With Peyton Manning closing in on becoming the all time touchdown leader in the NFL the debate of who is the greatest quarterback of all talk will spark. So might, as well get in on it, but my rankings will be different. They won’t be judged on stats alone but more on there impact on the game. Meaning if they were innovators, influenced future quarterbacks or brought more eyes to the game, it is not based off top quarterbacks of all time.
George Washington: Roger Staubach. He is part of the reason why the Cowboys are so popular the way they are today. Staubach was arguably the first quarterback to be idolized by millions. Names before him such as Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas could be argued but it was Staubach who brought the name recognition to the Cowboys that gets this honor. He played with the Cowboys during a five-season stretch in which they played in the Super Bowl. He led the Cowboys to victories in Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII. Staubach was named MVP of Super Bowl VI, becoming the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP.
Thomas Jefferson: Joe Montana. Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Four Super Bowl appearances and four Super Bowl wins while also being named MVP in three of those victories (NFL record), that alone would get Montana on the Mt. Rushmore of QB’s but there are more reasons than the Super Bowls for why he is on here. Montana is most noted for his ability to stay calm under pressure in close game situations. Montana has 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind victories. Who could forget in the closing moments of the 1981 NFL Championship Game where he threw the game-winning touchdown to Dwight Clark a play that would go down in history to be simply known as “The Catch.” Then in Super Bowl XXIII with under a minute left scoring a touchdown to secure his 4th Super Bowl championship. Reasons like this are what made Joe Montana be “Joe Cool.”
Theodore Roosevelt: Brett Favre. Nobody innovated the quarterback position more than Favre. He might not have won the most championships during his era, but he was the quarterback that everybody dreamed of being when playing in their backyard. As of right now Favre holds the record for most touchdowns (508) but Peyton Manning will break it unless something catastrophic happens. Favre is the ultimate iron man of football, playing in 321 consecutive football games (regular season and playoffs.) A record that will most likely never happen be broken; Favre would take brutal hits in the pocket just to wait an extra second for his receive to get open to throw the perfect pass. He played in an era where defensive backs where allowed to rough up there receivers and that is why he would wait and take hits, reasons like that are why he is nicknamed “The Gunslinger.” Favre is the only player to three peat the NFL MVP award (1995-97) as he also holds the records of most career passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions, most career victories as a starting quarterback. In the final 2 minutes of a game you were promised to see a result, with Favre there was no three-and-outs. It was either a touchdown or an interception, he always promised you 100% effort and that is what made him truly amazing.
Abraham Lincoln: Peyton Manning. The great debate of our era of football is “Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?” Reasons for me going with Manning are even though Brady has the rings, his numbers during his championship run are nowhere near Manning’s numbers. Peyton has always put up incredible numbers where Brady’s were very average during those championship years even though he did win MVP in two of those Super Bowls. Brady’s number didn’t rise until after winning those championships so that is why I will give the nod here to Peyton. Manning holds a record of winning five regular season MVP’s and also winning a Super Bowl MVP. After undergoing season-ending neck surgery and in doubt of ever playing again “The Sheriff” rebounded and two years later won his fifth MVP and appeared in Super Bowl XLVII. Manning is often considered an offensive coordinator who just happens to play quarterback (as recently just mentioned by Jets head coach, Rex Ryan.) Manning is just two touchdowns away from breaking the all-time record, so most likely this weekend he will be holding that record. For a record like that to be accomplished, the way he has is something that will never go forgotten.