NY Giants: Top 10 Defensive Backs of All-Time

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 15: Strong safety Antrel Rolle #26 during the 1st half of the Seattle Seahawks 23-0 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 15: Strong safety Antrel Rolle #26 during the 1st half of the Seattle Seahawks 23-0 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images) /
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1950’S: Emlen Tunnell #45 and Bob Schnelker #85 of the New York Giants sit on the bench during an NFL game circa 1950’s. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
1950’S: Emlen Tunnell #45 and Bob Schnelker #85 of the New York Giants sit on the bench during an NFL game circa 1950’s. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images) /

The Best: Emlen Tunnell

Years: 1948-1958

Legacy: Two-time NFL Champion (1956, 1961); Nine-time Pro Bowl (1950-1957, 1959); Six-time First-team All-Pro (1949, 1951, 1952, 1954-1956); Pro Football HOF

Emlen Tunnell was a pioneer. A legend. He transcended the game of football.

The first African-American to play for the NY Giants, Tunnell is arguably the greatest player in team history – aside from Lawrence Taylor. Football wise, he made an instant impact on the team – intercepting seven passes in just his rookie season.

It was the start of an illustrious career for the defensive back – one where he intercepted 74 passes over 11 seasons. He also dabbled as a returner – where he also excelled to the tune of 3421 return yards.

He was the best player on the Giants throughout his time in New York, and his legacy is one that should always remain prominent. He’s not just one of the greatest players in team history, but one of the most important.