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All-Time Teams: Arizona Cardinals



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Arizona Cardinals All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1920

  1. Chicago Cardinals (1920-1943)

  2. Chi/Pitt Cards/Steelers (1944)

  3. Chicago Cardinals (1945-1959)

  4. St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1987)

  5. Phoenix Cardinals (1988-1993)

  6. Arizona Cardinals (1994-Present)

Record: 577-777-41 (42.61 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 7-10

Super Bowls Won: 0 (Lost in 2008)

Pre-Super Bowl Championships Won: 2 (1925 and 1947) (Lost in 1948)

Passing Leader: Jim Hart 2,590/5,069 | 34,639 Yds | 209 TD

Rushing Leader: Ottis Anderson 1,858 Att | 7,999 Yds | 46 TD

Receiving Leader: Larry Fitzgerald 1,432 Rec | 17,492 Yds | 121 TD

Sack Leader: Chandler Jones 71.5 Sk

Interception Leader: Larry Wilson 52 Int

Scoring Leader: Jim Bakken 1,380 points

Winningest Coach: Bruce Arians 49-30-1


QB: Jim Hart (1966-1983)

Record: 87-88-5 |51.1 Cmp% | 34,639 Yds | 209 TD | 247 Int | 4x Pro-Bowl (74, 75, 76, 77)


Hart is easily the longest tenured QB in Cardinals history, starting 180 of 199 games. He is the franchise leader in yards and touchdowns by a wide margin. Hart may not have had as much post season success as some other quarterbacks such as Kurt Warner or Paddy Driscoll, but his longevity outweighs Kurt Warner’s late career stint and Paddy Driscoll played in an era when the quarterback position was unrecognizable compared to what it is today. The height of his success was three straight 10+ win seasons and three straight playoff appearances from 1974-1976 along with four straight Pro-Bowl appearances from 1974-1977. At retirement, Hart ranked third in passing yards and 10th in passing TDs in NFL history. Hart may not have the star power that some other All-Time team's quarterbacks have but he is a solid starter who led the team for over a decade.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Paddy Driscoll (1920-1925) | 41-18-6 | 13 Rush TD | 4x All-Pro (20, 22, 23, 25) | 1925 NFL Champion | Hall of Fame All-1920s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1965

  2. Paul Christmann (1945-1948) | 33-23-1 | 44.7 Cmp% | 6,749 Yds | 51 TD| 69 Int | 7 Rush TD | 1947 NFL Champion | 1948 NFL Championship Appearance

  3. Charley Johnson (1961-1969) | 36-28-5 | 50.3 Cmp% | 14,928 Yds | 108 TD | 110 Int | Led League Cmp 1964 (223) | Led League Pass Yds 1964 (3,045) | Led League Yds/G 1964 (217.5) | 520 Rush Yds | 10 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (63)

  4. Neil Lomax (1981-1988) | 47-52-2 | 57.6 Cmp% | 22,771 Yds | 136 TD | 90 Int | Led League Cmp 1987 (275) | Led League Yds 1987 (3,387) | 916 Rush Yds | 10 Rush TD | 2x PB (84, 87)

  5. Kurt Warner (2005-2009) | 27-30 | 65.1 Cmp% | 15,843 Yds | 100 TD | 59 Int | NFC Champion 2008 | 1x PB (08) | 2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame Class 2017

  6. Carson Palmer (2013-2017) | Record: 38-21-1 | 62.6 Cmp% | 16,782 Yds | 105 TD | 57 Int | 102 Rush Yds | 1 Rush TD | Led League in Yds/A 2015 (8.7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (15)

  7. Kyler Murray (2019-Present) | Record: 22-23-1 | 66.9 Cmp% | 11,480 Yds | 70 TD | 34 Int | 1,786 Rush Yds | 20 Rush TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (20, 21) | 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year


RB: Ottis Anderson (1979-1986)

4.3 Yds/A | 7,999 Yds | 46 TD | 299 Rec | 2,496 Rec Yds | 5 rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (79, 80) | 1x All-Pro (79) | 1979 Offensive Rookie of the Year


