Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Best Players Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Defensive Backs 11

Posted on August 02, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Johnny Robinson was selected to seven Pro Bowls and earned first team All-AFL honors six times.

Johnny Robinson was selected to seven Pro Bowls and earned first team All-AFL honors six times.

Our position-by-position look at the best eligible players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame rolls along with a look at the top defensive backs that have yet to earn a bust in Canton.

The role of the defensive back has changed over the years as defenses have adjusted coverage schemes to account for offensive innovations.

Defensive backs are often measured by their interception totals. However, that can often be a misleading statistic.

Top defenders can disrupt the plans of a quarterback and basically take part of the field, or a particular receiver, out of the game plan simply through their presence.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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