New York Giants Mount Rushmore

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During the month of June, the Last Word On Sports NFL department will construct a Mount Rushmore for each team. For this series, we will only consider players. Today, the New York Giants are the focus.

New York Giants Mount Rushmore

Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor is widely regarded as one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history. He revolutionized the outside linebacker position, forcing offensive lines to scheme against a talented edge rusher. He is tied for 11th on the all-time sack list, but the NFL did not record his rookie year sacks because the sack was not an official statistic until 1982. He played his entire 13-year career with the Giants and few would argue that he does not belong on this list. L.T. was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 and he won two Super Bowls with the Giants (1987 and 1991).

Emlen Tunnell

If this selection is a surprise to you, it’s probably because you never heard of Emlen Tunnell. In 1967, he became the first African American to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and he was the first African American to play for the Giants. This stud defensive back recorded 79 interceptions over his illustrious career and he currently sits second all-time in that category. He played the first 11 years of his career as a Giant and then finished his career with three years in Green Bay, but 74 of his interceptions came as a member of the Giants. He also led the Giants to an NFL championship in 1956. He is not as widely recognized today because he played over 50 years ago, but Tunnell was a courageous man with incredible statistics that were earned in an era with significantly less passing.

Eli Manning

Eli Manning is the greatest quarterback in Giants history in terms of statistics and championships. With 39,755 career passing yards, he is currently 15th all-time. With 259 career passing touchdowns, he is currently 13th all-time. He needs 4,857 passing yards and 17 touchdowns to enter the Top 10 in both categories. Barring a major injury, both of these feats will be accomplished within the next year or two. He has also started in 178 straight games (including postseason), which is currently the longest active streak. He is also the only Giants quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls as a starter, as he won Super Bowl MVP in 2008 and 2012. During those two playoff runs, he threw 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions and he delivered in clutch situations when his team needed him the most. With a few more quality seasons to finish his career, he should be on his way to Canton.

Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan is the greatest Giants pass rusher from the defensive end position in team history. In 2001, he recorded 22.5 sacks, which stands as the most sacks in a single season since the stat was recorded. He is currently fifth on the all-time sack list with 141.5 sacks and he is the only member in the top five to play his entire career with one team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and he helped the Giants win a Super Bowl in his final season (2007-2008). As a champion who recorded the most sacks in team history, he carved his spot on Mount Rushmore.

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