Ottis Anderson is one of the more underrated players in NFL history. He ran for more than 1,000 yards in five of his eight seasons with the Cardinals and his best season was his first, where he ran for over 1,600 yards, eight touchdowns and won Rookie of the Year. Anderson is without a doubt the most productive back in Cardinal's history as his 7,999 yards and 46 touchdowns rushing are still the most ever, even after over 30 years since he last put on a Cardinals uniform. It's not likely that his career numbers will be beat by another Cardinals running back for a long time and he deserves more love from Hall of Fame voters.


RB: Ollie Matson (1952-1958)

4.4 Yds/A | 3,337 Yds | 24 TD | 130 Rec | 2,150 Rec Yds | 16 Rec TD | 6x Pro-Bowl (52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58) | 5x All-Pro (52, 54, 55, 56, 57) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1972


Ollie Matson tends to be forgotten when talking about Hall of Fame running backs in NFL history. He was a precursor to the all-purpose backs that we've come to expect in today's NFL. He totaled over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in three seasons with the Cardinals and let's not forget that the regular season was only 12 games long at that time. His best season rushing was 1956 where he ran for 924 yards and five touchdowns, while his best marks through the air were 611 yards and three touchdowns in 1954. Matson was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972. He also took home the bronze medal in the 400m and the silver medal in the 4x400m at the 1952 Olympics, so he had SPEED! Arguments can be made for Ernie Nevers and Charley Trippi to be starters, but Nevers only played for the Cardinals for three seasons and Trippi's best seasons weren't as impressive as Matson's and Anderson's.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Ernie Nevers (1929-1931) | 26 TD | 3x All-Pro (29, 30, 31) | Hall of Fame All-1920s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1963

  2. Marshall Goldberg (1939-1943, 1946-1948) | 3.5 Yds/A | 1,644 Yds | 11 TD | 60 Rec | 775 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (41)

  3. Elmer Angsman (1946-1952) | 4.3 Yds/A | 2,908 Yds | 27 TD | 41 Rec | 654 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (50)

  4. Pat Harder (1946-1950) | 4.3 Yds/A | 2,371 Yds | 25 TD | 60 Rec | 510 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (50) | 1948 MVP | Hall of Fame All-1940s Team

  5. Charley Trippi (1947-1955) | 5.1 Yds/A | 3,506 Yds | 23 TD | Led League Yds/A 1945 (5.4) |130 Rec | 1,321 Rec Yds | 11 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (52, 53) | 1x All-Pro (48) | Hall of Fame All-1940s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1968

  6. Johnny Olszewski (1953-1957) | 3.6 Yds/A | 1,933 Yds | 10 TD | 62 Rec | 598 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (53, 55)

  7. John David Crow (1958-1964) | 4.4 Yds/A | 3,498 Yds | 33 TD | Led League Yds/A 1960 (5.9) | 138 Rec | 1,961 Rec Yds | 17 Rec TD | Led League YScm 1960 (1,533) | 3x Pro-Bowl (59, 60, 62) | Hall of Fame All-1960s Team

  8. Johnny Roland (1966-1972) | 3.8 Yds/A | 3,608 Yds | 27 TD | 131 Rec | 1,240 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (66, 67) | 1966 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  9. Jim Otis (1973-1978) | 3.8 Yds/A | 3,863 Yds | 19 TD | 45 Rec | 268 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (75)

  10. Terry Metcalf (1973-1977) | 4.6 Yds/A | 3,438 Yds | 24 TD | 197 Rec | 1,862 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (74, 75, 77)

  11. Wayne Morris (1976-1983) | 3.8 YDs/A | 3,375 Yds | 37 TD | 151 Rec | 1,170 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD

  12. Stump Mitchell (1981-1989) | 4.7 Yds/A | 4,649 Yds | 32 TD | Led League Yds/A 1985 (5.5) | 209 Rec | 1,955 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD

