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Best Players To Wear Every Number

Part 4: Numbers 30-39


The Pug (Anthony Pugliese) takes a look at the best players in NFL history to wear every number from 0(00) up to 99. In the fourth part of a ten part series, The Pug tells you who the best players in NFL history to wear jersey numbers 30-39 were(or are).

If you missed the first three parts, click the links below to see 0-29

0-9                     10-19                      20-29

#30: Terrell Davis, Running Back: Close call here, but ultimately have to go with a member of the 2k club. Terrell Davis was a sixth round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in 1995 and was sixth on the depth chart heading into camp. Davis impressed coached so much that he was eventually promoted to the starting halfback to start the season and finished with 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns. Davis continued to improve every year and peaked in 1998 when he won the league’s MVP award when he finished with 2,008 yards and 17 touchdowns. In his first four seasons, Terrell amassed 6,413 yards, 56 touchdowns, three all-pro selections, three Pro Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl rings, and league and Super Bowl MVP honors. Multiple injuries curbed his final 3 years, and eventually ended his promising career. Davis is also remembered for popularizing the Mile High Salute.       Honorable Mention: Ahmad Green

#31: Jim Taylor, Fullback: Another tough call, but it’s time to give the fullback position some love. Jim Taylor was a huge part of the Green Bay Packers success in the 1960’s as he was a member of four championship teams with them, including Super Bowl I. His numbers for a fullback are unheard of in today’s game, as he accumulated 8,597 yards and 83 touchdowns in his career. Taylor brought toughness to the position as he never shed away from a hit, and had an ultra low 1.56% fumble rate. Taylor was the first player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in five consecutive seasons, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976. Honorable Mention: Donnie Shell and Jamal Lewis

#32: Jim Brown, Fullback: There have been many great players to wear the number 32, but not only is Brown the best of the bunch, but he is considered by many to be the best to put on a jersey period. Brown is the only player in NFL history to average over 100 yards a game for his entire career(104.3 ypg). Trying to bring Brown down with one defender usually ended badly for the defense as he averaged 5.2 yards per carry over the course of his career, also an NFL record. Brown decided to retire early from the NFL to further his acting career that spanned 42 movies. Brown finished his Hall of Fame career with 14,811 all purpose yards and 126 touchdowns in 9 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Honorable Mention: Marcus Allen

#33: Tony Dorsett, Running back: Tony Dorsett wasted no time making the Dallas Cowboys feel like they made the right move trading up to the second pick in the 1977 draft by breaking the 1,000 yard mark in his rookie campaign. In fact, if it wasn’t for the strike shortened 1982 season, Dorsett would have rushed for over 1,000 yards in nine straight seasons. Dorsett won a Super Bowl with Dallas before being traded to the Denver Broncos to finish out his career to make way for Herschel Walker. He finished his career with 116,293 all purpose yards and 91 total touchdowns( 1 fumble recovered for a TD.) Dorsett entered the Hall of Fame and the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1994 . Honorable Mention: Roger Craig

#34: Walter Payton, Running Back: Walter Payton’s former coach Mike Ditka stated Payton was the greatest football player he had ever seen, but was an even better human being. This was the perfect way to describe a man who brought style to the running back position and was a huge humanitarian. ‘Sweetness’ as he was referred to, attended nine Pro Bowls, was a seven time First Team All-Pro, won two league MVP awards, and was a member of the Super Bowl winning 1985 Chicago Bears squad. At the time of his retirement Payton held almost every important rushing record, and only missed one game his entire career and that was in his rookie season. He retired with 16,726 rushing yards, 4,458 receiving yards and 133 total touchdowns, eight of those being passing touchdowns. Sweetness was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1993 and unfortunately passed away in 1999 from complications with  cholangiocarcinomaHonorable Mention: Thurman Thomas

#35: Aeneas Williams, Cornerback, Free Safety: Drafted in the third round by the Phoenix Cardinals, Williams came out of the gate quickly tying for the NFC lead in interceptions in his rookie year. He was one of the top cornerbacks in the league for the Cardinals before being traded to the St. Louis Rams and switching to the free safety position. Williams retired with 55 career interceptions, 23 fumble recoveries, and a whopping 12 defensive touchdowns. He came to play in the playoffs getting six interceptions and a fumble recovery in six career playoff games. He is a member of the Cardinals Ring of Honor and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Honorable Mention: Calvin Hill

#36: Jerome Bettis, Running Back: Another tough call here at number 36, but ultimately have to ride with the Hall of Famer. ‘The Bus’ as he was nicknamed was drafted 10th overall by the Los Angeles Rams, and promptly earned rookie of the year honors after rushing for 1,429 yards and seven touchdowns in 1993. When the Rams switched to a pass-oriented offense in 1995, Bettis’s numbers dropped and he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in first six seasons with the club.  Bettis retired after the Super Bowl XL win by the Steelers with 13,662 yards and 91 rushing touchdowns. He was a member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class and his number is retired by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Honorable Mention: Bill Thompson

#37: Jimmy Johnson, Cornerback, Safety: Most people think of the name Jimmy Johnson as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys who led them to two Super Bowl victories, but the name Jimmy Johnson (not the same guy) is also good for the best player to ever put on the number 37. Jimmy Johnson was selected number six overall in the 1961 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers where he spent his entire career. He was a five time Pro Bowler and four time First-Team All-Pro en route to having his number retired by the 49ers. Johnson even saw some time at wide receiver in his career, although that is not what he is known for. Dan Wetzel picked him as his best cornerback to never get the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl. Johnson was enshrined in Canton in 1994 after tallying 47 career interceptions. Honorable Mention: Pat Fischer

#38: Eugene Daniel, Cornerback: Daniel holds down number 38 since there isn’t much competition at this number. Eugene was a fan favorite in Indianapolis after being drafted by the Colts in the eighth round of the 1984 NFL draft. He was the longest tenured Colt until Peyton Manning came along, playing for the team for 13 seasons. Over the course of his 14 year career, Daniel had 762 tackles, 38 interceptions, six fumble recoveries, and three touchdowns, including the longest interception return in Colts history of 97 yards.                                              Honorable Mention: Roland James

#39: Steven Jackson, Running Back: The Rams didn’t skip a beat in the running back department when they drafted Jackson in the first round to be the replacement to the aging Marshall Faulk. After his rookie season was spent as a back up to Faulk, Jackson went on to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his remaining eight years with the franchise. His best season came in 2006 when he amassed an eye popping 2,334 yards from scrimmage and found the endzone 16 times. Jackson is the all-time leading rusher for the Rams, which is impressive since Eric Dickerson played for them. After spending two years with the Atlanta Falcons and a short stint with the New England Patriots, Jackson retired from the NFL with 15,121 yards from scrimmage and 78 total touchdowns.                Honorable Mention: Larry Csonka

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