KDH Quarterback Survey

Denver’s Peyton Manning, a five-time NFL MVP, finished fourth in a KDHpressbox.com survey of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time. Joe Montana was the top pick.

Mark Humphrey | AP

Who is the greatest NFL quarterback of all-time? 

According to those that responded to the KDHpressbox.com Feb. 1-10 survey, Joe Montana, who guided the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl wins, was the greatest.

Johnny Unitas, who earned three MVP awards (1959, 1964, 1967), led the Baltimore Colts to three NFL titles and started in its 1970 Super Bowl win, garnered the second-most selections.

Montana was chosen the greatest by 27 percent of those who responded to the survey and Unitas got the nod from 10 percent.

Of course this survey was of the unscientific variety. But, according to 34-year radio and television sportscaster David Smoak, the survey was telling.

“I think the readers of the Herald have it exactly right,” said Smoak, who has been programming director and a talk show host for ESPN-Central Texas since 2010. “Montana is my No. 1 choice, too. He not only won those four Super Bowl contests, he did so in amazing fashion. He beat Cincinnati in the final moments (Jan. 1989) in an unforgettable game. And Montana changed the entire culture of the NFL with ‘The Catch,’ that clutch pass to Dwight Clark (Jan. 1982).

“And John Unitas would have been my second choice as the greatest ever. He won championships, he came through in tough situations and he had a great completion percentage.

“I’m glad the readers got it right by going back quite a few years.

“In too many polls, the responses seem to be, ‘What happened lately?’ I’m glad to see it was Montana first, Unitas second.”

Former Cowboys great Roger Staubach placed third in the poll, Peyton Manning fourth and Troy Aikman fifth.

Copperas Cove sports information director and 45-year sportscaster Joe Lombardi said, “Those poll results tell me the Herald readers have a good handle on this.

“Montana and Unitas deserve the top two spots. Personally, I’d have put Unitas first and Montana second.

“I like that Unitas did so well in this poll. He played back in the era when men were men and football was football to paraphrase Artie Donovan (former Colt defensive lineman and Hall of Fame inductee). And after Montana, I’d list, in order, Staubach, Troy Aikman and then Peyton Manning.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog at KDHPressbox.com

(1) comment


Interesting. In the fullness of time, Tom Brady will be declared the best that has ever played.

The mannings will be in the bottom 100, all time.

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