  13. Earl Ferrell (1982-1989) | 4.3 Yds/A | 2,950 Yds | 24 TD | 186 Rec | 1,682 Rec Yds | 8 Rec TD

  14. Larry Centers (1990-1998) | 3.4 Yds/A | 1,736 Yds | 10 TD | 535 Rec | 4,539 Rec Yds | 19 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (95, 96) | 1x All-Pro (96)

  15. David Johnson (2015-2019) | 4.0 Yds/A | 3,128 Yds | 33 TD | 208 Rec | 2,219 Rec Yds | 15 Rec tds | Led League YScm 2016 (2,118) | Led League RRTD 2016 (20) | 1x Pro-Bowl (16) | 1x All-Pro (16)

WR: Larry Fitzgerald (2004-2020)

1,432 Rec | 17,492 Yds | 121 TD | Led League Rec 2005, 2016 (103, 107) | Led League TD 2008, 2009 (12, 13) | 11x Pro-Bowl (05, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17) | 1x All-Pro (08) | 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


This was the easiest decision to make for the whole team. Nobody has played more games in a cardinal's uniform than Larry Fitzgerald who's played in whopping 263 games. He's a legend and will no doubt be a first ballot hall of famer. He has been a model for consistency his whole career. Fitzgerald posted nine 1,000-yard seasons, five 100+ catch seasons and five 10+ touchdown seasons. He went to an absurd 11 Pro-Bowls in 17 seasons with Arizona. Larry is number two all-time in receptions and yards, along with being sixth in touchdowns. He unfortunately didn't play on a lot of winning teams, but when they did make the playoffs, Larry shined. In Arizona's Super Bowl run in 2008, he had over 100 yards and at least one touchdown in all four games, including 127 yards and two touchdowns in the Super Bowl.


WR: Anquan Boldin (2003-2009)

586 Rec | 7,520 Yds | 44 TD | Led League Yds/G 2005 (100.1) | 3x Pro-Bowl (03, 06, 08) | 2003 Offensive Rookie of the Year


It's crazy to think the Cardinals had both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin for six seasons but only managed to make the playoffs twice. Boldin was the other half of one of the best wide receiver duos in NFL history. He may have been a little overshadowed with Larry on the other side, but he put up five 1,000-yard seasons with the Cardinals on his own right. He was very underrated as he somehow only managed to make three Pro-Bowls in his career. He has a Hall of Fame case himself as he ranks ninth all time in receptions, fourteenth in yards and twenty fifth in touchdowns.


WR: Roy Green (1979-1990)

522 Rec | 8,496 Yds | 66 TD | Led League Yds 1984 (1,555) | Led League TD 1983 (14) | Led League Yds/G 1984 (97.2) | 2x Pro-Bowl (83, 84) | 2x All-Pro (83, 84)


Roy Green has seemed to fall under the radar when talking about the best wide receivers in NFL history. He had two dominate seasons, coming in 1983 and 1984, where he was arguably the best wideout in the league. He led the league in yards in 1984 and touchdowns in 1983. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl and All-Pro teams both years. He was productive for the rest of his career but never reached heights like those two seasons. Only Larry Fitzgerald has more yards and touchdowns in a Cardinals uniform. Green was top twenty in receptions, yards and touchdowns at retirement.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bill Smith (1934-1939) | 92 Rec | 1,612 Yds | 9 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (39) | 1x All-Pro (35)

  2. Gaynell Tinsley (1937-1938, 1940) | 93 Rec | 1,356 Yds | 7 TD | Led League in Rec 1938 (41) | Led League in 1937 (675) | Led League in Yds/Rec 1937 (18.8) | Led League in Yds/G 1937 (61.4) | 1x Pro-Bowl (38) | 1x All-Pro (39)

  3. Pop Ivy (1940-1947) | 53 Rec | 513 Yds | 1 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (42)

  4. Billy Dewell (1940-1941, 1945-1949) | 177 Rec | 2,657 Yds | 17 TD | Led League in Yds/R 1946 (23.8) | Led League in TD 1946 (7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (41)

