Tony Dungy Ranks Tom Brady No. 6 on His List of Best QBs Since 1978

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Tony Dungy, former Indianapolis Colts head coach and current NFL analyst,  smiles as fans cheer on from the sidelines before the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy is catching heat after listing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sixth as part of a ranking of the best QBs since 1978. 

ESPN.com's Mike Sando created a panel of 10 former head coaches and front-office executives to formulate the list. Nine of the 10 listed Brady either first or second, with Dungy the lone dissenting voice knocking Brady out of the top two. Sando explained Dungy's reasoning:

"He approached the project as if he were a defensive coordinator drawing up a game plan. Dungy saw skilled passers across the board when looking at the best QBs. He reasoned that those who also were dangerous runners were the toughest quarterbacks to stop, which is why his top three comprised John Elway, Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers. Brady might own the best career credentials, but those other guys presented additional challenges. Not that anyone was going to argue against Brady."

Brady isn't one of the most physically gifted players to play quarterback in the NFL: He has 940 rushing yards over his 17 seasons in the league. Dungy is correct in that Elway, Young and Rodgers' scrambling ability provided a different dimension to their game.

Brady may not be remembered as the best pure passer ever, either—a title that would apply more so to Peyton Manning or Dan Marino.

But it's impossible to argue with Brady's success and longevity. He's a five-time Super Bowl champion who just set the single-season record for touchdown-to-interception ratio, according to ESPN Stats & Info. At 39 years old, he threw for 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns and two interceptions in 12 games and helped engineer the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Any argument about a sport's greatest players is entirely subjective, and one could reasonably argue Brady isn't the best quarterback ever.

Dungy, however, is in the minority when it comes to his assessment of Brady's standing among his peers of the last 30 years.


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