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Who is the best quarterback of all time?

In eight seasons in the National Football League, Tom Brady has worked his way up from a bench-warming rookie into possibly the best quarterback ever. His story is told in an article in the September 2008 issue of Boys’ Life magazine.

But there are plenty of other great quarterbacks in NFL history. Here is a summary of some of them in alphabetical order. Take a look, and then vote for the best quarterback of all time.

TERRY BRADSHAW (Pittsburgh Steelers, 1970-83): First to win four Super Bowl titles (’74, ’75, ’78, ’79). Two-time Super Bowl MVP. Hall of Fame class of 1989.

TOM BRADY (New England Patriots, 2001-present): Won one NFL Most Valuable Player award and two Super Bowl MVPs. Won three of the four Super Bowls in which he has played. Holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season.

JOHN ELWAY (Denver Broncos, 1983-98): Led Broncos on “The Drive” in 1986 AFC title game in cold and wind at Cleveland, moving 98 yards to beat the clock and force overtime that led to 23-20 victory. Two Super Bowl titles, including one Super Bowl MVP. Hall of Fame class of 2004.

BRETT FAVRE (Green Bay Packers, 1991-2007): Holds NFL passing records for TDs (442), yards (61,655), completions (5,377) and interceptions (228). Seven-time All-Pro and three-time NFL MVP. Led Green Bay to consecutive Super Bowls in 1996, when they beat the Patriots, and 1997, when they lost to the Broncos.

PEYTON MANNING (Indianapolis Colts, 1998-present): Foremost rival to Tom Brady for supremacy among current QBs. Led 2006 Colts to Super Bowl title and was named MVP. Two-time NFL MVP. Six-time All-Pro.

DAN MARINO (Miami Dolphins, 1983-99): Repeated knee surgeries limited mobility but still achieved terrific career statistics — 420 TDs, 61,361 yards, 37 fourth-quarter comebacks. Eight-time All-Pro, one MVP. Only Super Bowl trip came in second season (38-16 loss to 49ers). Hall of Fame class of 2005.

JOE MONTANA (San Francisco 49ers, 1979-94): “My favorite quarterback of all time,” says Tom Brady, who saw many 49ers games as a boy. “I loved the way he carried himself, his leadership ability and the way the team looked up to him.” Montana won four Super Bowls and three MVPs in 1980s. Hall of Fame class of 2000.

BART STARR (Green Bay Packers, 1956-71): The only QB to lead team to five titles (NFL champs in ’61, ’62 and ’65 before there was a Super Bowl, then ’66 and ’67 in first two Super Bowls). Two-time Super Bowl MVP. Hall of Fame class of 1977.

ROGER STAUBACH (Dallas Cowboys, 1969-79): Navy graduate’s debut delayed four years by military commitment, but still led Cowboys to four Super Bowls in the 1970’s, including two victories. Coach Tom Landry called him “possibly the best combination of passer, athlete and leader ever to play in the NFL.” Hall of Fame class of 1985.

JOHNNY UNITAS (Baltimore Colts, 1956-73): First great QB of modern era helped propel pro football toward the tremendous popularity it now enjoys when he led colts to titles in 1958 and 1959. Three-time NFL MVP. Nine-time All-Pro. Hall of Fame class of 1979.


Did your favorite quarterback not make our list? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

53 Comments on Who is the best quarterback of all time?

  1. Steve Young helped Joe Montana win 2 of his 4 super bowls. If not for his famous run vs. the viking in ’88 Montana would have three. In passing completion percentages and many other passing statistics Steve Young holds the record for best of all time. Indisputably, he is among the top contenders for greatest passer and clutch player of all time. But, what is undisputable is that he was the greatest rushing qb ever. No one has ever thought to make any of the contending qbs, for all-time #1, a half-back, full back, defensive back, or reciever. Yet, for Steve Young these suggestions have been made and given serious consideration. Disputable is that he was the greatest passer; that he was the greatest qb is undisputable.

  2. Johnny Unitas is definately the best. 3 championships 1 super bowl and he played before 1978

  3. Clint Stoerner is the best Quarterback of all time.

  4. Also Steve Pelluer its one of the best

  5. Tony Romo is the best Quarterback of all time.

  6. BRETT FAVRE and DAUNTE CULPEPPER all the way !!!!

  7. englishboy // May 17, 2009 at 6:41 am // Reply

    The quarterback is the offensive team leader and should be judged on his role in big games i.e. Superbowls and championships if you use this formula then modern QB,s like Elway,Favre and Marino just dont cut the mustard therefore by performance and victories in big championship games including superbowls 1 Joe Montana 2 Terry Bradshaw 3 Tom Brady and inthe future who will doubt that Brady will overtake his boyhood hero Montana?

  8. franannelvis // April 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm // Reply

    Fran Tarkenton was an amazing and underrated quarterback. NOBODY scrambled like Fran.

