Ranking 50 greatest players in Super Bowl history: Nos. 30-11

From a four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback drafted in the sixth round to an MVP quarterback of the first two Super Bowls, the greatest players in Super Bowl history delivered when the stakes were highest.

To rank the 50 greatest players in Super Bowl history, ESPN's Stats & Information group put together a ballot of the 120 greatest players in football's biggest game, based on their statistics and overall performance. Then our panel of writers, editors, broadcasters and other experts voted on head-to-head matchups, with more than 3,000 votes cast. The result is the 50 greatest players in Super Bowl history.

Nos. 30-11 in our countdown are below. We released Nos. 50-31 on Tuesday. Check back Thursday for the top 10 players.

If you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along, #SuperBowl50Rank is the Twitter hashtag to use. You also can follow along on here: @ESPNNFL.

Deion Branch

WR | New England Patriots | Super Bowls: XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLVI

In Super Bowl victories over the Panthers and Eagles after the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Branch totaled 21 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown. Against Philadelphia, he tied the Super Bowl record for most receptions (11) and earned MVP honors by outshining Terrell Owens, who delivered his own gutsy performance while playing through an injury. Branch wasn't a big self-promoter, so his dominance in that two-game Super Bowl stretch didn't receive as much buzz as it might have otherwise. His standing at No. 30 is well-deserved. -- Mike Reiss

Hines Ward

WR | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: XL, XLIII, XLV

Ward ended Pittsburgh's 26-year Super Bowl drought by winning MVP honors with five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown against Seattle in Super Bowl XL. Ward was also a major factor in Super Bowl XLV, with seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Not many Super Bowl players were tougher or more versatile than Ward, regardless of position. In four games in the 2005 postseason, he had 15 catches for 260 yards and three touchdowns. -- Jeremy Fowler

Michael Irvin

WR | Dallas Cowboys | Super Bowls: XXVII, XXVIII, XXX

As with Troy Aikman, Irvin's most productive Super Bowl showing was in his first appearance, when the Cowboys beat the Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII. He caught six passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. His second-quarter scores of 19 yards and 18 yards broke open a 14-10 game into a blowout. In the Cowboys' subsequent title wins, he snagged 10 passes for 142 yards. -- Todd Archer

Charles Haley

DE | Dallas Cowboys/San Francisco 49ers | Super Bowls: XXIII, XXIV, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX

Haley is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame mostly because of his ability to rush the passer but also because he is the only player to own five Super Bowl rings -- three with the Cowboys and two with the 49ers. In five title games, Haley put up a Super Bowl record 4.5 sacks, including 2.5 in the Cowboys' wins in Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX. -- Todd Archer

L.C. Greenwood

DE | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: IX, X, XIII, XIV

Defensive end Greenwood produced at least one sack in seven of the eight years he went to the playoffs. He couldn't be stopped in 1975, when he posted five sacks in three games, capped by a Super Bowl X win over Dallas. Greenwood, at 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, blended power, speed and grace off the edge. Mean Joe Greene was the cornerstone of the famed Steel Curtain, but Greenwood was a prominent figure behind that nickname. -- Jeremy Fowler

Phil Simms

QB | New York Giants | Super Bowl: XXI

Simms completed his first seven passes and his last nine passes in Super Bowl XXI and was 22-of-25 for an 88.0 completion percentage that still stands as a single-game Super Bowl record. The Giants trailed the Broncos 10-9 at the half, but Simms' precision helped New York stay patient and balanced on offense, and they put the game away with 17 points in the third quarter. Eight different Giants caught passes in the team's first Super Bowl victory, a 39-20 triumph, and the touchdown passes went to Zeke Mowatt, Mark Bavaro and Phil McConkey as Simms spread it around. -- Dan Graziano

Tony Dorsett

RB | Dallas Cowboys | Super Bowls: XII, XIII

He went from winning the Heisman Trophy and national championship at Pitt in 1976 to helping the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII against the Denver Broncos with 15 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. Although the Cowboys were one of the best teams in the NFC before Dorsett's arrival, he transformed the running game and finished with 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie. By the time he retired after the 1988 season, he was the NFL's second-leading rusher in history. -- Todd Archer

Marcus Allen

RB | Los Angeles Raiders | Super Bowl: XVIII

NFL Films' John Facenda captured the moment best on what might be the greatest play in Super Bowl history. "Marcus Allen ... running with the night," were the words Facenda used to describe Allen's 74-yard touchdown run against the Redskins. Allen took the handoff from Jim Plunkett starting to his left, reversed field, ran out of the grasp of Ken Coffey and burst through the middle of the Redskins' defense for a record touchdown run. Said Allen of the run: "To make a run like that, in a game like that, at a time like that, was pure magic." Allen finished with a then-record 191 yards rushing and two scores. -- Paul Gutierrez

Jack Lambert

LB | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: IX, X, XIII, XIV

Unique instincts, a relentless motor and menacing hits up the middle made Lambert one of the most feared players in franchise history -- or even the game's history. His edge on the field offset his 220-pound frame, which was considered skinny for a 6-foot-4 linebacker. Lambert racked up tackles in Super Bowls, but his best play might have come after the whistle -- when he threw Dallas' Chris Harris to the ground in Super Bowl X after Harris taunted the Steelers' kicker. Lambert's toss energized the Steelers, who won 21-17. -- Jeremy Fowler

