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The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time

Updated April 6, 2021 831.7k votes 91.7k voters 975.1k views120 items

List RulesVote up the top QBs in NFL history

This list of the greatest quarterbacks of all time only includes the best NFL quarterbacks to ever play professional football. Who are the best quarterbacks of all time? That is a question that experts have been tackling since the NFL first started in the 1920s. Defining who the best quarterback of all time isn't easy since every fan has a different criteria that defines who is the best NFL quarterback. If you like championships, then famous quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Peyton Manning, and Bart Starr are clearly top 10 QBs. If you like gaudy numbers then you're more likely to be a fan of Dan Marino and Brett Favre as top ten choices.

The top quarterbacks of all time are known for their excellent skills and leadership on the field. The quarterback position is the most important in football. The position entails being a coach on the field who can call and adjust plays on a whim and being able to dissect the defensive coverage by taking a peek at what they're showing, all while having the ability to avoid the oncoming pass rush and make accurate throws. Sounds easy right? These gentlemen, who are considered the best NFL quarterbacks of all time, have the rare ability to do all of these things in a matter of seconds.

Vote for whoever you think should get the title of best quarterbacks in NFL history. If you see someone who is missing, feel free to add them to this ultimate list of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time. 

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  • 26
    5,339
    6,337

    Joe Namath

    New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams

    Super Bowl champion (III)
    Super Bowl MVP (III)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1974)
    Second-team All-Pro (1972)
    Pro Bowl (1972)
    NFL passing yards leader (1972)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1972)
    AFL champion (1968)
    4× AFL All-Star (1965, 1967–1969)
    First-team All-AFL (1968)
    3× Second-team All-AFL (1966, 1967, 1969)
    2× AFL Most Valuable Player (1968, 1969)
    AFL Rookie of the Year (1965)
    2× AFL passing yards leader (1966, 1967)
    AFL All-Time Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 27
    4,321
    5,361

    Dan Fouts

    San Diego Chargers

    NFL Most Valuable Player (1982)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1982)
    3× First-team All-Pro (1979, 1982, 1985)
    6× Pro Bowl (1979–1983, 1985)
    4× NFL passing yards leader (1979–1982)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1981, 1982)
    NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #3 of 98 The Best Oregon Ducks of All Time#5 of 39 The Best NFL Quarterbacks of the 1970s

  • 28
    3,044
    3,459

    Matt Ryan

    Atlanta Falcons

    4× Pro Bowl (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)
    First-team All-Pro (2016)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (2016)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2016)
    NFL passer rating leader (2016)
    NFL completion percentage leader (2012)
    NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2008)
    PFWA All-Rookie Team (2008)

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  • 29
    3,349
    3,851

    Archie Manning

    New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers

    2× Pro Bowl (1978, 1979)

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    #2 of 24 The Best College Football Quarterbacks of the 1970s#15 of 135 The Best New Orleans Saints of All Time

  • 30
    3,399
    4,239

    Y. A. Tittle

    Baltimore Colts, San Francisco 49ers

    7× Pro Bowl (1953, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1961–1963)
    4× First-team All-Pro (1957, 1961–1963)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1963)
    3× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1955, 1962, 1963)
    NFL passer rating leader (1963)
    NFL record 7 touchdown passes in a game (tied)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 31
    3,792
    4,852

    Randall Cunningham

    Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens

    4× Pro Bowl (1988–1990, 1998)
    2× First-team All-Pro (1990, 1998)
    NFL passer rating leader (1998)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1998)
    PFWA NFL Most Valuable Player (1990)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1992)

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  • 32
    3,156
    3,813

    Andrew Luck

    Indianapolis Colts

    4× Pro Bowl (2012–2014, 2018)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2018)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (2014)

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  • 33
    2,773
    3,491

    Jim Plunkett

    Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots

    2× Super Bowl champion (XV, XVIII)
    Super Bowl MVP (XV)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1980)
    Longest touchdown pass: 99 yards (tied)

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  • 34
    2,716
    3,147

    Doug Flutie

    Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots

    Pro Bowl (1998)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1998)

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    #22 of 45 The Best NFL Quarterbacks of the '80s#25 of 73 The Best Quarterbacks to Never Win a Super Bowl

  • 35
    3,128
    4,079

    Phil Simms

    New York Giants

    2× Super Bowl champion (XXI, XXV)
    Super Bowl MVP (XXI)
    2× Pro Bowl (1985, 1993)
    First-team All-Pro (1986)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1986)

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    #11 of 84 The Most Overlooked Quarterbacks of All Time#19 of 41 The Best NFL Quarterbacks of the '90s

  • 36
    2,241
    2,858

    George Blanda

    Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears

    NFL Man of the Year (1974)
    3× AFL champion (1960, 1961, 1967)
    4× AFL All-Star (1961–1963, 1967)
    First-team All-AFL (1961)
    AFL Most Valuable Player (1961)
    2× AFL passing yards leader (1961, 1963)
    AFL passing touchdowns leader (1961)
    AFL All-Time Team
    7 touchdown passes in a game (tied)
    NFL Hall of Fame

