by Ron Borges
Talk of Fame Network
Deion Sanders shut down the all-time shut down cornerback competition in our latest poll, more than doubling the votes of his closest competitor in our “Final Four” shutdown corner competition.
The eight-time Pro Bowl corner who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011, landed 48.9% of the vote, far outdistancing Rod Woodson, who received 23.4%. Dick “Night Train” Lane was third with 19.1% and Mike Haynes was fourth, polling 8.5% of our voters.
The irony in this is that while all four are Hall of Famers, only three – Lane, Haynes and Woodson – were selected as members of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary all-time team. Sanders, who played for six NFL teams during his career and joined Woodson as a member of the 1990’s All-Decade team, failed to make that team. It’s probably the only football team he didn’t make since the first day he discovered football.
Sanders was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and the only man to have played in both the Super Bowl and the World Series, the latter coming when he was moonlighting as an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves.
Woodson was the 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and an 11-time Pro Bowl selection who starred for a decade for the Pittsburgh Steelers before moving on and winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. He also played with the 49ers and Raiders, shifting from cornerback to safety late in his career.
Lane, in addition to having one of the all-time greatest nicknames in sports history, still holds the record for most interceptions in a season, 14, set in 1952, a time when the season was 33% shorter and teams were passing far less frequently than they do today.
Haynes was a nine-time Pro Bowl performer for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders. He was rookie of the year in 1976 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984.
Photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys