Ranking the greatest Detroit Lions of all time is an easy task to accomplish. From Doak Walker to Robert Porcher and even Charlie Sanders, there are plenty of legends to have suited up in Detroit blue and silver. However, trying to rank the greatest Lions players by solely the numbers on their jerseys is an even more daunting task. From the No. 1 all the way up to No. 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players based on their jersey number. For the most part, these players are graded based on their careers as Lions rather than their overall body of work. This list now continues with my selection for the best at No. 3.
A Tulane graduate and seventh-round pick by the Lions in 1980, kicker Eddie Murray spent 11 seasons in Detroit, capping his Detroit career with the team’s only playoff win since 1957 against the Dallas Cowboys. Murray was a two-time Pro Bowl kicker for the Lions in 1980 and 1989, but to most Lions fans, he, unfortunately, is the kicker who missed a game-winning field goal against the San Francisco 49ers in the 1983 playoffs. The kicker was also a four-time All-Pro selection with Detroit and was the kicker on the 1980’s All-Decade team. If not for another kicker in Jason Hanson, Murray would go down as the greatest kicker in Detroit’s history.
What’s most disappointing for Lions fans is that Murray would join the same Dallas Cowboys team he helped defeat in 1991 and 1993 and would be a crucial piece for the Cowboys’ second Super Bowl victory in the 1990s. Murray was the 16th leading scorer in NFL history with 1,594 points during his 19-year career prior to the 2013 season. With Murray and his successor in Hanson, the Lions have had two of the best kickers in NFL history. Unfortunately, neither would get the Lions to a Super Bowl.
Other nominees: Joey Harrington (2002-05), Dave Rayner (2010)
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