Dallas Clark is a phenomenal player.
He's one of my favorites.
He's a vital cog in the Indianapolis offense.
My nephew is named after him.
He's also historically overrated by most pundits.
We saw last season what happened to the Colts offense when Clark went down with injury. While Indy replaced his his production with Jacob Tamme, the vertical stretching of the defense that Clark provides was missing. He's a fantastic and important player, there's no question.
However, when discussing the Colts of the past decade, Dallas Clark frequently gets words like 'future Hall of Famer' attached to him.
It's a patently ridiculous assertion.
Dallas Clark has been to ONE Pro Bowl in his career.
He's a dynamic and talented player, but he's not anywhere near the kind of 'all time' player that some perceive him to be. Take note of the following:
Dallas Clark has one 1,000 yard receiving season. There have been 28 such seasons by tight ends. 7 have done it more than once.
Clark has had 60 receptions in a season just twice. It has been done 131 times by a tight end. 16 different tight ends have done it three times or more.
Since 2003, he's 6th in yards behind the same men.
Since 2003, he's 3rd in touchdowns, but is 25 behind Gates, and 7 behind Gonzalez.
If we just take the last five years, he's still 6th in yards and receptions and 2nd in touchdowns.
Clark has a long way to go. He lags well behind his peers in both All Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Despite playing in an offensively heavy era, it's plain to see that he would need another 4-5 2009 type seasons before he could be taken seriously as a Hall of Fame candidate. He's the fourth to fifth best tight end of this era, clearly behind Gonzalez, Gates, and Witten.
Clark is a great player and will one day be in the Indianapolis Ring of Honor, as he should be. He deserves to be admired and celebrated as a classy, talented player.
But in terms of his all-time status, he's vastly overrated.