Dallas Cowboys: 15 greatest quarterbacks in franchise history

Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images)
Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

CraigMorton. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. QB. (1965-74). 7. 123

Craig Morton could have finished higher on this list, and in the team’s record books, had he been able to start for the entire 10 seasons he was with the Cowboys. In his first four years, he was under center for just five starts, winning only three of them.

During that span, he was the backup to Don Meredith until he retired ahead of the 1969 NFL season. That was when Morton finally got his chance to be the man and he made the most of that chance.

He beat out Roger Staubach for the starting job that season and took the team to the playoffs on the strength of a 10-2-1 record. In 1970, he again was the starter and helped them make the playoffs and they even made their first Super Bowl appearance. They were defeated 16-13 to the then-Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, but it was the beginning of a special run for America’s Team.

Morton had to again fight for his job following that loss, as Tom Landry started alternating him with Staubach. Following an odd game where the two quarterbacks swapped out between plays, Staubach was named the starter.

This wasn’t the last Dallas saw of Morton, as he started another 14 games in 1972 when Staubach hurt his shoulder. In all, Morton played in 101 games for Dallas with 47 starts. He owned a record of 32-14-1 and is seventh all-time in passing yardage with 10,279 yards.

Eventually, he requested to be traded and spent six seasons with the New York Giants before playing three more with the Denver Broncos, leading them to their first Super Bowl in team history in 1977. Morton was the first starting quarterback to lead two teams to their first Super Bowl appearances in franchise history.