Growing up a Miami Dolphins fan, I was privileged to see Dan Marino play at many Dolphins home games. To watch him play was to watch a master at his trade, and even though he only led the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl once--in 1984, a game that the Dolphins lost--there is no doubt his career was still unbelievable.
For sure, his name has to be thrown in the argument for the best NFL quarterback without a Super Bowl title.
To be fair, there are many contenders for the title of best NFL quarterback without a Super Bowl title. These are men who truly had legendary NFL careers, yet they all fell short of the sometimes elusive Super Bowl ring.
One of the names that instantly comes to mind is a man who helped keep the Miami Dolphins and Dan Marino from even playing in the Super Bowl for many years, Jim Kelly. Kelly played for the Dolphins' rival, the Buffalo Bills, and it seemed no matter how good the Dolphins were the Bills were better. Kelly, who passed for a 35,467 yards in his career, played in the Super Bowl four times, but, in the end, he had no rings to show for his efforts.
Of course, there are names like Dan Fouts, who had 43,040 career passing yards; Warren Moon, who had 49,325 career passing yards; and Fran Tarkenton, who had 40,003 career passing yards. Even though all of these NFL quarterbacks were great in their own right, no one in my mind still comes close to Dan Marino.
The Marino Argument
Dan Marino finished his career with 61,361 passing yards. He has since been passed by Brett Favre, but when he retired that was a record. He also retired holding the record for the most passing yards in a single season with 5,084. That record stood from 1984 until Drew Brees surpassed it last season. He also retired with the most touchdown passes in a single season at 48 and for a career at 420. Again, both records have fallen, but Dan Marino at one point in time held every single significant record that a quarterback could hold.
Stats Little Consolation
While Dan Marino had a great career that is worthy of praise, I'm sure to him all the stats he accumulated are of little consolation. Like many great NFL quarterbacks who never won a Super Bowl title in their careers, Dan Marino would likely trade all his accomplishments for just one Super Bowl win. Still, of all the great NFL quarterbacks who are void of a title, Dan Marino has to be the best of the best.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal "Dolfan" and fan of the NFL since he was six years old when he met Dan Marino and several other Miami Dolphins players. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Dolphins games each season and enjoys writing about the NFL and the Miami Dolphins in particular.
More from this contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Miami Dolphins
- Dan Marino
- the Dolphins