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 popularity of professional football exploded across the country during the 1960s with great expansion occurring throughout the decade. By 1965, a Harris Poll determined that pro football was this nation’s favorite sport. It has remained that way ever since.
The decade began with the birth of a rival league, the American Football League and ended with the two leagues coming together following a merger agreement that was signed in the summer of 1966. That deal brought about the Super Bowl, a joint draft, and ultimately a merged league starting in 1970. It also brought about the naming of not only annual All-AFL and All-NFL teams but an overall “All-Pro” team for the last three seasons of the 1960s.
When it came time for the All-Decade Team, the AFL named its All-Time team (see 50 Years After below) using members of the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee who represented each of the AFL's clubs cities.
The entire Hall of Fame Selection Committee picked the All-Decade Team of the 1960s that included five players who had been named by the same committee a year earlier to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
50 Years After
Throughout the 2009 NFL Season, Profootballhof.com profiled the American Football League in an online exhibit called 50 Years After. The features were part of the AFL’s 50th Anniversary Season celebration. Included in the special section was a rundown on the AFL's All-Time Team - OFFENSE | DEFENSE
NFL's ALL-DECADE TEAM OF THE 1960s
Pro Career: 1957-1960 Los Angeles Rams, 1961-67 New York Giants
Shofner was the Rams first round pick in the 1957 draft. In only his second season, he led the NFL in receiving yards. In 1961 he was traded to New York and became the first player in Giants history to have a 1,000 yards receiving in a season, the first of three straight seasons he reached the milestone.
College: Arizona State
Pro Career: 1964-1975, 1977 Washington Redskins. HOF: 1984
Taylor, a first round pick in the 1964 NFL Draft, took the league by storm when he rushed for 755 yards and had 814 yards receiving as a rookie. By 1966 he moved to receiver permanently and led the NFL in receptions twice. He retired as the league’s all-time leading receiver with 649 catches for 9,110 yards, 79 TDs.
Pro Career: 1962-1971 Cleveland Browns
Collins, who stood 6’5” and 215 pounds, was one of the largest receivers of his era. Not only one of the league’s elite receivers who led the NFL in receiving TDs in 1963, but Collins also led the NFL in punting average in 1965. A three-time first- or second team all-league selection, Collins caught three TDs in the Browns’ 1964 NFL championship win.
Pro Career: 1959-1969 Green Bay Packers, 1971 Washington Redskins
Dowler towered over opposing defenders during his playing career. Standing at 6’5”, the third round pick in the 1959 draft registered more than 500 yards receiving in nine of his 12 seasons. He was a vital contributor to a Packers team that captured five league championships during the 1960s.
Pro Career: 1963-1971 Baltimore Colts, 1972 San Diego Chargers. HOF: 1992
Mackey is often considered to be the prototype of the modern tight end. He was a strong blocker who also had breakaway speed and the ability to break a tackle. Mackey was selected to the first of his five Pro Bowls following his rookie year and missed only one game in ten years. He caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs in his career.
Pro Career: 1964-68 Philadelphia Eagles, 1969-1970 Los Angeles Rams, 1971-73 Oakland Raiders. HOF: 2004
When Bob Brown was once asked about his playing style, he stated “I’m about as subtle as a sixteen-pound sledgehammer.” He could not have been more accurate. Appropriately nicknamed “Boomer,” he was an All-NFL selection seven times, was chosen to six Pro Bowls and was named NFL/NFC offensive Lineman of the Year three times during his career.
College: Southern Methodist
Pro Career: 1956, 1958-1970 Green Bay Packers, 1971 Dallas Cowboys. HOF: 1977
Gregg was one of most dominant and durable lineman of his era. Not only did he earn an “ironman” tag by playing in a then-record 188 consecutive game, but he was an All-NFL selection eight straight years and a nine-time Pro Bowl pick. Perhaps the greatest compliment to Gregg is that he was referred by legendary coach Vince Lombardi as the best player he ever had.
Pro Career: 1965-1977 Dallas Cowboys
Neely, a two-time All-America selection at Oklahoma, found instant playing time with the Cowboys as a first-year starter at right tackle. After earning All-Rookie honors, Neely went on to earn first- or- second team All-NFL the next four years. After a switch to left tackle in 1970, Neely continued to be one of the NFL’s premier lineman.
Pro Career: 1958-1973 Cleveland Browns. HOF: 2007
Hickerson, who was voted to six consecutive Pro Bowls and five consecutive All-NFL squads, was the anchor of a very solid Browns offensive line for many years. His superior speed made him most adept at leading the famed power sweeps that Cleveland often employed. As such, he served as the lead blocker for three Hall of Fame running backs and the NFL’s leading rusher seven times.
Pro Career: 1958-1968 Green Bay Packers
Jerry Kramer may have been one of the toughest players to ever wear a uniform in the NFL. Nicknamed the “Zipper” because he had so many stitches, he endured 22 operations during his career to continue to play football. It was worth it as he was an All-NFL pick five times and served as the lead blocker in the Packers’ famed Green Bay sweep.
