With all the recent talk about Brett Favre and Peyton Manning being the among the best quarterbacks of all-time I thought I'd weigh in with my own thoughts on the subject. - jtf
1. John Unitas...1956-1972 Baltimore Colts, 1973 San Diego Chargers
. . .Cut by 1955 Steelers, free agent with 1956 Colts, soon became legendary hero. . .Exceptional field leader, thrived on pressure. . .Led Colts to 1958, 1959 NFL crowns, Super Bowl V victory. . .All-NFL six seasons, AP NFL MVP three times...10 Pro Bowls. . .Pro Bowl MVP three times...Completed 2,830 passes for 40,239 yards, 290 TDs. . .Threw at least one TD pass in record 47 straight games. . .Had 26 games over 300 yards passing. . .NFL 1960s All-Decade Team...NFL 75TH Anniversary All-Time Team...One of seven numbers (19) retired by the Baltimore Colts...elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979...Born May 7, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. . .Died September 11, 2002, at age of 69.
"Playing with Johnny Unitas was like being in the huddle with God." - John Mackey
2. Sammy Baugh....1937-1952 Washington Redskins...Two-time TCU All-America. . .No. 1 draft choice, 1937. . .Split career between tailback, T-quarterback. . . Premier passer who influenced great offensive revolution. . . NFL passing, punting, interception champ, 1943. . .Six-time NFL passing leader. . .First-team All-Pro seven times...Second-team All-Pro twice...Career records: 21,886 yards, 187 TDs passing, 45.1-yard punting average, 31 interceptions. . . NFL 1940s All-Decade Team...NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team...NFL 75TH Anniversary All-Time Team...Born March 17, 1914, in Temple, Texas. . .Unanimously voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 1962...#33 is the Washington Redskins' only officially retired number...Died December 17, 2008, at age of 94.
3. Otto Graham...1946-1955 Cleveland Browns (AAFC/NFL)...College tailback, switched to T-quarterback in pros. . .Guided Browns to 10 division or league crowns in 10 years. . .Played in 10 straight league championship games, winning seven...Topped AAFC passers four years, NFL two years. . . All-league nine of 10 years. . .Four TD passes in 1950 NFL title win. . .Had three TDs running, three TDs passing in 1954 NFL title game. . .Career passes for 23,584 yards, 174 TDs. . .Scored 276 points on 46 TDs. . .NFL 1950s All-Decade Team...NFL 75TH Anniversary All-Time Team...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965...one of five numbers (14) retired by the Cleveland Browns...Browns compiled a 105-17-4 record during his 10-year career...Played on Rochester Royals 1946 National Basketball League's championship team...Born December 6, 1921, in Waukegan, Illinois. . .Died December 17, 2003 at age of 82.
"All he ever did was win championships. How else do you judge quarterbacks?" - Don Shula
4. Joe Montana...1979-1992 San Francisco 49ers, 1993-1994 Kansas City Chiefs. . .Third round draft pick, 1979 . . .Master of come-from-behind victories. . .Led 49ers to four Super Bowl wins. . . Named Super Bowl MVP three times. . . Orchestrated 92-yard winning drive in closing seconds, Super Bowl XXIII. . .All-NFL three times, All-NFC five times. . . Missed entire 1991 season with injury. . . Selected to eight Pro Bowls. . .Two AP NFL MVP awards...Career statistics: 3,409 completions, 40,551 yards, 273 TDs, 92.3 passer rating. . .NFL 1980s All-Decade Team...NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team...one of eleven numbers (16) retired by the San Fransisco 49ers...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000...Born June 11, 1956, in New Eagle, Pennsylvania.
"Some people lead vocally. Others lead with their presence and by example. That was Joe. At times it seemed like we had an unfair advantage, and we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. You looked across the line and saw it in the other teams’ eyes. We knew we were going to score, and they knew we were going to score." – Randy Cross
5. Peyton Manning...1998–present...Indianapolis Colts...Ten Pro Bowls...Five First-team All-Pro selections...Three Second-team All-Pro selection...Four AP NFL MVP awards...Indianapolis Colts All-time leader (Career Wins, Passing Touchdowns , Pass Attempts, Pass Completions and Passing Yards)...Pro Bowl MVP (2005)...Super Bowl MVP (XLI)...2000s All-Decade Team.
"What sets him apart is his preparation ... That's it in a word: preparation. He prepares himself mentally, physically and emotionally to be the best that he can be. Now, everybody wants to be the best. But Peyton does what it takes to be the best. There's a difference." – Jim Mora
6. Bart Starr...1956-1971 Green Bay Packers...17th-round draft pick, 1956. . . Precision passer, poised team leader. . .Led Packers to six division, five NFL, two Super Bowl titles. . .NFL Most Valuable Player, 1966. . . MVP in Super Bowls I, II. . .Three-time NFL passing champion. . . Two first-team and two second-team All-Pro selections...In four Pro Bowls. . .Career passing totals: 24,718 yards, 152 TDs, 57.4 completion percentage. . .NFL 1960s All-Decade Team...one of five players to have his number (15) retired by the Green Bay Packers...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977...Born January 9, 1934, in Montgomery, Alabama.
7. Tom Brady...2000 - Present New England Patriots...Five Pro Bowls...First-team All-Pro selection(2007)...Second-team All-Pro(2005)..Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)..Super Bowl MVP (XXXVI, XXXVIII)...NFL 2000s All-Decade Team...NFL single season record 50 touchdown passes in 2007.
8. Sonny Jurgensen...1957-1963 Philadelphia Eagles, 1964-1974 Washington Redskins...Exceptional passer, superb team leader, intelligent, determined, competitive, poised against pass rush. . .Career 82.625 passing rating. . .Won three NFL individual passing titles. . .Five time Pro Bowl selection...Five time All-Pro selection...Surpassed 3,000 yards in five seasons, 300 yards in 25 games, 400 yards in five games. . .Career totals: 2,433 completions, 32,224 yards, 255 touchdowns. . .Excelled in spite of numerous injuries. . .NFL 1960s All-Decade Team...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983...Born August 23, 1934, in Wilmington, North Carolina.
"Jurgensen is a great quarterback. He hangs in there under adverse conditions. He may be the best the league has ever seen. He is the best I have seen." - Vince Lombardi
9. Roger Staubach...1969-1979 Dallas Cowboys...1963 Heisman Trophy winner. . . Four-year Navy service preceded pro play. . .Noted for last-minute heroics, guided Dallas to four NFC titles, Super Bowl VI, XII wins. . .MVP in Super Bowl VI. . .All-NFC five years . . .Career stats: 22,700 yards, 153 TDs passing; 2,264 yards, 20 TDs rushing. . .83.4 NFL passer rating best ever at time of retirement. . .Four-time NFL passing leader. . . NFL 1970s All-Decade Team...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985...Born February 5, 1942, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
10. Dan Marino...1983-1999 Miami Dolphins. . .Miami's first round pick, 1983. . .One of most prolific passers in NFL history – career statistics include 4,967 completions, 8,358 attempts for 61,361 yards, and 420 touchdowns. . .First player ever to pass for 5,000 yards in a season, threw then-record 48 TDs, 1984. . .Recorded thirteen 3,000-yard seasons. . .First or second team All-Pro eight times. . .All-AFC six times. . . .NFL MVP (1984)...NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1994)...Selected to nine Pro Bowls. . .one of three numbers (13) retired by the Miami Dolphins...elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005...Born September 15, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Next 10: Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Brett Favre, Jim Kelly, Sid Luckman, Fran Tarkenton, Y.A. Tittle, Norm Van Brocklin, Steve Young.