Hall of Fame Breakdown: Quarterbacks

by Bryan Dietzler

The potential candidates for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame have been announced.  Experts are speculating as to who is going to get in under the relaxed rules of the Hall of Fame entry process in 2020.

What are these relaxed rules and why are they in place? As the NFL is celebrating its 100th year, the Hall of Fame committee deferred the by-laws of the Hall for a year, the centennial year, and will allow a total of 20 members to be elected. Of those 20 members, ten will be senior members (a senior member is one who has been retired for 25 years or more), five modern-era players and three contributors (someone who is not a player or a coach).

122 players were announced as being eligible and we are going to take a quick look at each group of players and see which former players have the best chance of getting into the Hall of Fame and which may have to sit out another year. This is a statistics-based article and we will base the player’s possible entry off statistics, success, and character.

In this article, we are going to start with the quarterbacks.

Randall Cunningham

Randall Cunningham played for three teams during his tenure in the league Philadelphia, Minnesota and Dallas. His completion percentage was 56.6 as he threw for almost 30,000 yards. He had a total of 207 touchdowns while playing in 161 games with 135 starts. He displayed great character while he was in the league. While he didn’t accomplish a lot of those lofty goals that he may have had he is still Hall of Fame material.

Boomer Esiason

A lot of people don’t realize that Boomer was a pretty decent quarterback playing for three teams (Cincinnati, where he spent a majority of the time, Arizona and New York (Jets). He one of his Bengals teams to the Super Bowl in 1988 but lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Esiason’s completion percentage was 57.0, he threw for just over 37,000 yards and had 247 touchdowns.

He played in a total of 187 games with 173 games started. He had a very productive time in the NFL but didn’t have that Super Bowl victory that could propel him into the Hall. Let’s see if Esiason can get in and represent a Bengals team that could seriously use more players in the Hall.

Jeff Garcia

Jeff Garcia is someone that you may not remember that well but who had an impact in the league. During his time in the NFL, Garcia played for the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.

You can see he got around.

Garcia had a completion percentage of 61.6 and threw for just over 25,000 yards. He played in a total of 125 games with 116 starts. His completion percentage was 61.6 and he threw for 161 touchdowns. Garcia did appear in some playoff games and won two. He was a journeyman type of quarterback that did a good job filling in but didn’t do anything spectacular.

It may take him a few years to get in the Hall of Fame if he makes it in at all.

Jeff Hostetler

Hostetler played for the New York Giants, the Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins. He will be most well remembered for leading the Giants to a Super Bowl win over the Buffalo Bills back in the 1990-1991 season.

All told, Hostetler played in a total of 152 games with 83 starts. His completion percentage was 58. He threw for a total of 16,430 yards and tossed 94 touchdown passes.

I would think that if Kurt Warner got into the Hall of Fame, there would be a good chance that Hostetler would as well. He won a Super Bowl but that’s about all that he did. He may have to wait a little while to get into the Hall.

Donavan McNabb

The old Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is eligible, again, for the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played with the Eagles as well as the Redskins and the Vikings. McNabb played in 16 playoff games leading his team to one Super Bowl (a loss to the New England Patriots). His completion percentage for his career was 59 and he threw for just over 37,000 yards. He passed for a whopping 234 touchdowns during his 13-year career in which he played in 167 games with 161 starts.

McNabb was one of the most successful quarterbacks of his era and has the stats to back it up. He did stumble a little bit and was fired from his television broadcasting job but that shouldn’t hold him back from being a Hall of Fame player.

Look for him to get into the Hall sooner than later.

Jake Delhomme

Jake Delhomme was a journeyman quarterback who has some significant playoff experience. Delhomme played for the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, and Houston Texans. He played a total of 11 seasons with these teams and had eight playoff appearances including a Super Bowl appearance which was a loss to the New England Patriots.

Delhomme’s completion percentage is 59.4. He threw for just over 20,000 yards and had a total of 126 touchdowns. Delhomme played in a total of 103 games with 96 starts.

Despite being another quiet performer, it’s hard to deny that Delhomme has the background to be in the Hall of Fame but without a Super Bowl win, it’s going to be hard for him to get in, immediately. Look for him to get in some time down the road as there continue to be better options at the quarterback spot for future Hall of Famers.

Dave Kreig

Kreig was another quarterback whose status could be considered one of being a journeyman. He played for several teams while he was in the league, including Seattle, Arizona, Chicago, Detroit, Tennessee, and Kansas City. Kreig played in a total of 213 games with 175 starts. His completion percentage was 58.5 and he threw for just over 31,000 yards. Kreig passed for a total of 261 touchdowns during his career.

Kreig deserves to be in the Hall of Fame just because of his longevity and what he was able to do in the league. He was a fixture in Seattle for so long and did some great things there. While he never won a Super Bowl, he still did enough to warrant a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Overall, the strongest chances in this group come with McNabb, Kreig and possibly Hostetler. Why all of them are worth getting into the Hall of Fame at some point, for a few of them, that time isn’t going to come right away.

2 Comments on "Hall of Fame Breakdown: Quarterbacks"

  1. Wow, some of the names you have listed as consideration for the Hall of Fame are mind boggling. My question to is ” did you actually watch these quarterbacks play or did you YOUTUBE them and watch a 4 minute highlight film

  2. Bryan Dietzler | November 2, 2019 at 9:46 am | Reply

    Hi there,

    This isn’t my list, this is the list of finalists generated by the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee. I just wrote what I thought about each one. And yes, I did watch these quarterbacks growing up and have seen them play several games.

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