Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Joe “Cool” earned his nickname during Super Bowl XXIII against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers trailed by three points with 3:20 remaining when Montana gathered the team in a huddle. “There, in the stands, standing near the exit ramp – isn’t that John Candy?” Montana asked tackle Harris Barton. Montana then methodically led the 49ers 92 yards, throwing a 10-yard TD pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left. “Joe Cool” had 31 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career.
WR Jerry Rice
The son of a brick mason who came from Mississippi Valley State, Rice never dreamed he would end up the NFL’s most prolific receiver. Rice finished his magnificent career as the league leader in receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14). The Super Bowl XXIII MVP posted a record 208 total touchdowns and finished with 23,546 combined net yards. Rice was true NFL royalty – he was a 13-time Pro Bowler and was named All-Pro 11 consecutive seasons – and is considered by many to be the greatest NFL player of all time.
QB Steve Young
Traded to the 49ers from the Bucs in 1987, Young bided his time behind Montana before establishing himself as one of the NFL’s all-time greats; he’s tied with Sammy Baugh as the only QBs to win six NFL passing titles. In 1994, Young was at his finest, finishing with a 112.8 passer rating. He threw 6 TDs in Super Bowl XXIX and was named MVP. Young was the league MVP twice, All-Pro four times and was voted to seven Pro Bowls.
DB Ronnie Lott
One of the NFL’s legendary tough guys, Lott was equally ferocious at either cornerback or safety and was an All-Pro at three positions in the secondary (cornerback, strong, free safety). He had 100-plus tackles five times in his career, and achieved infamy for having the tip of his left pinky finger amputated following the 1985 season after it was mangled tackling Dallas running back Timmy Newsome. Lott was the anchor of four 49ers’ Super Bowl defenses. He finished with 65 career interceptions for 730 yards and five TDs.
LB Dave Wilcox
“The Intimidator” Wilcox gained his moniker by daring opposing players to block him. Few were up to the task. One of the most dominant outside linebackers of his time, Wilcox tossed aside tight ends as if they were feathers. Smart and intuitive, Wilcox also had a nose for the ball, manhandling receivers and collecting 14 career interceptions. He was All-NFL five times, second-team All-NFL three times, was named All-NFC three times and was elected to seven Pro Bowls.