Chicago Bears: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Walter Payton #34, Running Back for the Chicago Bears during his final game in the American Football Conference West game against the Los Angeles Raiders on 27 December 1987 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California, United States. The Bears won the game 6 - 3. Visions of Sport. (Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images)
Walter Payton #34, Running Back for the Chicago Bears during his final game in the American Football Conference West game against the Los Angeles Raiders on 27 December 1987 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California, United States. The Bears won the game 6 - 3. Visions of Sport. (Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images) /
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Richard Dent, Chicago Bears
4 Sep 1988: Defensive lineman Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears (center) works against the Miami Dolphins during a game at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won the game, 34-7. /

player. 57. . DE. 1983-93, 1995. Richard Dent. 6

When a defense is as historically good as the Bears were in the mid 1980’s, it’s difficult to choose the best players when the entire unit is loaded with Pro Football Hall of Fame talent. One of its most consistently dominant players was none other than Richard Dent, who bends the edge on our list at No. 6.

There have been a number of dominant defense ends in the history of the NFL, or “sack artists,” if you will, but few were as consistent as Richard Dent. In the course of his remarkable 15-year career, Dent posted double-digit sack totals in eight of them. By the time his career was over, Dent would amass 137.5 sacks, currently good for ninth on the all-time list.

Hailing from a small school in Tennessee State, Dent was an eighth-round (they don’t even have that anymore!) selection of the Bears in 1983. It wasn’t long before he made his presence felt on the field and racked up a whopping 17.5 sacks in his second pro season.

In 1985, he slacked off to just 17.0 sacks and a Super Bowl championship and Super Bowl MVP trophy. Not bad for a small-school defensive lineman, huh?

Dent was enshrined in Canton in 2011 and the 12 seasons he spent as a Chicago Bear will continue to be looked at as some of the best individual defensive play that the franchise has ever seen. With over 20 great players down in this list so far, I don’t have to tell you just how impressive that is.