|Birthdate:||December 13, 1960|
|Team/Year:||Chicago; 1983-1993, 1995|
San Francisco; 1994
|MVP:||Super Bowl XX|
The 1983 NFL draft was the greatest ever for quarterbacks, with six signal callers going in the first round. But 1983 also saw the Chicago Bears use an eight-round pick for Richard Dent, who made a name for himself by chasing down all those great quarterbacks. In 1984, his first year as a starting defensive end, Dent set a club record with 17 1/2 sacks. The next year Dent led the NFL with 17, pacing one of the most feared defenses in NFL history.
The 1985 Bears went 15-1 in the regular season and were just as dominating in the postseason. The Bears suffocated both the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs, holding the pair to just 118 rushing yards and no points. (Dent's 3 1/2 sacks against the Giants have never been bettered in a postseason game.) All told, 14 of the team's 19 opponents scored 10 or fewer points, including a 46-10 drubbing of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Dent, who earned most valuable player honors, was draped around Patriots ball carriers all day. In the first quarter alone, Dent sacked Tony Eason and forced a fumble that set up a field goal, forced another fumble at the Patriots's 13-yard line to set up a touchdown, and teamed with Wilber Marshall on a sack of Eason, who became the first starting quarterback in Super Bowl history to fail to complete a pass.
The Bears never again matched the numbers they achieved in 1985, but Dent registered double-digit sack totals in six of his next eight seasons to become the team's all-time sack leader. Dent went to San Francisco as a free agent in 1994 before returning to Chicago the following year. He played with Indianapolis in 1996 and Philadelphia in 1997.