  5. Mal Kutner (1946-1950) | 145 Rec | 3,060 Yds | 31 TD | Led League in Yds 1947, 1948 (944, 943) | Led League in TD 1948 (14) | Led League in Yds/G 1947, 1948 (78.7, 78.6) | Led League in RRTD 1948 (15) | 1x All-Pro (48)

  6. Gern Nagler (1953-1958) | 127 Rec | 2,040 Yds | 22 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (58)

  7. Bobby Joe Conrad (1958-1968) | 418 Rec | 5,828 Yds | 38 TD | Led League in Rec 1963 (73) | 1x Pro-Bowl (64) | 1x All-Pro (63)

  8. Mel Gray (1971-1982) | 351 Rec | 6,644 Yds | 45 TD | Led League TD 1975 (11) | 4x Pro-Bowl (74, 75, 76, 77) | 1x All-Pro (75)

  9. Pat Tilley (1976-1986) | 468 Rec | 7,005 Yds | 37 TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (80)

  10. J. T. Smith (1985-1990) | 377 Rec | 4,701 Yds | 27 TD | Led League Rec 1987 (91) | Led League Yds 1987 (1,117) | 1x Pro-Bowl (88)

  11. Rob Moore (1995-1999) | 322 Rec | 5,110 Yds | 27 TD | Led League Yds 1997 (1,584) | Led League Yds/G 1997 (99) | 1x Pro-Bowl (97) | 1x All-Pro (97)

  12. Frank Sanders (1995-2002) | 493 Rec | 6,579 Yds | 24 TD

  13. David Boston (1999-2002) | 241 Rec | 3,379 Yds | 18 TD | Led League Yds 2001 (1,598) | Led League Yds/G 2001 (99.9) | Led League Yds/Rec 2001 (15.9) | 1x Pro-Bowl (01) | 1x All-Pro (01)


TE: Jackie Smith (1963-1977)

480 Rec | 7,918 Yds | 40 TD | 5x Pro-Bowl (66, 67, 68, 69, 70) | Hall of Fame Class 1994


Jackie Smith is the only tight end in Cardinal's history worth considering as they haven't had much success at the position outside of him. That being said, he is one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. Smith put up solid numbers year in and year out for 15 seasons with the Cardinals including an absurd season in 1967 where he had 56 receptions for 1,205 yards and nine touchdowns. That 1,205 yards was the most ever by a tight end at the time. Smith retired as the all-time leader for tight ends in catches, yards and touchdowns.


OT: Dan Dierdorf (1971-1983)

Started 150 of 160 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80) | 3x All-Pro (76, 77, 78) | Hall of Fame All -1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1996


Dan Dierdorf was a staple on the Cardinals offensive line where he started every game in nine seasons out of 13. He is the clear leader of this offensive line as he made six Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams. He was named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team and was immortalized in canton in 1996. I mean, just look him. Who would want to rush the quarterback if this man was staring back at them?


OT: Ernie McMillan (1961-1974)

Started 173 of 178 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (65, 67, 69, 70)


Ernie McMillan will man down the other side of the line for this Cardinals team. He started every game in 10 of his 14 seasons with Cardinals. McMillan started 173 games and made four Pro-Bowls. Bill Fischer, Bob Reynolds, Tootie Robins and Luis Sharpe all have cases to be starters here, but McMillan gets the edge here with his combination of longevity and recognition from the league.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Duke Slater (1926-1931) | Started 51 of 54 Games | Hall of Fame Class 2020

  2. Tony Blazine (1935-1940) | Started 44 of 63 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (39)

  3. Bill Fischer (1949-1953) | Started 48 of 59 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (50, 51, 52)

  4. Bob Reynolds (1963-1971) | Started 105 of 122 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (66, 68, 69)

  5. Tootie Robbins (1982-1991) | Started 121 of 132 Games

  6. Luis Sharpe (1982-1994) | Started 189 of 189 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (87, 88, 89)

  7. D.J. Humphries (2016-Present) | Started 75 of 75 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (21)

OG: Ken Gray (1958-1969)

Started 134 of 151 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (61, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68) | 2x All-Pro (64, 69)


I've never heard Ken Gray's name get brought up in hall of fame discussions, but when you go to six Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams in your career, you at least deserve to be in the conversation. Gray played in 151 games with the Cardinals and will make a solid guard for this all-time team.

