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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Should T.O. have been on all-decade team?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

OK, I admit it. I was in charge of consulting with coaches, scouts and players to come up with two receivers for our all-decade offense, which was released Tuesday. And yes, I may have been swayed down the stretch by Keyshawn Johnson. But honestly, I think Marvin Harrison and Torry Holt deserved to be on the team ahead of T.O. and Randy Moss. Harrison and Peyton Manning formed one of the greatest duos in league history. Harrison's numbers were staggering.

 
  Hunter Martin/Getty Images
  It was a tough choice to leave receiver Terrell Owens off the all-decade offense.
And the fact that Holt and Harrison each have a Super Bowl ring (Holt's came after the '99 season) didn't hurt their candidacies. Moss and T.O.'s touchdown totals are off the charts, but Harrison and Holt were more consistent -- in terms of receptions and in the locker room. T.O. has left three locker rooms in his wake, and Moss pretty much stopped trying at his second stop, with the Raiders.

Holt's six-year stretch from 2000-05 is what everyone kept pointing to. He had at least 1,300 yards in each of those seasons. Just on numbers alone, though, it's tough to argue with T.O. But with T.O., it's difficult for people to only focus on the numbers.

The NFC East didn't land anyone on the all-decade offense, which is hard to believe given the division's stature in the league. But you have to remember that the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins had some lean years early in the decade. The Eagles have been the most consistent team of the decade followed by the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins. You could probably put the Skins ahead of the Cowboys based on that 2005 playoff win, though.

Larry Allen was certainly the best guard of the 1990s, but he'd started fade by the time Bill Parcells arrived in 2003. Can you think of any NFC East players who deserved consideration? Jason Witten is the best tight end in football, but he didn't get started until 2003. It's really tough to argue with Tony Gonzalez.

Donovan McNabb should at least be in the discussion at quarterback, although there's no way he beats out Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Is he the third-best quarterback of the decade or should that honor go to Drew Brees? Kurt Warner's making a strong run at the end of the decade. Big Ben has to be in the discussion with the two Super Bowl rings.

OK, feel free to come up with an all-decade NFC East team. I'd go with McNabb at quarterback, T.O. and Plaxico Burress at the receivers (with Santana Moss in the discussion). I like Mike Sellers at fullback. Give me Witten over Shockey at tight end. And I'll take Chris Samuels and Tra Thomas as the offensive tackles -- even though they both play on the left side. Allen's the obvious choice at guard, but who do you take at the other guard spot? Ron Stone went to a couple of Pro Bowls early in the decade with the Giants and Chris Snee's one of the best in the league right now. I'll let you guys argue that one. Jermane Mayberry anyone?

Andre Gurode's the starting center -- unless you guys shoot me down. Shaun O'Hara has come on strong, but he hasn't been with the Giants as long as Gurode's been with the Cowboys. I'm going with Tiki Barber at running back, although Brian Westbrook has certainly had a nice decade. Who are we missing?