NFC West: Cliff Stoudt

QB watch: A telling Cardinals anthology

January, 15, 2009
1/15/09
10:45
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

 
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  Recognize him? Quarterback Tom Tupa started 13 games for the Cardinals, same as Gary Hogeboom and Jeff Blake -- and nearly as many as Matt Leinart.
A recent e-mail conversation with occasional contributor Mike from Phoenix sparked a discussion about some of the more obscure starting quarterbacks in Cardinals history. We joked about putting together an all-NFC Worst team featuring the less distinguised quarterbacks to start games for each franchise in the division.

At the other end, we can safely declare Kurt Warner the best starting quarterback for two of the four NFC West teams -- the Cardinals and Rams -- since those franchises last relocated.

With an assist from information available at Pro Football Reference, I counted 22 starting quarterbacks for the Cardinals in the 21 seasons since the team moved to Arizona for the 1988 season. Only one has started more games for the Cardinals than Warner during that time. A quick recap, in order of most starts:

1. Jake Plummer (82 starts)

2. Warner (42)

3. Josh McCown (22)

4. Steve Beuerlein (21)

5. Timm Rosenbach (20)

6. Chris Chandler (17)

7. Dave Krieg (16)

7. Matt Leinart (16)

9. Neil Lomax (14)

9. Kent Graham (14)

11. Gary Hogeboom (13)

11. Tom Tupa (13)

11. Jeff Blake (13)

14. Jay Schroeder (8)

14. Boomer Esiason (8)

16. Dave Brown (7)

17. Stan Gelbaugh (3)

18. Cliff Stoudt (2)

18. Shaun King (2)

20. Jim McMahon (1)

20. Stoney Case (1)

20. John Navarre (1)

The list affirms, in my view, that Leinart hasn't started enough games for the Cardinals to make an informed decision about his future with the team. The way Warner is going, Leinart might never start enough games to sufficiently inform that decision.

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