College: Michigan State; Hillsdale
Pro Career: 1964-69 San Francisco 49ers; 1969-1970 Chicago Bears
Mudd wasn’t flashy but he got the job done during his career. He had been discovered by the 49ers by accident while the team was scouting another player at a college game. San Francisco proceeded to use its ninth round pick on Mudd in 1964. He was twice an All-NFL selection and a three-time Pro Bowl pick before injuries cut his career short.
Pro Career: 1953-1963 Green Bay Packers, 1964-67 Philadelphia Eagles. HOF: 1981
Ringo was an all All-NFL selection seven times during his career and a noted leader well before the Packers began dominating the league in the 1960s. He was a rare lineman who did not benefit from tremendous size; he never weighed more than 235 pounds. He relied on quickness and his tremendous football instinct and knowledge to dominate his opponents.
Pro Career: 1957-1963 Philadelphia Eagles, 1964-1974 Washington Redskins. HOF: 1983
Jurgensen was widely recognized as the best pure passer of his time. A classic drop-back quarterback, he was known for his ability to deliver the ball with pinpoint accuracy while under a heavy pass rush. Jurgensen threw for a career total of 32,224 and 255 TDs and captured three individual passing titles.
Pro Career: 1956-1971 Green Bay Packers. HOF: 1977
Starr, a 17th round pick of the Packers in 1956, led his team to six divisional, five NFL championships, and two Super Bowl victories during the 1960s. Known as a strong team leader, Starr was an efficient signal-caller. He led the NFL in passing three times during his career and was the league's MVP in 1966.
Pro Career: 1956-1972 Baltimore Colts, 1973 San Diego Chargers. HOF: 1979
Unitas is regarded by many to be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. He helped propel the NFL into becoming the nation’s most popular sports league when he led the Colts to a thrilling overtime victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship Game. Johnny U. holds one of the NFL’s greatest records and perhaps most unbreakable with his streak of 47 consecutive games in which he threw a touchdown pass.
JOHN DAVID CROW
College: Texas A&M
Pro Career: 1958-1964 Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals, 1965-68 San Francisco 49ers
Crow, the 1957 Heisman Trophy winner, was the Chicago Cardinals first round pick in the 1958 NFL Draft. He quickly emerged as one of the most versatile backs in the league as he was almost as effective on the receiving end as he was running the ball. The four-time Pro Bowl selection logged 4,963 yards rushing and 3,699 yards receiving during his career.
College: Notre Dame
Pro Career: 1957-1962, 1964-66 Green Bay Packers. HOF: 1986
Horning arrived in Green Bay as a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in 1957. It wasn’t until Vince Lombardi showed up on the scene and moved him permanently to halfback that Hornung turned into one of the league’s superstars. In nine seasons he scored 760 points, ran for 3,711 yards and added 1,480 receiving yards. In 1960 he scored a then-NFL record 176 points to earn the NFL’s MVP award, an honor he repeated in 1961.
College: Morgan State
Pro Career: 1964-1973 Cleveland Browns. HOF: 1994
Kelly established himself as one of the most feared ball carriers in the history of the NFL during his 10-season career. He rushed for 7,274 yards and added 2,281 yards on 190 receptions. Kelly also excelled as a punt and kickoff returner. He finished his career with more than 12,000 combined net yeards.
Pro Career: 1965-1971 Chicago Bears. HOF: 1977
In just seven seasons, Sayers dazzled the world of pro football more than any player had before. His talent as a runner, kick returner and receiver was immeasurable. A constant threat to score every time he touched the ball, he holds the NFL record for most touchdowns in a game with six. Serious knee injuries cut his brilliant career short.
Pro Career: 1957-1965 Cleveland Browns. HOF: 1971
Arguably the greatest running back in the history of the NFL, Brown held virtually every rushing record in the book at the end of his nine-year career. He led the NFL in rushing eight times and rushed for a total of 12,312 yards and 106 TDs in his career. He topped the 100-yard mark 58 times in his career and surpassed 200 yards four times.
College: Louisiana State
Pro Career: 1958-1966 Green Bay Packers, 1967 New Orleans Saints. HOF: 1976
Taylor amassed 8,597 yards rushing, caught 225 passes and scored a total of 558 points during his 10-year career. A hard-nosed runner, Taylor was also a rugged blocker who bought into the Lombardi system very well. He had five straight years in which he surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark.
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Pro Career: 1962-1978 St. Louis Cardinals
Bakken was one of the most consistent kickers of his era. Eight times during his 17-year career he converted at least 20 field goals. Bakken surpassed the 100-point mark three times during his career and led the NFL in scoring in 1967. In all Bakken registered 1,380 points on 282 field goals and 534 extra points.