After almost doubling our vote total from last season, Fred Dean has won again, this time with two-thirds of the vote. Although Hardman and Hart had greater career numbers with the 49ers, Fred Dean is definitely one of the truly beloved 49ers. It helped being on the Super Bowl teams as that helped provide him with some serious publicity. We now move on to the #2 defensive end to round out our 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, the Seahawks, and the Raiders, where he continues as DL coach.
Who should be our All-Time #2 Defensive End?
Cedrick Hardman (154 votes)
Tommy Hart (48 votes)
Dwaine Board (90 votes)
292 total votes