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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Once again, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee was asked to come up with a Team of the Decade. This time around, it was clearly stated in the criteria that only a player’s performance during the 1990s could be taken into consideration. The team was announced in late July of 2000 as the NFL prepared for its upcoming 81st season.
Five players received unanimous selection with a vote from each of the Committee’s selectors. They were: guard Bruce Matthews, wide receiver Jerry Rice, running back Barry Sanders, and defensive ends Bruce Smith and Reggie White.
Two players were placed on the team at two different positions. Deion Sanders was named to the first-team at both cornerback and punt returner. Return specialist Mel Gray was voted to the second team at both punt returner and kickoff returner.
A total of eight players on the 1990s team were also selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1980s. The group included Rice, Smith, White, along with kickers Morten Andersen and Gary Anderson, punter Sean Landeta, tackle Gary Zimmerman, and safety Ronnie Lott.
NFL’S ALL-DECADE TEAM OF THE 1990s
College: Ohio State
Pro Career: 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
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.
College: Mississippi Valley State
Pro Career: 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders; 2004 Seattle Seahawks. HOF: 2010
Rice’s most memorable season of his 20-year career came in 1995 when he set the NFL record for receiving yardage in a season with 1,848 yards. In all, he had 860 catches during the ‘90s and led the NFL in receptions twice and receiving yardage four times during the decade. By the time he retired, Rice had accumulated a remarkable 1,549 career catches.
College: Notre Dame
Pro Career: 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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.
College: Miami (FL)
Pro Career: 1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys. HOF: 2007
As Irvin developed into one of the NFL’s best, the Cowboys soon followed suit. He won the NFL reception title in 1991 when he recorded 93 receptions for 1,523 yards. It marked the first of seven times he had 1,000 yards in a season over an eight-year span. The best season of his Hall of Fame career came in 1995 when he had career highs of 111 receptions for 1,603 yards, and 10 TDs.
College: Savannah State
Pro Career: 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Sharpe was named a consensus All-Pro pick four times also was elected to play in seven of his eight career Pro Bowls during the 1990s. No tight end caught more than the 552 balls he did during the decade that included three seasons with 80 or more catches during a four-year span.
College: Livingstone College
Pro Career: 1991-1999 New England Patriots, 2000 Baltimore Ravens
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.
College: Louisiana Tech
Pro Career: 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints; 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Roaf was named to six straight Pro Bowls during the decade. He had great speed and quickness that helped him develop into one the premier tackles in the NFL. He earned a starting spot at RT as a rookie before he was moved to the left side in his second season. He had a string of 57 consecutive starts that spanned from his rookie season through the ninth week of the 1996 season.
Pro Career: 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings; 1993-97 Denver Broncos. HOF: 2008
After beginning his NFL career with the Vikings, Zimmerman was traded to Denver early in the decade. He was integral part of an offensive line that helped the Broncos lead the AFC in total yards in his final three seasons including the entire NFL in 1996 and 1997. He capped his Hall of Fame career with the Broncos’ win in Super Bowl XXXII.
College: Southern California
Pro Career: 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
Boselli was the first ever draft pick by the expansion Jaguars in 1995. He developed into one of the NFL’s top tackles and was named a unanimous All-Pro in 1997, 1998, and 1999. He also was voted to five straight Pro Bowls, all but one were in the 1990s. He helped turn the Jaguars into winners in a short period of time as the club won back-to-back AFC Central Division titles to close out the 1990s.
College: Texas A&M
Pro Career: 1990-2000 Miami Dolphins, 2001-2002 Cincinnati Bengals
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.
College: Southern California
Pro Career: 1983-2001 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans. HOF: 2007
Matthews played in every game for the Oilers/Titans in this decade and earned a Pro Bowl nod each season. A versatile player, Matthews played all five positions on the offensive line during his Hall of Fame career but had his most starts at guard. He earned first-team All-Pro honors nine times including six times – three at center and three as a guard – in the 1990s.
College: Arizona State
Pro Career: 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings; 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. HOF: 2009
McDaniel instantly became a vital cog to the Vikings high-powered offense as he earned All-Rookie honors in 1988 and developed into one of the finest guards to play the game. He played in all 160 games for the Vikings during the 1990s and was selected to the Pro Bowl all 10 seasons during the decade.
College: Butte (CA) Junior College; Sonoma State
Pro Career: 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys; 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers
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.
College: Penn State
Pro Career: 1989-2001 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders
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.
Pro Career: 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
He began his career at right guard before he was moved to the starting center position in his second season. He quickly became the premier center in the NFL as evidenced by his seven straight Pro Bowl nominations from 1993-99 and his six consecutive All-Pro nods from 1993 to 1998.
Pro Career: 1989-1994, 1999-2001 Dallas Cowboys, 1995-1998 Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans
He played at both center and guard during his 13-year career but earned his most accolades as a center. He was named first-team All-Pro in 1992 and also was named All-NFC three straight years from 1992 to 1994. A five-time Pro Bowler, he was part of the Cowboys back-to-back championship teams in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.
Pro Career: 1983-1998 Denver Broncos. HOF: 2004
Elway’s spectacular career ended in storybook fashion with two straight Super Bowl championships. He was the second player in history to throw for 50,000 yards in a career. He had 30,280 of those yards during the 1990s.
College: Southern Mississippi
Pro Career: 1991 Atlanta Falcons; 1992-2007 Green Bay Packers; 2008 New York Jets; 2009 Minnesota Vikings
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.
College: Oklahoma State
Pro Career: 1989-1998 Detroit Lions. HOF: 2004
Sanders became the first player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in his first 10 seasons in the NFL. He also became the first runner ever to record four straight 1,500-yards seasons when he accomplished the feat from 1994 to 1997. He was named the league’s co-MVP in 1997 after he rushed for 2,053 yards.
Pro Career: 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals. HOF: 2010
Smith, the Cowboys No. 1 pick in 1990, narrowly missed the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie before earning his first of four rushing titles in the 1990s his second season. He added rushing crowns in 1992, 1993, and 1995 as he led the Cowboys to victories in Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX. He was named first-team All-Pro each year from 1992 to 1995 and was named the NFL’s MVP in 1993.
College: Long Beach State; Georgia
Pro Career: 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
A sixth-round pick in 1995, Terrell Davis quickly made a splash onto the NFL scene before injuries cut his career short. He improved his rushing total in each of his first four seasons marked by three straight 1,500-yard efforts in 1996, 1997, and 1998. In his fourth year, in 1998, he eclipsed the 2,000 yard-mark while scoring a career-high and league-leading 21 TDs and was named the NFL’s MVP.
College: Oklahoma State
Pro Career: 1988-1999 Buffalo Bills; 2000 Miami Dolphins. HOF: 2007
A big part of the Buffalo’s “no-huddle” offense that helped the team to an unprecedented four straight AFC championships, Thomas is the only player ever to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage four consecutive times. He was named the NFL’s MVP in 1991 after he amassed 2,038 yards from scrimmage.
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