1992 NFL Dream Team
- Published: June 13, 2012 at 07:15 p.m.
- Updated: June 13, 2012 at 11:07 p.m.
NBA TV premiered its "Dream Team" documentary Wednesday, which will provide an inside look at what went on with the greatest collection of talent (plus Christian Laettner) ever put together on one ball club. The most intriguing part of the documentary will no doubt be the look back at the practices, the intensity of which has become a thing of legend. So with that in mind, I decided to go back to 1992 and put together my own "dream team" of NFL players from that year.
LE Reggie White
White was in his last year with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992. Before he would become the most significant free-agent acquisition in NFL history to date, his first stop would be on this dream team.
In memoriam: Jerome Brown
The football world lost Brown way too soon in 1992, as he was one of the most dominant players in the middle. His career was on the rise (he was coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances) when he was involved in a tragic accident. But he would have been given an honorary spot on this dream team.
DT John Randle
Randle was undrafted out of college, so his career got off to a slow start, but he was getting things going in 1992. He would have been a logical guy to replace Brown.
DT Cortez Kennedy
Kennedy, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, had perhaps his finest season in 1992, when he recorded 14 sacks. Kennedy and Randle would clog the middle.
RE Bruce Smith
Smith, who retired with the career record for sacks, was just getting into his prime in 1992. Can you imagine being a quarterback and looking at White and Smith coming after you on the ends? That's no dream, that's a nightmare. (All right, we'll go one-and-done with that joke.)
LB Lawrence Taylor
Taylor might have been at the tail end of his career in 1992, but past greatness would have been given more consideration than contemporary skills on my dream team. Taylor was actually pretty good that year, until he was sidelined with an Achilles injury. If he was unable to go, you could slide Wilber Marshall in here.
LB Junior Seau
Seau was just starting to become a dominant force in the middle in 1992, when he earned his second Pro Bowl selection. We would have seen enough of him in those early years to have him included on this list.
LB Derrick Thomas
Let's say an offense is able to contend with Smith and White coming off the ends. How would it be able to stop Thomas at linebacker? I'm not sure he is a true fit at this position with four down linemen, but this doesn't matter. This is a dream team.
CB Deion Sanders
Sanders was well on his way to a Hall of Fame career in 1992, and he provides this dream team with a shutdown corner. He would also serve as the team's punt returner. And with this squad, he'd get ample opportunity.
CB Rod Woodson
Woodson was a more complete cornerback and he gets the other spot opposite Deion. Seriously, who is going to be able to throw against this team? And if Sanders can't return punts, Woodson is the next guy up.
FS Steve Atwater
It's weird to say an eight-time Pro Bowler was underrated, but Atwater never seems to get the credit he deserves for his standout career. A pairing here with Lott would be devastating.
K Pete Stoyanovich
Does it really matter who kicks for this team? This dream team would be so good, maybe it could go for two every time it scores a touchdown. And forget field goals. The dream team doesn't condescend to kicking field goals.
P Randall Cunningham
Same deal with punters, too. Do you expect this team to punt the ball? But if it did, Cunningham could serve in a pinch. He punted at UNLV and pulled some quick kicks during his time with the Eagles.
Random college guy who probably doesn't belong: Drew Bledsoe
As an added bonus, Bledsoe kind of resembles Christian Laettner, so this isn't a bad suggestion.
LT Gary Zimmerman
Zimmerman was in his final years with the Minnesota Vikings in 1992, and he would go on to the Denver Broncos after a stop here with the dream team. Zimmerman was selected to seven Pro Bowls.
LG Randall McDaniel
McDaniel played in 12 consecutive Super Bowls and played in 202 consecutive games. McDaniel was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, so he would be perfect for this list.
C Bruce Matthews
Matthews could play just about any place on the offensive line for this team, but for a player of his stature (he blocked for Earl Campbell, for crying out loud), center makes the most sense.
RG Steve Wisniewski
This team seems a little too nice so far. Let's add some nasty by bringing in Wisniewski, another member of the Los Angeles Raiders. He'll take the role assumed by Charles Barkley and elbow an Angolan player in the face.
RT Anthony Munoz
Munoz was in the final year of his NFL career in 1992, but again, this is more about career achievement than anything. And Munoz definitely deserves to be a part of this dream team.
TE Jay Novacek
We could have possibly brought Ozzie Newsome out of retirement, or maybe could have added a young Shannon Sharpe. But for the record, Novacek was the linchpin of the Cowboys offense (notice that the Cowboys' decline commenced when they lost Novacek), so he would play an integral part on this dream team.
WR Jerry Rice
Rice is arguably the best player of his generation (though the ghost of Don Hutson prevents me from calling him the best ever). Let's be honest, is there any chance Rice isn't on this dream team?
WR Michael Irvin
When you look at the list of the greatest receivers of all-time, Irvin deserves to be in the top five. He might even belong in the top three, behind Hutson and Rice. Irvin was selfless during the Cowboys' dynasty, and he'd bring the same dynamic to the dream team.
RB Barry Sanders
No doubt Sanders makes the dream team. You just have to wonder what he would do behind this awesome offensive line.
RB Emmitt Smith
Sorry, this isn't NFL Network's "Top 100: Players of 2012," so we won't be listing any fullbacks here (if we did, it would be Darryl Johnston). Instead, we'll go with a dream backfield of Sanders and Smith. I wonder if we could coax Walter Payton out of retirement.
QB Dan Marino
There were a lot of great quarterbacks to choose from, including Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Brett Favre. But is there any doubt Marino is the man to run this dream team? Still at the top of his game in 1992, he's an absolute must.
Coach Bill Walsh
Walsh often lamented that he retired one year too early. So we'll give him a chance to redeem himself here by coaching our dream team.