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The top five NFL defensive ends ever
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This is a list of the top five defensive ends in NFL history, according to me anyway. Who am I to make such a list? you may ask. Well I write football articles for Web sites and have a sports column in the Claremont Courier, a small North Carolina paper. I have been a football fan since 1977 and was even labeled a football historian on the Sportsyapp radio show. So I can safely say I know a little bit about pro football and I ask you to check out my other work by clicking my name.
As pro football has progressed the defensive end position has become more and more important. Pass rushers are among the highest paid player in the NFL as it's a passing league now. The majority of my top five NFL defensive ends ever list will contain modern players whose sack totals are available. But you may find an old timer or two on my list of the greatest defensive ends in pro football history.
Bruce Smith was the best defensive end to ever play in the NFL. He was excellent against the pass as he proved with 200 sacks, and played the run better than Reggie White. Bruce Smith forced 43 fumbles and recovered 15, and had 1,078 career tackles. Smith wasn't as well known or vocal as White but he was the better player.
Reggie White was a special player and is one of the best defensive linemen to ever play the game. White could play the run but he was a pure pass rusher in most situations. I believe his temper hurt him in some games by distracting him. His rare combination of power and speed made him a NFL Hall of Famer sadly after his premature death.
No.3. David "Deacon" Jones - Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins
This man scares people in his interviews much less when he played on the field. He invented the term "Sack" even though the stat wasn't kept until 1982 by the NFL. "Deacon" Jones could have played in any era and would dominate modern football.
Jared Allen is the online active (at the time of this writing) player on my list of the top five NFL defensive ends ever. Allen is just a beast and had 73 sacks in his first 96 games, and added 291 tackles and 22 forced fumbles. If Allen can keep from being suspended over off the field issues he may go down as the best pass rushing defensive end of all time.
Richard Dent was one of the best pass rushing defensive ends ever. Dent got 137.5 sacks in 203 NFL games. Dent was not great against the run but he did have over 600 career tackles and forced 37 fumbles. Richard Dent was also part of one of the best defensive units ever with the Bears under Buddy Ryan.
Thanks for reading my list of the top five NFL defensive ends ever. Feel free to heap praise or insults on me in the comments below.