OG: Irv Goode (1962-1971)

Started 131 of 134 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (64, 67)


Irv Goode is the other starting guard for the All-Time Cardinals. He also played in over 100 games with the Cardinals, starting in 131. He made two Pro-Bowls in his career and started every game in five of his seasons with the team. Walt Kiesling is a Hall of Famer but only played in 52 games with the Cardinals, so Goode and Gray will man the interior.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Walt Kiesling (1929-1933) | Started 44 of 52 Games | 1x All-Pro (30) | Hall of Fame All-1920s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1966

  2. Buster Ramsey (1946-1951) | Started 51 of 57 Games | 2x All-Pro (48, 49) | Hall of Fame All-1940s Team

  3. Bob Young (1972-1979) | Started 87 of 105 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (78, 79) | 1x All-Pro (79)

  4. Conrad Dobler (1972-1977) | Started 77 of 80 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (75, 76, 77)

  5. Joe Bostic (1979-1988) | Started 115 of 132 Games

  6. Lance Smith (1985-1993) | Started 129 of 140 Games

  7. Reggie Wells (2003-2009) | Started 90 of 104 Games


C: Tom Banks (1971-1980)

Started 110 of 116 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (75, 76, 77, 78) | 1x All-Pro (76)


Rounding out the offensive line is Tom Banks. I originally had Bob DeMarco in this spot, but I mistakenly had DeMarco making one more All-Pro Team than he actually did, so considering that, Banks gets the starting role. Banks started every game in five seasons and was voted to four Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team. Every offensive lineman for the Cardinals started over 100 games with the franchise and made at least two Pro-Bowls.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jack Simmons (1951-1956) | Started 71 of 72 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (56)

  2. Bob DeMarco (1961-1969) | Started 102 of 107 Games | 3x Pro-Bowl (63, 65, 67) | 1x All-Pro (67)

  3. Lyle Sendlein (2007-2015) | Started 124 of 136 Games


DE: Calais Campbell (2008-2016)

3 Int | 8 FF | 8 FR | 56.5 Sk | 501 Tackles | 2x Pro-Bowl (14, 15) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Calais Campbell was a force to be reckoned with during his nine seasons with the Cardinals. He may have had more single season success in his three seasons in Jacksonville, but he still managed to compile 56.5 sacks with the Cardinals, which currently ranks him fourth all-time in franchise history. Campbell was a leader on the Cardinals defensive line for almost a decade and was named a member of the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team.


DE: Curtis Greer (1980-1985, 1987)

9 FR | 69.5 Sk

Curtis Greer will man down the other side of this All-Time Team's defensive line. Somehow Greer never made a single Pro-Bowl or All-Pro team in his career, but his 69.5 sacks are second only to Chandler Jones in Cardinals history. He had over 10 sacks in three seasons including a career high 16 in 1983. Freddie Joe Nunn and Simeon Rice have good arguments to be here over Greer, but Rice spent the majority of his career with another team and Nunn was never quite as dominant.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bob Dove (1948-1953) | 1 Int | 9 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (50)

  2. Leo Sugar (1954-1960) | 1 Int | 12 FR | 1 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (58, 60)

  3. Luke Owens (1958-1965) | 5 FR | 38.5 Sk

  4. Joe Robb (1961-1967) | 1 Int | 8 FR | 31 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (66)

  5. Don Brumm (1963-1969, 1972) | 7 FR | 39.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (68)

  6. Ron Yankowski (1971-1980) | 5 FR | 30 Sk

  7. Freddie Joe Nunn (1985-1993) | 11 FR | 66.5 Sk | 439 Tackles

  8. Simeon Rice (1996-2000) | 1 Int| 9 FF | 7 FR | 51.5 Sk | 225 Tackles | 24 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (99) | 1996 Defensive Rookie of the Year

