The Browns ranked 10th on this list. Here's why:
10) Browns: Otto Graham, Bernie Kosar, Frank Ryan
Graham, simply put, is in the ballpark of the best players to ever lace 'em up. If winning is your criteria, he's your guy. Graham led the Browns to championship game appearances in each of his 10 years, winning seven of them. Ryan, who led Cleveland to its last NFL title in 1964, edges out Brian Sipe. Ryan, who had a PhD in mathematics, racked up some numbers (sorry, couldn't resist), leading the league in touchdown passes twice. Kosar looked to be headed toward the Hall of Fame before crumbling offensive lines, his inability to stay healthy and a rapid decline derailed the oft-awkward-but-effective passer.
- I agree with this list. Otto Graham is the clear #1 and one of the greats of the game. Bernie is a very solid #2.
- This article mentions Brian Sipe as the fourth-best in franchise history. I agree, but he and Frank Ryan are a big step down from Kosar.
- Len Dawson was one of the top three QBs to ever be on a Browns roster, but he never did anything as a Brown and saw all of his Hall of Fame success after being released and signing with the Dallas Texans (soon-to-be Kansas City Chiefs).
Here's the top 15 from the list:
15. DEN: John Elway, (a few years of) Peyton Manning, Craig Morton
14. TEN: Warren Moon, Steve McNair, George Blanda
13. NE: Tom Brady, Steve Grogan, Drew Bledsoe
12. OAK: Ken Stabler, Daryle Lamonica, Jim Plunkett
11. NYG: Eli Manning, Phil Simms, Y.A. Tittle
10. CLE: Otto Graham, Bernie Kosar, Frank Ryan
9. MIA: Dan Marino, Bob Griese, Ryan Tannehill
8. SD: Dan Fouts, Philip Rivers, John Hadl
7. PIT: Terry Bradshaw, Ben Roethlisberger, Neil O'Donnell
6. STL: Norm Van Brocklin, Kurt Warner, Bob Waterfield
5. WAS: Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann
4. SF: Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Brodie
3. DAL: Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo
2. IND: Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck
1. GB: Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre
Right ahead of Eli and Phil Simms; right behind Marino and Bob Griese. That sounds about right to me. I guess it depends on how much weight you give to championships, Otto Graham's dominance could move the team up a handful of spots. Either way, the Graham and Kosar duo make for a solid top-10 spot but are not cracking the top 4 with the likes of Montana/Young, Staubach/Aikman, Unitas/Manning, or the juggernaut of Starr/Rodgers/Favre.