First, let's explain exactly what we're talking about here. NFL.com has taken on the totally subjective but very fun task of ranking NFL franchises by their quarterback tradition/history. Here's their primer to the exercise:
We tried to answer this by identifying the top three signal-callers in each franchise's history, and then ranking each group from weakest trio to strongest. A few notes:
A) The three passers for each team are ordered how I rank them against each other.
B) Some teams' QB collections are like the "Jurassic Park" franchise -- only one stellar installment, with the latest looking awesome ... but not being around long enough yet for true perspective.
C) A few franchises employed legendary names -- like the Chiefs with Joe Montana -- but were dinged a smidge because those names became name brands in other locales.
D) EVERYTHING was considered, from stats to Super Bowls to tenures with specific teams.
Now, in that game, you'd immediately think the Dallas Cowboys would do very well. Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman are the obvious choices to lead that group. They were at the top of their class when they played and they have SB rings. The third choice, yeah, probably Romo. You'd hear calls from some corners for Don Meredith or Danny White, but I think when all is said and done, Romo's career eclipses those two.
So how does that trio stack up league wide? Admittedly, before I even looked I thought that Dallas might just be at the top, but that was without any real thought. Just a gut reaction. Instead, they came in third.
3) Cowboys: Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo Dallas comes in at No. 3 -- narrowly -- over the 49ers. Staubach retired as the NFL's all-time best passer and arguably quarterback (behind perhaps only Unitas). Aikman is one of just four quarterbacks to start and win three Super Bowls. Romo currently holds the second-best career passer rating (97.6) behind only Aaron Rodgers. Bet few fans, or league analysts, know that stat.
The obvious next thought? Who beat them out? At #1 are the Packers with Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. The fact they all three have Super Bowl rings weighs heavily there. Number two are the Colts with Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. I think there you could have a debate, the Cowboys group against that group. The 49ers also have an argument with Joe Montana, Steve Young and John Brodie.
Note: This line from the NFL.com blurb posted above is poorly worded. "Staubach retired as the NFL's all-time best passer and arguably quarterback (behind perhaps only Unitas)." I believe what he was trying to say is that at the time Staubach retired (1979), he was arguably the best quarterback ever, or maybe just behind Unitas.
Sure, this is all just a fluff piece to pass the time in the depths of the offseason, but give credit to NFL.com, it's a fun topic. How do you feel about their rankings?