  9. Tom Brady now and Marino Montana Graham and maybe Brett Farve and Tom Brady are just some of the best ever

  10. I think Tom Brady right now is a little bit better than Peyton Manning fantasy wise and overall. But its hard to say who the best QB really is. I am going to say 5 good ones in random order. 1. Joe Montana 2. Steve Young 3.Otto Graham [cle14 makes a good point.] 4.Tom Brady 5 Dan Marino. Remember that was in random order

  11. tom brady should be the best of the best because he has a toatl of 197 touch downs


  13. Sid Luckman… revolutionized football by having the talent to run the T-formation… under him, the Bears beat the Redskins in the championship (pre-Super Bowl) 73-0.

  14. tony romo is the best quarterback of all time

  15. JOE MONTANA is by far the best quaterback of all time!!!! He won 4 Super Bowls and has 3 Super Bowl MVPs. It’s not about the records, its about the rings!!!! A quarterback is supposed to be a leader and lead his team.

  16. Terry Bradshaw

  17. SAINTSALLTHEWAY // January 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm // Reply



  19. steve Young

  20. I think Tom Brady is the best quarter back of all time.

  21. so what was the pecent of who was the best

  22. Peyton Manning is the best.

  23. Joe Montana all the way!!!!

  24. I think Kurt Warner is the BEST!!

  25. brett favre is the greatest QB of all-time

  26. Tom Brady is the best quaterback of all time.The best I ever seen.My husband and I both think so.

  27. Hey the only super good wr Favre had was Driver and maby a few more guys, and look at all those records he has, and he’s now on the jets and hes turning them into a good team he also is breaking records with the jets.

  28. Brett Favre by far. look at all those records. He is definetely #1. Brady is only good because they have a good offensive line and he has Moss and Walker there to catch all of his bad spirel and way above the head throws. If it was Favre on the Patriots then Favre would blow everyone away on the list even the Favre now. Go Favre!!!!!!!

  29. Tom Brady is the best! Even though the Patriots may not have on Super Bowl 42 they still beat every team they played, they just didnt beat the Giants the second time around.

  30. John Elway, all the way. He was and still is the best QB EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. I second “a”. Tom Brady only looked good because the other coaches’ plays were taped by some people on his team or team’s staff. Viva la Peyton Manning! He rocks!

  32. I think kobe bryant is a great basketball player

  33. Your list is missing the man who led the greatest dynasty in pro-football history. Otto Graham in his 10 seasons with the Cleveland Browns led them to 10 championship games, winning 7 of them.

    Because of WWII Graham had to first serve 2 years in the coast guard/ Navy (the coast guard was still part of the Navy) before being converted to QB from his tailback position in college.

    He found time before the start of his first season of pro-football to play a season of pro-basketball for the Rochester Royals, winning the 1945-46 NBA championship.

    Under Paul Brown Otto Graham and Marion Motley dominated the AAFC into in-existence compiling a 52-4-3 record, including the first perfect season in pro-football in 1948 going 15-0-0. Because of the shakeup of NFL rosters by the war the top teams the AAFC were just as good if not better than the top NFL teams but since Otto Graham managed to pull out wins in the championship games with his 4th quarter heroics the league folded.

    HIs 4 AAFC championships and 3 NFL titles, 5 of which were in a row, along with 3 other NFL title game he played in compiling a 105-17-4 record make the 10 year Otto Graham dynasty the most prolific and successful in pro-football history.

    • you have to put otto at the top because of his records no one has ever done what he did in his day teams hit just as hard as today. the equiptment they had was terrible. he was a multi-talented QB. 7 championships 10 years. he played whether hurt or not.

  34. tom brady cheated

  35. I like Fran Tarkenton! Lots of yardage passed!

  36. superkid312 is smart

  37. brett favre beats everybody up there. cmon 3 mvps a super bowl win and back2back appearances in the super bowl. he has at least five all-time records and played through several injuries like when he sprained his ankle against the vikings one week then started the next week. HE OWNS EVERYBODY ON THE LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. BRETT FARVE he has thrown many, many passes. I think he should be the best quearterback of all time because of all the records he holds. I don’t care what team he plays with, He is still always the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Why wasn’t Joe Namath on the list, he was an amazing quarterback


  41. Bart starr led the packers to 2 superbowl victorys

  42. Oh, I forgot names like Doug Williams, who won a Superbowl with the Washington Redskins and also was named Superbowl MVP.

  43. I would have liked to have seen names like Vince Young, or Steve “Air” McNair, or maybe even Michael Vick, who was one of the best scrambling quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen! Now these quarterbacks may not have made the best of all times, but Donovan McNabb and Aaron Brooks were also awesome quarterbacks!

  44. Roman Gabriel of the LA RAMS

  45. philip rivers but its a tie between unitas montana and marino dan frouts was pretty good or joe namath or even phill simms you should do best running backs of all time.

  46. you are the best hope i could see you in stadium.


  48. plihip rivers should be on the list. after all he has LT on his team

  49. why not eli manning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!he is the best but from the list tom brady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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