The most overrated NFL quarterbacks of all time

Tony Romo speaks to the media at Edgewood Tahoe on Saturday. © Jim Krajewski via Imagn Content Services, LLC

As the most criticized position in all of sports, it’s sometimes important to take a look at the most underrated NFL quarterbacks of all time.

There have been plenty of underrated players over the years who may not have been superstars, but were far better than most fans thought. After all, if fans are going to criticize the most underrated NFL players, it’s only fair that we take some time to highlight the most overrated NFL players.

The most overrated NFL quarterbacks of all time

But who are the underrated QBs that warrant a special mention?

Because of how easy it is to forget quarterbacks who haven’t won multiple Super Bowls or aren’t the face of the league, the list of potential candidates is bigger than you might think. Nevertheless, we were able to narrow down our list to the 10 most overrated NFL quarterbacks of all time.

10. Mark Brunell

The Jaguars are often referred to as a great expansion franchise that went to the AFC Championship Game in their second season and the playoffs four times in their first five years of existence.

Yes, Mark Brunell was at the helm at the time. He’s not in the Hall of Fame and he didn’t have standout numbers, but Brunell used to be one of those quarterbacks who found a way to run around and make plays.

To his credit, he made the Pro Bowl three times and led the NFL in passing yards in the season Jacksonville reached the AFC Championship Game. But that still doesn’t do justice to how good Brunell was during his career.

9. Randall Cunningham

As an athletic player who used his feet a lot in the late 1980s and ’90s, it’s no surprise that Randall Cunningham is a bit underrated in retrospect. In this way, Cunningham was far ahead of his time.

What’s more, many probably don’t realize that he led the NFL in passer rating in 1998, the twilight years of his career. For his career, Cunningham came up just short of 30,000 passing yards and 5,000 rushing yards, two peaks few quarterbacks reach, both of which Cunningham painfully reached.

8. Vinny Testaverde

By the standards of the best overall pick in the draft, Vinny Testaverde could be considered a flop. But he’s done enough in his career to be among the most overrated QBs of all time.

It’s hard to live with the most losses of any starting quarterback in NFL history. But that’s because Testaverde has played for a long time, teams have given him a chance, and he’s usually played on bad teams. What people don’t realize is that he won two Pro Bowls, won 90 games in his career and finished his career with more touchdowns than interceptions. Most people Testaverde as a complete failure, but this is simply not true.

7. Tony Romo

Many agree that Tony Romo is now one of the best color analysts the NFL has ever had, but we sometimes forget that he is one of the more underrated QBs. He was supposed to start his career as a backup and ended his career early due to injury.

In between, Romo had some very good years, even if most fans remember his 2-4 playoff record. In 2014, Romo put together one of his best seasons, leading the league in both passer rating and completion percentage. He only played in four games the following season after being injured and retired a year after that, so who knows if Romo could have had better years if he could have stayed healthy.

6. Drew Bledsoe

For whatever reason, there’s not much love for the quarterback whose injury paved the way for Tom Brady’s career. He was a legitimate face for the Patriots before the injury and was a three-time Pro Bowler and led the NFL in rushing once while in New England.

Drew Bledsoe wasn’t quite the same after the fatal injury that cost him his job to Brady. However, he put together a couple of good years in Buffalo. More importantly, his early career achievements are often unfairly overlooked.

5. Jim Kelly

Failing to win a Super Bowl in four tries certainly helped make him one of the most underrated QBs in NFL history. If he had only won one or two of those Super Bowls, he probably would have looked at it differently.

During Buffalo’s four straight Super Bowl losses, the Bills were a force to be reckoned with on offense. Kelly organized the offense without the use of a shotgun years before it was fashionable throughout football. Despite being a five-time Pro Bowler and Hall of Famer, Drew Kelly isn’t held in high enough regard because he never won a major.

4. Dan Fouts

Dan Fouts doesn’t always appear on short lists of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. But maybe he deserves to be near the top of this list.

After all, he was the first quarterback to throw for at least 4,000 yards in four straight seasons, leading the NFL in all four of those years. In two of those seasons, Fouts also led the league in touchdowns and won Offensive Player of the Year honors.

He never got the Chargers to the Super Bowl, so it’s easy to overlook him. However, Fouts had a long and productive career and was truly among the league’s elite quarterbacks for five or more years.

3. Warren Moon

Warren Moon remains one of the most underrated QBs of all time due to his extensive time in the CFL.

Of course, he had great success in the CFL, helping the Edmonton Eskimos to five straight Gray Cup titles. Even after all that, he played into his 40s, spending 17 seasons in the NFL.

During that time, he was a nine-time Pro Bowler and led the NFL in rushing twice. He even won Offensive Player of the Year in 1990. However, despite his championship pedigree while in the CFL, his accomplishments do not count as he did not win a Super Bowl.

2. Donovan McNabb

Most of all people remember Donovan McNabb being booed by Philadelphia fans on draft day and his failure to win a Super Bowl, especially when he didn’t show up late in the only Super Bowl he attended.

But in a way, that’s what makes him one of the most underrated NFL quarterbacks of all time.

People only remember him for his shortcomings and failures, and not for the fact that he helped the Eagles go to five NFC Championship Games, including four in a row. McNabb was also a six-time Pro Bowler and the fourth player to reach 30,000 passing yards, 200 passing touchdowns, 3,000 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, tying him with Steve Young and John Elway for quarterbacks to accomplish the feat.

It’s hard to find many players in the first decade of the 21st century who weren’t named Tom Brady better or more consistent than McNabb.

1. Ken Anderson

The fact that Ken Anderson is somehow not in the Hall of Fame easily makes him the most overrated player of all time. He led the NFL in passer rating four times and passing yards twice.

Anderson also won the MVP award in 1981, but was selected to the Pro Bowl only four times. The year he won the MVP, Anderson led the Bengals to their first playoff win and first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, and it came down to a brilliant Joe Montana drive that wouldn’t have won the game.

He also played 16 seasons in the NFL, showing incredible longevity and finishing seventh on the all-time passing list. Although he remains a legend in Cincinnati, more NFL fans should know what a great quarterback Anderson was during his career.