The original “L.T.” is considered one of the greatest defensive players to ever lace up a pair of cleats. After being picked second overall in 1981 by the Giants, Taylor went on to become one of the most disruptive pass-rushers in NFL history. His play at outside linebacker is considered the driving force behind changes in pass rushing and offensive-line play that are still in use today. Taylor registered double-digit sack totals from 1984-1990, including 20.5 during his MVP season for the 1986 Super Bowl-winning Giants. He also won three Defensive Player of the Year awards. While he’s had his off-field issues during and since his playing days, his impact on the field will be felt forever.
QB Y.A. Tittle
It says something about Tittle that he is the only quarterback in the Hall of Fame who never won a postseason game in his career. Tittle played 17 NFL seasons, including his final four (1961-64) with the Giants. He took the Giants to the NFL championship game three straight years from 1961-63, but couldn’t bring home the title. He is one of five players to score seven touchdowns in a game (Oct. 28, 1962) and was the first of eight to achieve consecutive 30-TD-pass seasons. Over his career, which also included stints with the Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers (for 11 years), the former sixth-overall draft pick was a Pro Bowler seven times, an All-Pro selection three times and was named MVP in 1963. His No. 14 is retired by the Giants.
DE Michael Strahan
Strahan played his entire 15-year NFL career with the Giants. In 1994, Strahan set an NFL record for sacks in a season with 22.5. The seven-time Pro Bowler at defensive end was named a First-Team All-Pro four times and a Second-Teamer twice. Strahan retired with 141.5 career sacks, breaking Lawrence Taylor’s franchise record. He also amassed 794 career tackles, four career interceptions, 21 forced fumbles and two career touchdowns in 200 games for the Giants. After his retirement in 2007, Strahan transitioned into broadcasting, where he currently is part of the NFL on FOX pregame show every Sunday. His last NFL game was Super Bowl XLII, in which he had two tackles and a sack in helping the Giants upset the Patriots to claim the Lombardi Trophy.
LB Harry Carson
Carson played 13 years at linebacker for the Giants, reaching the Pro Bowl in nine of those seasons. Carson was part of the fearsome LB corps for the Giants in the mid-1980s, along with Lawrence Taylor, Brad Van Pelt and Brian Kelley, that was known as the “Crunch Bunch.” While Taylor was known for sacking opposing QBs, Carson was the Giants’ designated run-stopper. However, he was no slouch when defending passes, registering 11 interceptions in his career. In the Giants’ Super Bowl XXI win over the Broncos, Carson had seven tackles. After years of being overlooked by the media voting on the Hall of Fame ballot, Carson was finally inducted in 2006.
QB Phil Simms
Simms played all of his 14 NFL seasons with the Giants, completing 2,576 of the 4,647 passes he attempted for 33,462 yards and 199 touchdowns. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and has had his No. 11 retired by the Giants. His greatest moment with the franchise came in Super Bowl XXI, where he went 22-for-25 for 286 yards and three TD passes, setting Super Bowl records for consecutive pass completions (10), completions percentage (88) and passer rating (150.9). The Giants beat the Broncos 39-20 in the game and Simms was named MVP. After his career, Simms went on to become a successful NFL broadcaster.