After 153 votes, I'd like to congratulate Fred Dean, the first defensive end on our all-time team. While Cedrick Hardman and Tommy Hart put up better career numbers, Dean is definitely a favorite among 49ers fans. He had an impressive impact on some of those 80s championship squads and that definitely carries a certain cachet with it.
I'll now open the polls for the all-time #2 defensive end. Board was a key member of the 80s dynasty, while Hardman and Hart were equal parts of an amazing defensive end duo in the 70s. This will finalize our defensive line, which I have to say is looking pretty amazing. One of these three, combined with Dean, Nomellini and BY would certainly make for one scary defensive line.
Cedrick Hardman (1970-1979): I had mentioned Bryant Young was the 49ers all-time sack leader. However, the 49ers home page has included unofficial sacks recorded before 1982, giving us a new leader. Cedrick Hardman finished his career with 112.5 sacks and two Pro Bowl appearances. Even better? He was the first player signed by the Oakland Invaders of newly formed USFL. Unfortunately for Hardman, playing for some pretty bad squads (finishing his career with back-to-back 2-14 teams) has probably damages his Hall of Fame chances. Consider this though, according to Maiocco's book, Hardman had 18 sacks in 1971, a season of 14 games. Not too shabby.
Tommy Hart (1968-1977): Hart teamed with Hardman to form one of the deadliest defensive end combinations in NFL history. The year before Hardman rolled up 18 sacks, Hart had 16 sacks, including six in a Monday night battle with the Rams. Hart was originally cut by the team as a linebacker before packing weight and establishing himself as a monster defensive end. Hart finished his career with 106 sacks.
Dwaine Board (1979-1988): Board was a member of two championship teams and finished his career with 61 sacks. Board was part of a group of teams that rotated the likes of Fred Dean, Board and Michael Carter to create a ton of pressure. Since retiring, Board has been a defensive line coach for the 49ers and the Seahawks, where he continues as DL coach.