of some imposing Tampa Bay defenses, Sapp finished with 96.5 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries and four interceptions.