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News / Press Releases / July 25, 2000

NFL Press Release
posted 07/25/00

Who was the best quarterback of the 1990s?

Who should be the starting linebackers on the All-Decade Team?

Those are among the questions answered by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members who selected the 1990s NFL All-Decade Team that was announced today. The squad consists of first- and second-team offensive, defensive and special teams units, as well as a first- and second-team head coaches. Only a person's performance in the 1990s was used as criteria for voting.

Tennessee Titans guard Bruce Matthews, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, Washington Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith and Carolina Panthers defensive end Reggie White were unanimous choices, receiving votes on every ballot.

Deion Sanders and Mel Gray are the only players to make the team at two positions. Sanders was named first-team cornerback and punt returner while Gray made the second team as both a kick and punt returner.

Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson, Sean Landeta, 2000 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee Ronnie Lott, Rice, Smith, and White are making their second appearance on an NFL All-Decade team. All were named to the 1980s All-Decade Team as well.

Following is the 1990s NFL All-Decade Team as selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee:


Position First Team Second Team
Quarterback John Elway Brett Favre
Running Back Barry Sanders* Terrell Davis
Running Back Emmitt Smith Thurman Thomas
Wide Receiver Cris Carter Tim Brown
Wide Receiver Jerry Rice* Michael Irvin
Tackle William Roaf Tony Boselli
Tackle Gary Zimmerman Richmond Webb
Guard Bruce Matthews* Larry Allen
Guard Randall McDaniel Steve Wisniewski
Center Dermontti Dawson Mark Stepnoski
Tight End Shannon Sharpe Ben Coates
Defensive End Bruce Smith* Chris Doleman
Defensive End Reggie White* Neil Smith
Defensive Tackle Cortez Kennedy Warren Sapp
Defensive Tackle John Randle Bryant Young
Linebacker Kevin Greene Cornelius Bennett
Linebacker Junior Seau Hardy Nickerson
Linebacker Derrick Thomas Levon Kirkland
Cornerback Deion Sanders Darrell Green
Cornerback Rod Woodson Aeneas Williams
Safety Steve Atwater Carnell Lake
Safety LeRoy Butler Ronnie Lott
Kicker Morten Andersen Gary Anderson
Punter Darren Bennett Sean Landeta
Kick Returner Michael Bates Mel Gray
Punt Returner Deion Sanders Mel Gray
Coach Bill Parcells Marv Levy

*Unanimous selection


QB John Elway Won back-to-back Super Bowls with Denver and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII, his last career game. Passed for 30,280 yards and 180 TDs in decade.
RB Barry Sanders* First ever to rush for four consecutive 1,500-yard seasons (1994-97), including 2,053 in ’97 when named league’s co-MVP. Won four rushing titles (1990, 1994, 1996-97).
RB Emmitt Smith Rushed for decade-leading 13,963 yards and 136 TDs. Won three Super Bowls with Cowboys and named league MVP in 1993. Won four rushing titles (1991-93 & ‘95).
WR Cris Carter Was second in decade with 835 catches and 95 touchdowns. His 10,238 receiving yards were third-best. Had consecutive 122-catch seasons (1994-95).
WR Jerry Rice* Led all players in 1990s with 860 catches, 12,078 receiving yards and 103 receiving touchdowns. Set NFL record with 1,848 receiving yards in 1995.
T William Roaf Named starter to six consecutive Pro Bowls (1995-2000), setting Saints record. Participated in every offensive play of season four times.
T Gary Zimmerman Played in 124 of 128 possible games before retiring after 1997 season. Won Super Bowl XXXII with Broncos. Selected to four Pro Bowls (1993, 1995-97).
G Bruce Matthews* Made Super Bowl appearance with Titans in 1999. Started every game for Oilers/Titans in 1990s (160 games). Selected to all 10 Pro Bowls in decade.
G Randall McDaniel Vital cog of 1998 Vikings team that scored NFL-record 558 points. Started every game for Minnesota in 1990s (160). Started in all 10 Pro Bowls.
C Dermontti Dawson Selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-99). Played in 151 consecutive games in decade. Went to Super Bowl XXX with Steelers.
TE Shannon Sharpe Led all tight ends in 1990s with 552 receptions. Won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII with Broncos. Selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-99).


DE Bruce Smith* Led D-linemen with 113.5 sacks in 1990s. Named 1990 and 1996 Defensive Player of the Year. Went to four straight Super Bowls with Bills (XXV-XXVIII).
DE Reggie White* Had 111.5 sacks in decade, including seven 10-sack seasons. Named 1998 Defensive Player of the Year. Won Super Bowl XXXI with Packers.
DT Cortez Kennedy Selected to eight Pro Bowls (1992-97, 1999-2000). Had 50.5 sacks, including 14.0 in 1992 when named Defensive Player of the Year.
DT John Randle Led all players with eight-consecutive 10-sack seasons (1992-99), which ranks second all-time, and led all defensive tackles with 105 sacks in decade.
LB Kevin Greene Tied for second (with Bruce Smith) for most sacks in decade with 113.5. Led league in sacks twice (1994, 1996). Named to four Pro Bowls (1995-97, 1999).
LB Junior Seau Named to nine consecutive Pro Bowls (1992-2000). Led Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX.
LB Derrick Thomas Led league with 116.5 sacks in decade. Named to eight straight Pro Bowls (1991-98). Recorded decade’s single-season high with 20 sacks in 1990.
CB Deion Sanders Had 39 INTs in decade and returned eight for TDs. Won two Super Bowls (XXIX with 49ers and XXX with Cowboys). Named 1994 Defensive Player of the Year.
CB Rod Woodson Led league with 46 interceptions in 1990s, including eight returned for TDs. Had 13 sacks in decade. Named 1993 Defensive Player of the Year.
S Steve Atwater Won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII with Broncos. Played in 151 of 160 games in decade. Had 21 interceptions.
S LeRoy Butler Ranked second among safeties with 36 interceptions in 1990s. Won Super Bowl XXXI with Packers. Had 17.5 sacks in decade.


