Feb 3, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NFL former quarterback Fran Tarkenton gives an interview on radio row for Super Bowl week. The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI . Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Fran Tarkenton says he's greatest quarterback ever


Sorry Joe Montana, Dan Marino, John Elway, Johnny UnitasFran Tarkenton is going to let you finish, but he just wants to let you know he’s the greatest quarterback of all-time.

The longtime Minnesota Vikings signal caller (who also spent a handful of seasons as a member of the New York Giants) recently suggested he could outplay any of the great quarterbacks who have graced the NFL gridiron, hinting that he was the best quarterback to ever take the field:

“I feel like I can outplay any of the quarterbacks that ever played,” Tarkenton said in an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Go look at my record. Go look at my record in that era and what I did, the results that I got from passing and rushing. … In my mind, I played better than anybody that has ever played the position.”

Looking at Tarkenton’s resume, which reads more like a novel, he does have an argument – though it might be a small one as many feel greatness comes with Super Bowl rings, of which Tarkenton has none.

There’s no doubt Tarkenton’s in a potential top fifteen discussion in regards to greatest quarterbacks of all-time, likely top ten – but topping the list (or even cracking the top five) seems a bit outlandish.

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Tags: Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings New York Giants NFL

  • Daniel Laxen

    I’m a Viking fan and Fran is not even in the conversation!…Zero rings and his play on the largest stage dictates that he will never be included…The fact that Bill Walsh gets all the credit for the west coast offense suggests many didn’t watch the Vikings play much. The Vikings would pass to set up the run every week. Tarkenton didn’t have the strongest arm either…

  • v2787

    One thing Tarkenton never lacked was a strong ego. However, to have him say he’s the best QB of all time is simply delusional. He was a good, solid QB who never got his team over the hump. Great QBs win championships, or at least help their team win them. You play the game to win, not to get QB ratings. How many Super Bowls did Fran’s teams win? Oh yeah, that’s right–none. When you have four rings like Montana and Bradshaw, then we can talk.

  • cka2nd

    Montana is #1 All-Time, Tarkenton is in the Top 10 and Bradshaw the Top 20.

    v2787: Yes, Fran has always been a bit of an egomaniac, but he was also a hell of a lot more than a “good, solid QB,” which is Don Meredith, Greg Landry and Lynn Dickey territory. He was one of the most exciting players in the game and a difference-maker wherever he went. Just one example: John Gilliam may have been an enourmously talented split end, but the only four years he was named to the Pro Bowl were the ones he had Tarkenton throwing to him. And let’s not overrate Super Bowl rings. Montana is the greatest QB ever, in my opinion, in large part because he was arguably the single greatest post-season QB, ever, and I still rate Starr over Favre among Packers QB’s because of their wildly different post-season results, but Bradshaw was a horrible QB through the 1974 season, far, far worse then Tarkenton through his first five years, and for their careers, Tarkenton’s QB rating is 10 points higher than Bradshaw’s. I don’t want to alibi Tarkenton and the rest of the players for the Super Bowl losses, but Bud Grant and the coaching staff deserve at least as much of the blame, if you ask me.

    Mr. Laxen: Tarkenton didn’t have a cannon of an arm, but it was plenty strong enough, as Homer Jones, John Gilliam and Sammy White, among others, could attest from all the bombs Tarkenton threw them. Tark has also argued for over 20 years that he and the Vikings deserve credit for creating the West Coast offense. I hesitate to agree, but one could at least argue that the West Coast system wasn’t quite as unique as it’s been made out to be.

  • Marty

    The only thing Fran was the best at was choking in Super Bowls. He lost three of four, outscored 72-28, he threw one TD against 6 int’s. Below the “best” QB ever works his magic against the Steelers in SB IX.