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    #69 of 144 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time#4 of 66 The Best Chicago Bears Quarterbacks of All Time

  • 37
    2,404
    2,812

    Matthew Stafford

    Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions

    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2011)
    Pro Bowl (2014)
    Most passing attempts in a single season: 727 (2012)
    First player in NFL history to complete 60% or more of all passes in each game in a season (2015)
    Most 4th quarter comebacks in a single season: 8 (2016)

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  • 38
    1,738
    2,038

    Craig Morton

    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

    Super Bowl champion (VI)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1977)

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    #4 of 11 The Best Backup Quarterbacks to Reach a Super Bowl#18 of 106 The Best Denver Broncos of All Time

  • 39
    2,705
    3,754

    Len Dawson

    Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns

    Super Bowl champion (IV)
    Super Bowl MVP (IV)
    Pro Bowl (1971)
    NFL Man of the Year (1973)
    3× AFL champion (1962, 1966, 1969)
    6× AFL All-Star (1962, 1964, 1966–1969)
    2× First-team All-AFL (1962, 1966)
    AFL Most Valuable Player (1962)
    4× AFL passing touchdowns leader (1962, 1963, 1966, 1967)
    6× AFL passer rating leader (1962, 1964–1968)
    American Football League All-Time Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #23 of 61 The Best NFL Players From Ohio#5 of 128 The Best Kansas City Chiefs Of All Time

  • 40
    1,981
    2,628

    Bobby Layne

    Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions

    3× NFL champion (1952, 1953, 1957)
    6× Pro Bowl (1951–1953, 1956, 1958, 1959)
    3× First-team All-Pro (1952, 1956, 1958)
    2× NFL passing yards leader (1950, 1951)
    NFL passing touchdowns leader (1951)
    NFL completion percentage leader (1955)
    NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 41
    2,666
    3,478

    Steve McNair

    Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens

    3× Pro Bowl (2000, 2003, 2005)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (2003)
    NFL passer rating leader (2003)

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    #32 of 95 The Best Baltimore Ravens of All Time#6 of 30 The Best Black Quarterbacks Of All Time

  • 42
    3,382
    4,533

    Michael Vick

    Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles

    4× Pro Bowl (2002, 2004, 2005, 2010)
    NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2010)
    Career yards per carry by a quarterback (7.0)
    Career rushing yards by a quarterback (6,109)

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    #6 of 66 The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History#11 of 106 The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

  • 43
    2,831
    3,982

    Joe Theismann

    Washington Redskins

    Super Bowl champion (XVII)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1983)
    2× Pro Bowl (1982, 1983)
    First-team All-Pro (1983)
    NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1983)
    NFL Man of the Year (1982)

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  • 44
    2,287
    3,224

    Norm Van Brocklin

    Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams

    2× NFL champion (1951, 1960)
    9× Pro Bowl (1950–1955, 1958–1960)
    First-team All-Pro (1960)
    NFL Most Valuable Player (1960)
    NFL passing yards leader (1954)

    Most passing yards in a game (554)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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    #16 of 110 The Best Los Angeles Rams of All Time#3 of 56 The Best Los Angeles Rams Quarterbacks of All Time

  • 45
    2,510
    3,638

    Sonny Jurgensen

    Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles

    NFL champion (1960)
    5× Pro Bowl (1961, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969)
    2× First-team All-Pro (1961, 1969)
    5× NFL passing yards leader (1961, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1969)
    2× NFL passing touchdowns leader (1961, 1967)
    NFL passer rating leader (1967)
    NFL 1960s All-Decade Team

    Longest touchdown pass: 99 yards (tied)
    ​​​​​​​NFL Hall of Fame

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  • 46
    177
    145

    Curly Lambeau

    Green Bay Packers

    6× NFL champion (1929–1931, 1936, 1939, 1944)
    NFL 1920s All-Decade Team
    NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team

  • 47
    5,011
    7,397

    Eli Manning

    New York Giants

    2× Super Bowl champion (XLII, XLVI)
    2× Super Bowl MVP (XLII, XLVI)
    4× Pro Bowl (2008, 2011, 2012, 2015)

    Most passing yards in a single postseason: 1,219 yards (2011)
    Longest touchdown pass: 99 yards (tied)

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    #36 of 41 The 41 Hottest Men in the NFL#20 of 34 The Most Overpaid Professional Athletes Right Now

  • 48
    1,641
    2,237

    Don Meredith

    Dallas Cowboys

    3× Pro Bowl (1966–1968)

    More Don Meredith 

    #29 of 139 The Best Dallas Cowboys Of All Time#24 of 69 The Best NFL Players From Texas

  • 49
    191
    197

    DeShaun Watson

    Houston Texans

    3× Pro Bowl (2018–2020)
    NFL passing yards leader (2020)
    PFWA All-Rookie Team (2017)

  • 50
    3,039
    4,336

    Tony Romo

    Dallas Cowboys

    4× Pro Bowl (2006, 2007, 2009, 2014)
    NFL passer rating leader (2014)

    NFL completion percentage leader (2014)

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    #193 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes#43 of 71 Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments