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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Your all-NFC South all-decade defense

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for your NFC South all-decade defense and we're going to go slightly out of order here.

We're going to start with the linebackers because one linebacker was selected on every single one of nearly 700 ballots. That's Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks and we'll just go ahead and hand him the NFC South Player of the decade award to get that out of the way.

Here's the rest of the defense, the way you voted it:

Linebackers: Derrick Brooks, Keith Brooking, Dan Morgan. Brooking was almost as popular a choice as Brooks. Injury problems aside, Morgan finished a very solid third. Barrett Ruud and Jon Beason got some solid support and we'll use the to build the nucleus of the defense for the all-decade team for the next decade.

Defensive ends: Julius Peppers, Simeon Rice. Five solid defensive ends got strong voting. John Abraham, Mike Rucker and Patrick Kearney had strong support, but it wasn't nearly as strong as the voting for Peppers and Rice.

Defensive tackles: Kris Jenkins, Warren Sapp. Here's one vote total that I found hilarious. Of all the ballots that came with votes for defensive tackles - and some of you skipped defensive tackles or other positions you weren't sure about or didn't want to vote for - there was exactly one vote for Grady Jackson. That means Jenkins and Sapp got every other vote. For the record, the vote Jackson got took one away from Sapp and made Jenkins the overall winner at this position.

Cornerbacks: Ronde Barber, Chris Gamble. Mike McKenzie and DeAngelo Hall each got enough votes to keep it interesting for a bit, but Barber ran away from the field and Gamble wasn't far behind.

Safeties: John Lynch, Mike Minter. Both were vicious hitters, but they probably were two of the nicest guys to ever play in the NFC South.