National Football League 1980s All-Decade Team

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The NFL 1980s All-Decade Team was chosen by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team was composed of outstanding performers in the National Football League in the 1980s.[1][2][3] The squad consists of first- and second-team offensive, defensive and special teams units, as well as a first- and second-team head coaches.

Jerry Rice, Anthony Muñoz, and Lawrence Taylor were the only unanimous choices, being named on all 26 ballots. John Hannah was next with 25 votes, followed by Joe Montana at 24½ votes, Walter Payton at 23½ votes, and Ronnie Lott with 23 votes. The safety position was very close as Joey Browner made all decade second team as he came in with 22 votes. Kenny Easley got 22½ votes, just edging out Browner to make the first team. Easley of Seattle slipped between both in the voting as all three could have easily replaced the other in a very tight vote. Hall of Fame coach John Madden scoffed at the idea that Browner wasn’t a member of the first team, Stating “I don’t know how anyone in that room says Joey Browner isn’t the best safety in football!” The overwhelming majority of NFL fans would likely argue that Ronnie Lott was the best Safety in the league during the 80’s; likely due to the San Francisco 49ers dominance during the 80’s, having won 4 Super Bowls.

Walter Payton, John Hannah, Mike Webster, Ted Hendricks, Jack Lambert, Billy Johnson, Rick Upchurch and Chuck Noll had been previously named to the 1970s All-Decade Team. Jerry Rice, Gary Zimmerman, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Ronnie Lott, Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson and Sean Landeta were also later named to the 1990s All-Decade Team.


0*0 Elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame ¤ 0~0 Hall of Fame Finalist [4]
Position First Team Votes Hall of Fame? Second Team Votes Hall of Fame?
Quarterback Joe Montana* (San Francisco 49ers) 24½ Yes Dan Fouts* (San Diego Chargers) 1 Yes
Running back Walter Payton* (Chicago Bears) 23½ Yes Roger Craig~ (San Francisco 49ers) 5 2 time finalist
Eric Dickerson* (Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts) 18 Yes John Riggins* (Washington Redskins) 3 Yes
Wide receiver Jerry Rice* (San Francisco 49ers) 26 Yes James Lofton* (Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Raiders, Buffalo Bills) 2 Yes
Steve Largent* (Seattle Seahawks) 22 Yes Art Monk* (Washington Redskins) 2 Yes
Tight end Kellen Winslow* (San Diego Chargers) 18½ Yes Ozzie Newsome* (Cleveland Browns) 2 Yes
Tackle Anthony Muñoz* (Cincinnati Bengals) 26 Yes Gary Zimmerman* (Minnesota Vikings) 7 Yes
Jimbo Covert* (Chicago Bears) 8 Yes Joe Jacoby (Washington Redskins) 5 3 time finalist
Guard John Hannah* (New England Patriots) 25 Yes Bill Fralic (Atlanta Falcons) 4 No
Russ Grimm* (Washington Redskins) 16 Yes Mike Munchak* (Houston Oilers) 3 Yes
Center Dwight Stephenson* (Miami Dolphins) 13 Yes Mike Webster* (Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs) 10 Yes


Position First Team Votes Hall of Fame? Second Team Votes Hall of Fame?
Defensive end Reggie White* (Philadelphia Eagles) 22 Yes Lee Roy Selmon (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 3 Yes
Howie Long* (Los Angeles Raiders) 21 Yes Bruce Smith* (Buffalo Bills) 3 Yes
Defensive tackle Randy White* (Dallas Cowboys) 22 Yes Keith Millard (Minnesota Vikings) 7 No
Dan Hampton* (Chicago Bears) 12 Yes Dave Butz (Washington Redskins) 3 No
Middle linebacker Mike Singletary* (Chicago Bears) 21½ Yes Jack Lambert* (Pittsburgh Steelers) 4 Yes
Outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor* (New York Giants) 26 Yes Andre Tippett* (New England Patriots) 6 Yes
Ted Hendricks* (Los Angeles Raiders) 18 Yes Carl Banks (New York Giants) 1 No
John Anderson (Green Bay Packers) 1 No
Cornerback Mike Haynes* (New England Patriots, Los Angeles Raiders) 13 Yes Frank Minnifield (Cleveland Browns) 7 No
Mel Blount* (Pittsburgh Steelers) 9 Yes Lester Hayes (Los Angeles Raiders) 4 4 time finalist
Safety Ronnie Lott* (San Francisco 49ers) 23 Yes Deron Cherry (Kansas City Chiefs) 5 No
Kenny Easley* (Seattle Seahawks) 22½ Yes Nolan Cromwell (Los Angeles Rams) 4 No
Joey Browner (Minnesota Vikings) 4 No

Special teams[edit]

Position First Team Votes Hall of Fame? Second Team Votes Hall of Fame?
Kicker Morten Andersen* (New Orleans Saints) 12 Yes Gary Anderson (Pittsburgh Steelers) 4 No
Eddie Murray (Detroit Lions) 4 No
Punter Sean Landeta (New York Giants) 8 No Reggie Roby (Miami Dolphins) 6 No
Kick Returner Mike Nelms (Washington Redskins) No Rick Upchurch (Denver Broncos) 5 No
Punt Returner Billy "White Shoes" Johnson (Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins) 13 No John Taylor (San Francisco 49ers) 3 No


Position First Team Votes Hall of Fame? Second Team Votes Hall of Fame?
Coach Bill Walsh* (San Francisco 49ers) 19 Yes Chuck Noll* (Pittsburgh Steelers) 3 Yes


  1. ^ Staff writers (1990-03-15). "Already A Player Of The '70s, Payton Honored For Play In '80s". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. UPI. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  2. ^ "1980s ALL-DECADE FIRST TEAM". Archived from the original on April 10, 2010. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  3. ^ "All-NFL Team of the 1980s". USA Today. Gannett. 1990-03-15. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  4. ^ "Finalist list". Pro Football Hall of Retrieved 2012-09-14.