Michael Irvin's career was FAR superior to Art Monk's career
On the surface, Irvin and Monk seem remarkably comparable. Both were WRs for 3 Super Bowl champions. Their cumulative numbers are similar, with Monk far superior in receptions (Irvin: 750, 11,904, 65; Monk: 940, 12,721, 68). Their playoff numbers are both good, with Irvin holding a slight edge (Irvin: 16 games, 87-1,314-8; Monk: 15 games, 69-1,062-7).
But we have to look closer.
Monk's cumulative numbers came in 16 seasons, while Irvin's came in 12 seasons. For Monk, that's 224 games; for Irvin, that's 159 games. Monk accumulated great numbers, but Irvin did as much in less amount of time (he also did more with each catch: a 15.9 average to a 13.5 average). It's almost stupid to compare the cumulative numbers when Monk played in 65 more games than Irvin.
It's clear that season by season, Irvin was better. Monk's career high for receiving yards was 1,372; Michael Irvin passed that number 3 times. Irvin made 5 Pro Bowls to Monk's 3. Irvin led the Cowboys in receiving yards 8 times; Monk led the Redskins in receiving yards 4 times.
Irvin was more often among the league leaders than Monk.
Monk was in the top ten in receptions 4 times, in yards 3 times, in receiving TDs 1 time, and in yards from scrimmage 0 times.
Irvin was in the top ten in receptions 4 times, in yards 6 times, in receiving TDs 5 times, and in yards from scrimmage 4 times.
I see no way to suggest that Monk was a better WR than Irvin, nor that Monk had a better career than Irvin. Monk had 190 more receptions--which he caught in 65 more games. Irvin did much more with his 190 fewer receptions--he's less than 1,000 yards and only 3 TDs away from what Monk did in those 65 more games.
Michael Irvin deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Perhaps Art Monk does too, but he doesn't deserve it more than, or even as much as, Michael Irvin.