The New York Giants, one of the oldest and most storied franchises in NFL history, have witnessed countless exceptional players grace their blue and white uniforms. From epic Super Bowl victories to record-breaking performances, these individuals have left an indelible mark on the franchise’s rich history.
In this article, we present the top ten all-time New York Giants players, taking into account their achievements primarily as Giants, along with their college accolades and career accomplishments.
1. Lawrence Taylor (Linebacker)
Lawrence Taylor, widely regarded as the greatest defensive player in NFL history, revolutionized the linebacker position. With the Giants from 1981 to 1993, Taylor dominated opposing offenses, earning 10 Pro Bowl selections and three Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was instrumental in the Giants’ two Super Bowl victories, earning the MVP award in Super Bowl XXI and winning a Defensive Player of the Year award that season.
2. Frank Gifford (Running Back/Flanker)
A true icon of the Giants organization, Frank Gifford showcased incredible versatility and talent during his 12 seasons with the team (1952-1964). Gifford’s achievements include eight Pro Bowl selections, the 1956 NFL MVP award, and three trips to the NFL Championship game. His leadership and impact extended beyond the field, as he transitioned into a successful broadcasting career after retirement.
3. Eli Manning (Quarterback)
Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, will forever be remembered for his clutch performances in the Giants’ victories against the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Manning holds multiple Giants franchise records, including passing yards and touchdown passes. His durability and poise under pressure solidified his status as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Giants history.
4. Michael Strahan (Defensive End)
An imposing force on the defensive line, Michael Strahan wreaked havoc on opposing offenses during his 15-year career with the Giants. He holds the NFL single-season sack record (22.5) and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2001. Strahan played an integral role in the Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLII, earning him a much-deserved ring.
5. Mel Hein (Center)
Mel Hein, a cornerstone of the Giants’ dominant teams in the 1930s and 1940s, was known for his exceptional athleticism and durability. Hein played 15 seasons with the Giants and was a 10-time All-Pro selection. He won the NFL MVP award in 1938 and was the anchor of the Giants’ offensive line during their 1934 and 1938 NFL Championship victories.
6. Sam Huff (Linebacker)
Sam Huff, a tenacious and hard-hitting linebacker, played a vital role in the Giants’ success during the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was an integral part of the dominant defense that led the Giants to the 1956 NFL Championship game and two other NFL Championship appearances. Huff’s fierce competitiveness earned him five Pro Bowl selections as a Giant.
7. Harry Carson (Linebacker)
Harry Carson personified toughness and leadership during his 13 seasons with the Giants. As the heart and soul of the Giants’ defense in the 1980s, he was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and was instrumental in the Giants’ first Super Bowl victory in 1986. Carson’s impact extends beyond his on-field accomplishments, as he served as a mentor and inspiration to future generations of Giants players.
8. Emlen Tunnell (Defensive Back)
Emlen Tunnell, one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history, made a lasting impact during his ten seasons with the Giants (1948-1958). He intercepted 74 passes during his career, an NFL record that stood for nearly four decades. Tunnell was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and played a pivotal role in the Giants’ 1956 NFL Championship triumph.
9. Y.A. Tittle (Quarterback)
Although Y.A. Tittle’s time with the Giants was relatively short (1961-1964), he left an indelible mark on the franchise. Tittle won the NFL MVP award in 1963 and 1962 and led the Giants to three straight NFL Championship games, including an appearance in the 1963 title game. Despite not securing a championship, Tittle’s excellence and leadership earned him a place among the Giants’ all-time greats.
10. Joe Morrison (Running Back)
Joe Morrison, known as “Old Dependable,” was a versatile and consistent performer for the Giants during his 14 seasons with the team (1959-1972). He remains the franchise’s all-time leading rusher and excelled as a receiver and return specialist. Morrison’s contributions to the Giants’ offense and his durability earned him a spot on this illustrious list.
- Andy Robustelli (Defensive End)
- Tiki Barber (Running Back)
- Phil Simms (Quarterback)
- Amani Toomer (Wide Receiver)
- Carl Banks (Linebacker)
The New York Giants have been home to countless legends who have achieved greatness on the football field. From Lawrence Taylor’s dominant presence to Eli Manning’s heroics, these ten players have made an indelible impact on the franchise’s history. Their contributions, both on and off the field, have solidified their legendary status among the best to ever don the Giants’ uniform. These players exemplify the passion, talent, and perseverance that define the New York Giants organization.