K Morten Andersen Scored 1,080 points in decade, third most among all players, including 245 field goals, fourth most.
P Darren Bennett Australian-born punter led league with 44.6 gross average in 1990s. Averaged 59.5 yards on four punts on 10/1/95 vs. Steelers, third-highest average all-time.
KR Michael Bates Named to four Pro Bowls as kick returner and special teamer. Averaged 24.7 yards per return in decade, including four touchdowns. Led league in 1996 and 1997.
PR Deion Sanders Averaged 10.8 yards per return in 1990s, including five touchdowns. Led league in 1998 with 15.6 average, tied for best of decade.


Coach Bill Parcells Won Super Bowl XXV with New York Giants (1990), led New England Patriots to Super Bowl in 1996, and led New York Jets to AFC title game in 1998.

* Unanimous Selection


QB Brett Favre First player in history to win three Most Valuable Player awards (1995-97). Led Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI. Had decade-best 235 TD passes.
RB Terrell Davis Named 1998 league MVP after rushing for 2,008 yards and 23 TDs. Rushed for 6,624 yards and 58 TDs in six seasons. Named to three Pro Bowls (1997-99).
RB Thurman Thomas Named 1991 league MVP with 2,038 yards from scrimmage. Named to four straight Pro Bowls (1991-94). Went to four Super Bowls with Bills (XXV-XXVIII).
WR Tim Brown Ranked third in decade with 726 receptions. Named to seven Pro Bowls (1992, 1994-98, 2000). His 10,211 yards and 70 TDs rank fourth in 1990s.
WR Michael Irvin Won three Super Bowls with Cowboys (XXVII-XXVIII, XXX). His 10,872 receiving yards rank second in 1990s. Selected to five straight Pro Bowls (1992-96).
T Tony Boselli Named to four consecutive Pro Bowls (1997-2000). First draft choice in Jacksonville Jaguars history (#2 overall in 1995).
T Richmond Webb Selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1991-97). Set Dolphins record with 118 consecutive starts from 1991-98.
G Larry Allen Won Super Bowl XXX with Cowboys. Named to five consecutive Pro Bowls (1996-2000) as both guard and tackle.
G Steve Wisniewski Started 159 of possible 160 games in decade. Named to seven Pro Bowls, including six in row (1991-96, 1998).
C Mark Stepnoski Won Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII with Cowboys. Selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-97).
TE Ben Coates Had second-most catches among tight ends in decade with 490. Named to five consecutive Pro Bowls (1995-99). Went to Super Bowl XXXI with Patriots.


DE Chris Doleman His 107.5 sacks in decade rank third among defensive linemen. Named to five Pro Bowls (1991, 1993-94, 1996, 1998).
DE Neil Smith Won two Super Bowls with Broncos (XXXII & XXXIII). Had 95.5 sacks in decade, ranking fifth among defensive ends. Selected to six Pro Bowls (1992-96, 1998).
DT Warren Sapp Named 1999 Defensive Player of the Year. Selected to three straight Pro Bowls (1998-2000). Has 42 sacks in five seasons in 1990s, including 30.0 in last three.
DT Bryant Young Named to 1997 and 2000 Pro Bowls. Had 48 sacks in six seasons in decade. Named 1994 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
LB Cornelius Bennett Played in five Super Bowls in 1990s, four with Buffalo (XXV-XXVIII) and one with Atlanta (XXXIII). Also selected to four Pro Bowls (1991-94).
LB Hardy Nickerson Selected to five Pro Bowls, including last four (1994, 1997-2000). In 1999, led Buccaneers to first NFC Championship Game since 1979.
LB Levon Kirkland Has started every game since 1995 season (96 consecutive). Named to 1997 and 1998 Pro Bowls. Went to Super Bowl XXX with Steelers.
CB Darrell Green Led club to victory in Super Bowl XXVI. Played in 152 games in decade recording 27 INTs. Named to four Pro Bowls (1991-92, 1997-98).
CB Aeneas Williams His 41 interceptions rank second in decade among all cornerbacks. Named to six straight Pro Bowls (1995-2000). Tied for NFL lead with nine INTs in 1994.
S Carnell Lake Started 155 of possible 160 games in decade. Selected to five Pro Bowls (1995-98, 2000). Went to Super Bowl XXX with Steelers.
S Ronnie Lott Named to 1991 and 1992 Pro Bowls. Led league in 1991 with eight interceptions when with Raiders.


K Gary Anderson Scored most points in decade (1,130). Set NFL record with 40 straight FGs over 1997-98. Did not miss field goal (35) or PAT (59) in 1998, scoring 164 points.
P Sean Landeta Selected to 1991 Pro Bowl. Had 43.5 gross average for decade, seventh best, and led NFC in gross average in 1994 and 1995.
KR Mel Gray Named to four Pro Bowls (1991-93, 1995). Led league in 1991 and 1994. Had five TDs in decade, including three in ’94, tied for second-most ever in season.
PR Mel Gray Had 10.5 average in decade and two touchdowns. Led league with 15.4 average in 1991. Had seven total return TDs in 1990s.


Coach Marv Levy In eight seasons, led Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls (XXV-XXVIII), six playoff appearances and four AFC East titles. Had 82-46 (.641) regular-season record.

-- Courtesy of the NFL
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