Lynn Swann

WR | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: IX, X, XIII, XIV

Swann's leaping, ball-bouncing catch against Dallas was his quintessential moment as a pro. But Swann's overall production in big games also stands alone. During a stretch of three Super Bowls from 1975 to 1979, Swann averaged 121.3 receiving yards per game. He scored a touchdown in each of those three matchups, with two going for more than 45 yards. During his nine-year career in Pittsburgh, Swann never had more than 880 receiving yards in a regular season. But he doubled down in big moments to average 18.9 yards per catch in his playoff career. He was unstoppable in the 1978 playoffs, with 13 catches, 274 receiving yards and three touchdowns in three games. -- Jeremy Fowler

Mike Webster

OL | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: IX, X, XIII, XIV

Iron Mike. Not much more needs to be said about Webster's role in Pittsburgh's four Super Bowl wins. As center, Webster was an emotional leader for the offense and anchored a potent running attack. After the Steelers drafted him in 1974, Webster was an All-Pro recipient during the Steelers' Super Bowl XIII and XIV runs. Webster was on the Steelers' 75th anniversary All-Time Team and made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in part for his big-game performances in Super Bowls. -- Jeremy Fowler

Franco Harris

RB | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: IX, X, XIII, XIV

Harris carried the Steelers on his back in Super Bowl IX by torching Minnesota's defense with 158 rushing yards and one touchdown. His longest run was 25 yards, yet he had 34 attempts. Talk about controlling the clock. Without that performance, there's hardly a guarantee Pittsburgh has its run of four titles in six seasons. Harris wasn't as dynamic in his subsequent three Super Bowls, but his two touchdowns sealed a 31-19 win over the Rams in Super Bowl XIV. -- Jeremy Fowler

John Riggins

RB | Washington Redskins | Super Bowls: XVII, XVIII

Riggins earned this spot for his performance in Super Bowl XVII more than anything -- and with good reason. He rushed for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards in a 27-17 win over Miami and earned MVP honors. But it was his 43-yard, game-clinching run late in the fourth quarter that forever cemented him in Redskins lore. Riggins rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Los Angeles Raiders in the following Super Bowl. -- John Keim

Ben Roethlisberger

QB | Pittsburgh Steelers | Super Bowls: XL, XLIII, XLV

That off-balance throw to Santonio Holmes for the win in Super Bowl XLIII will forever be frozen in Steelers folklore, the kind of throw that sparks tailgate conversation years later. Perhaps Roethlisberger would be higher on this list if it weren't for his 9-of-21, two-interception performance in Super Bowl XL. But he was a second-year quarterback in a ball-control offense. That second win has his name all over it. In his third appearance, he played well enough to win, with 263 yards and two scores and two interceptions, but Aaron Rodgers was simply a little better that day. -- Jeremy Fowler

Larry Csonka

RB | Miami Dolphins | Super Bowls: VI, VII, VIII

Csonka is one of only three players (Emmitt Smith, Terrell Davis) to post a pair of 100-yard rushing performances in the Super Bowl. Csonka earned MVP honors for his 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII. But Csonka's 112 rushing yards against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII to cap Miami's perfect season (17-0) also shouldn't be overlooked. Few players were more clutch in Super Bowls than Csonka. The Hall of Famer deserves to be higher on this list and perhaps in the top 10. -- James Walker

Roger Staubach

QB | Dallas Cowboys | Super Bowls: VI, X, XII, XIII

He led the Cowboys to four Super Bowl appearances and won two, which helped shape the America's Team image. The biggest regret is a 35-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII, in which he almost led a big comeback. But he helped shed the Cowboys' "next year's champs" label with a 24-3 win over the Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, in which he was named the MVP and threw two touchdown passes. -- Todd Archer

Bart Starr

QB | Green Bay Packers | Super Bowls: I, II

The MVP of the first two Super Bowls, Starr led the Packers to a pair of relatively easy victories. In Super Bowl I, he threw a pair of touchdown passes to the aging Max McGee, who wasn't even expecting to play in the game (and revealed later he was hung over from a night of partying before the game) but got thrown in after an injury to Boyd Dowler. In Super Bowl II, Starr hit Dowler for a 62-yard touchdown. The two Super Bowls are part of Starr's five NFL titles. -- Rob Demovsky

Roger Craig

RB | San Francisco 49ers | Super Bowls: XIX, XXIII, XXIV

History should be kinder to Craig, whose lost fumble late in the 1990 NFC title game cost the Niners a chance at a three-peat. A dual-threat running back who in 1985 had 1,000 yards rushing and receiving, Craig was an important cog on three title teams. He rushed for a combined 198 yards and caught 20 passes for 212 yards and four TDs, including three against the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. -- Paul Gutierrez

Terrell Davis

RB | Denver Broncos | Super Bowls: XXXII, XXXIII

Davis might be the greatest postseason player at his position in the Super Bowl era. He rushed for at least 100 yards in seven postseason games, including Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII, and the Broncos won all seven. His 157 yards rushing against the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII earned him the game's MVP honors. His career postseason rushing average was 142.5 yards per game, the highest among any back with at least five playoff games. -- Jeff Legwold

Jim Plunkett

QB | Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders | Super Bowls: XV, XVIII

The ultimate Lazarus tale, Plunkett won two rings for the same franchise in two cities. The former Heisman Trophy winner was MVP in his first Super Bowl appearance, in which he passed for 261 yards and three TDs against the Philadelphia Eagles, including a then-record 80-yard score to Kenny King. Plunkett, who also beat Washington, completed 63 percent of his Super Bowl passes with four TDs and no INTs. Why is he not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? -- Paul Gutierrez

#SuperBowl50Rank: 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1