The Oklahoma State all-time NFL team

Rick Gosselin

Bob Fenimore was the first overall pick of the 1947 NFL draft – the only Oklahoma State player (then Oklahoma A&M) so honored. Terry Miller, Tatum Bell and Chris Carson all left the Stillwater campus to become 1,000-yard rushers in the NFL, and Walt Garrison left the Oklahoma State Cowboys to become a Pro Bowl running back with the Dallas Cowboys.

But when you’re putting together the all-time Oklahoma State NFL team, none of those five players would have a place in the starting backfield.

Not when there are two former Oklahoma State running backs wearing gold jackets – Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas. Sanders is the NFL’s fourth all-time leading rusher with 15,269 yards and Thomas 16th the on the all-time list with 12,074 yards.

Sanders played 10 seasons, went to 10 Pro Bowls, won four rushing titles and left the game as one of only two runners in history to average 5.0 yards per career carry, joining fellow Hall of Famer Jim Brown. Thomas went to five Pro Bowls in his 13 seasons and brought the legs that powered the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowls in the 1990s.

Running back would be the strength of an all-time Oklahoma State NFL team. But not the only strength. The Cowboys also could rush the passer at the next level – with six players on this all-time team in the 60-sack club, topped by Leslie O’Neal’s 132 ½. Five of those pass rushers went to a combined 20 Pro Bowls and the sixth – John Corker – set a professional football record with 28 ½ sacks in a single season with the USFL Michigan Panthers in 1983. He would also play four seasons in the NFL.

Here’s the all-time Oklahoma State NFL team:

QB—Brandon Weeden. 25 career starts, 31 TD passes.

RB—Barry Sanders. Hall of Fame.

RB—Thurman Thomas. Hall of Fame.

WR—Dez Bryant. 3 Pro Bowls, Dallas franchise record 73 TD catches.

WR—Leonard Thompson. 12 seasons, 277 career catches, 35 TDs.

OT—Russell Okung. 2 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 124 career starts

OT—Charlie Johnson. 9 seasons, 115 career starts.

G—Jon Kolb. 4-time Super Bowl champion, all-time Steelers team.

G—Ron Baker. 11 seasons, 110 career starts.

C—Howard Keys. 4 seasons, 41 games.

DE—Leslie O’Neal. 6 Pro Bowls, 13 seasons, 132 ½ career sacks.

DE—Dexter Manley. 1 Pro Bowl, 11 seasons, 97 ½ career sacks.

DT—Kevin Williams. 6 Pro Bowls, 13 seasons, 63 career sacks.

DT—Jerry Sherk. 4 Pro Bowls, 12 seasons, 69 ½ sacks.

LB—Jason Gildon. 3 Pro Bowls, 11 seasons, 80 career sacks.

LB—Dale Meinert. 3 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 21 career takeaways.

LB—John Corker. 1983 USFL Defensive Player of Year (28 ½ sacks)

CB—Duane Wood. 5 seasons, 20 career interceptions.

CB—Tony Banfield. 3 Pro Bowls, 5 seasons, 27 career interceptions.

S—Chris Rockins. 4 seasons, 6 career interceptions.

S—Terry Brown. 7 seasons, 7 career interceptions.

K—Dan Bailey. 1 Pro Bowl, seven 100-point seasons.

P—Cliff Parsley. 6 seasons, 431 career punts.

KR—Tyreek Hill. 4 Pro Bowls, 3 career KR and 1 PR for TDs.

ST—Keith Burns. 2-time Super Bowl champ, 231 career ST tackles.

Comments (2)
brian wolf
brian wolf

Dexter Manley with the Redskins was a truly great pash rusher when he wanted to be, with attitude to spare.

Its sad that drugs curtailed his career.
He could be a handful, and had as much to do with their success from 1982 -87 as any other player, including Riggins, Theisman, Monk, Green, Brown, Grimm or Jacoby.
Mann became excellent on the other side of the defensive line but it all started with Manley. Other than Green at corner, the Redskin secondary lacked speed and quickness and depended on a good pass rush.

No. 1-2

"none of those five players would have a place in the starting backfield.

Not when there are two former Oklahoma State running backs wearing gold jackets – Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas."

Depends on what type of offense you want to run. I might opt for the proven versatility of fullback Walt Garrison to complement Sanders over just having two guys who are purer feature runners. That's why I've got Garrison ahead of Don Perkins at FB on my All Time Cowboys team depth chart.

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