NFL Quarterbacks Mount Rushmore of the Super Bowl Era

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Tom Brady
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Tom Brady /
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The NFL quarterbacks Mount Rushmore of the Super Bowl era? That might as well be called ground zero for a social media blitzkrieg.

The best thing to do before getting into the meat of the matter is determining who is left out. Of course, it starts with quarterbacks who did not play in the Super Bowl era.  Also, quarterbacks who played half or more of their career before it doesn’t qualify as well. This means all-timer like Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton won’t be making the cut.

There are plenty of names who deserve placement on the list. Roger Staubach was “Captain America.” The man who turned the Dallas Cowboys into a landmark franchise. Dan Marino set every passing record in the book and was the first to crack 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns passing in a season.

Brett Favre broke all those records, started more consecutive games than anybody in history and revived a charter franchise in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers? Drew Brees? Both future Hall of Famers with incredible track records. Yet none of these great men could make the list. That’s how incredible the competition is.

So who did make it?

John Elway (Denver Broncos)

It’s not all about stats at the quarterback position, even though John Elway has plenty. To make this list as stated before, you have to have redefined the position in some aspect. Nobody had ever seen a physical specimen like Elway before. Quarterbacks were good athletes in the NFL prior to his arrival, but none could match the size, athleticism, and speed he brought to the table.

Then put a rocket right arm into the mix just for good measure? Elway could do it all. Need a scramble for a first down? He was the best. Need to launch a bomb in the final second for a touchdown? He could do that too. Yet those weren’t even his greatest traits. He was also one of the best come-from-behind performers in NFL history.

Including the playoffs, Elway had 35 comebacks in the 4th quarter and 46 game-winning drives. His most iconic was, of course, the 1986 AFC championship game where he drove his team 98 yards with the final minutes to tie the game with a touchdown. He got the Denver Broncos to five Super Bowls in his career and won two of them to put a cap on it in 1997 and 1998.

Put it this way. Every team has been looking for the next John Elway ever since he left.