The National Football League's All-Decade Teams have been determined by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee.
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The first decade of the 2000s was highlighted by a number of memorable personal performances by the National Football League’s greatest stars. The 10-year span included Emmitt Smith breaking Walter Payton’s record to become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher; wide receiver Marvin Harrison shattering the single-season reception mark; and Michael Strahan establishing the record for sacks in a season.
As was the case with the previous eight NFL All-Decade Teams, the league called upon the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee to determine the All-Decade Team of the 2000s. The team was announced in late January 2010 in conjunction with Pro Bowl week. Perhaps the biggest debate for the group came with the vote for the quarterback position. In the end, three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady narrowly edged four-time MVP Peyton Manning for the first-team nod.
NFL’S ALL-DECADE TEAM OF THE 2000s
(Years listed through the 2009 NFL season)
Pro Career: 2000-09 New England Patriots
Brady, a sixth-round draft pick taken as the 199th selection in 2000, threw for nearly 31,000 yards and 225 TDs during the decade. He guided the Patriots to seven AFC Eastern Division titles and victories in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX. His finest year of the decade came during his MVP season in 2007 when he fired a NFL record 50 TDs passes.
Pro Career: 1998-2009 Indianapolis Colts
No player threw for more yards and TDs than Manning who finished as the decade’s highest rated passer. He threw for 42,254 yards and 314 TDs during the 10-season span to post a 98.2 passer rating. Voted to nine Pro Bowls in the decade, Manning also earned first-team All-NFL recognition four times and was twice named second-team All-NFL in the 2000s.
College: Texas Christian
Pro Career: 2001-09 San Diego Chargers
“LT” led all NFL runners in the 2000s as he amassed 12,490 yards on the ground and scored a decade-high 138 rushing TDs. He was voted as a first-team All-NFL selection four times and three seasons was named as a second-team All-NFL choice. Tomlinson was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2006 after setting NFL records for TDs (31) and points (186) in a season.
College: Miami (FL)
Pro Career: 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts; 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals; 2009 Seattle Seahawks
Six of his seven career 1,000-yard seasons came in the 2000s. He eclipsed the 1,500 yard mark four times including three times in this decade. He finished second in rushing yards in the 10-year period with 10,693 yards and also scored 67 TDs. He was named to three Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-NFL pick in 2000 and 2004.
Pro Career: 2000, 2002-06 Baltimore Ravens; 2007-09 Cleveland Browns
Lewis rushed for 1,000 yards in a season seven times during the decade. In 2003, he gained 2,066 yards to become the fifth player in NFL history to eclipse the 2,000-yard barrier. He was one of three runners in the decade to eclipse 10,000 yards on the ground. He also found the end zone 58 TDs.
Pro Career: 2000-07 Seattle Seahawks; 2008 Washington Redskins
Alexander reached the 1,000-yard mark in five straight seasons capped by his MVP season in 2005 when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,880 yards while scoring a then-record 27 rushing TDs. He was voted to the Pro Bowl three times and was a first-team All-NFL pick in 2004 and again in 2005.
College: Fresno State
Pro Career: 1993-96 New Orleans Saints; 1997 New York Jets; 1998 Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 1999-2000 Tennessee Titans; 2001-02 Cincinnati Bengals; 2003-07 San Diego Chargers; 2008 Baltimore Ravens
The dominating fullback of the 2000s, Neal was voted to four Pro Bowls and twice named first-team All-NFL during the decade. Primarily used as a blocker, Neal was also a threat as a pass receiver out of the backfield.
Pro Career: 1998-2004 Minnesota Vikings; 2005-06 Oakland Raiders; 2007-09 New England Patriots
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.
Pro Career: 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
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.
Pro Career: 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers; 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles’ 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys; 2009 Buffalo Bills
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).
College: North Carolina State
Pro Career: 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams; 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
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).
NFL’S ALL-DECADE TEAM OF THE 2000s – OFFENSE. LaDainian Tomlinson scored more touchdowns in a decade (153) than any player ever in NFL history.
Pro Career: 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs; 2009 Atlanta Falcons
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.
College: Kent State
Pro Career: 2003-09 San Diego Chargers
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.
College: Florida State
Pro Career: 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks; 2009 – injured
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.
Pro Career: 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens
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.
College: Ohio State
Pro Career: 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams; 2009 Chicago Bears
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.
College: Louisiana Tech
Pro Career: 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints; 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Roaf remained at the top of his game right up to his retirement following the 2005 season. Named to five of his 11 career Pro Bowls in the decade, he earned first-team All-NFL honors in 2000, 2003, 2004, and again 2005.
College: Louisiana State
Pro Career: 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers; 2008-09 New York Jets
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 imes and second-team twice in the 2000s.
Pro Career: 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks; 2006-09 Minnesota Vikings
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.
Pro Career: 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
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.
College: Sonoma State
Pro Career: 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys; 2006–07 San Francisco 49ers
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.
College: Louisiana State
Pro Career: 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks; 1998-2005 New York Jets; 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
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.
Pro Career: 1998-2009 Chicago Bears
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.