  9. Bertrand Berry (2004-2009) | 11 FF | 8 FR | 40 Sk | 157 Tackles | 45 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (04)


DT: Darnell Dockett (2004-2014)

4 Int | 9 FF | 14 FR | 40.5 Sk | 472 Tackles | 90 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (07, 09, 10)


Darnell Dockett was a fan favorite for the Cardinals for 11 seasons, manning down the interior defensive line. He managed over 40 sacks and 90 tackles for loss along with being named to the Pro-Bowl in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Dockett's best season came in 2007 when he racked up nine sacks and 13 tackles for loss.


DT: Eric Swann (1991-1999)

2 Int | 6 FF | 8 FR | 45.5 Sk | 453 Tackles | 2x Pro-Bowl (95, 96)


Eric Swann never played a down of college football. After being declared academically ineligible, Swann signed a contract to play semi-professional football. That didn't keep the Cardinals from selecting him in the first round of the 1991 NFL draft. Swann went on to have a very productive career making the Pro-Bowl in 1995 and 1996.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jerry Groom (1951-1955) | 3 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (54)

  2. Sam Silas (1963-1967) | 1 FR | 17.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (65)

  3. Chuck Walker (1964-1972) | 15 FR| 50.5 Sk | Led League FR 1969 (5) | 1x Pro-Bowl (66)


LB: Larry Stallings (1963-1976)

9 Int | 13 FR | 27.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (70)


Larry Stallings played in 181 games throughout his 14 seasons in a Cardinals uniform. He was an extremely productive linebacker compiling 27.5 sacks and 13 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Stallings started every game in nine seasons and was named to his only Pro-Bowl in 1970.


LB: Chandler Jones (2016-Present)

23 FF | 8FR | 71.5 Sk | 262 Tackles | 80 TFL | Led League Sk 2017 (17) | Led League FF 2019 (8) | Led League TFL 2017 (28) | 3x Pro-Bowl (17, 19, 21) | 2x All-Pro (17, 19) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Chandler Jones has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL for the past decade. He is now the franchise record holder in sacks with 71.5. Jones has made three Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams with the Cardinals and was named a member of the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. Jones has had over 10 sacks in five seasons with Arizona, including a career high of 19 in 2019. He already has over 100 sacks on his career and has a good shot at making the Hall of Fame when he finally hangs up his cleats.


LB: Dale Meinert (1958-1967)

9 Int | 13 FR | 12 Sk| 3x Pro-Bowl (63, 65, 67)


Dale Meinert is the third starting linebacker for the All-Time Cardinals. He made three Pro-Bowls in his 10 seasons as the middle linebacker for the Cardinals. He started every game in five of his seasons. E.J. Junior and Karlos Dansby have good claims to this spot and fair arguments can be made for both of them, but they both spent significant amounts of time on other teams and I'm a sucker for longevity with one team.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Leo Sanford (1951-1957) | 6 Int | 11 FR | 2x Pro-Bowl (56, 57)

  2. Bill Koman (1959-1967) | 6 Int | 16 FR | 24.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (62, 64)

  3. Mark Arneson (1972-1980) | 5 Int | 18 FR | 17.5 Sk

  4. E.J. Junior (1981-1988) | 12 Int | 6 FR | 24.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (84, 85) | 1x All-Pro (84)

  5. Ronald McKinnon (1996-2004) | 10 Int | 12 FF | 7 FR | 12 Sk | 933 Tackles | 47 TFL

  6. Karlos Dansby (2004-2009, 2013, 2017) | 15 Int | 12 FF | 11 FR | 33 Sk | 776 Tackles | 77 TFL


CB: Roger Wehrli (1969-1982)

40 Int | 22 FR | 1 Sk | 7x Pro-Bowl (70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79) | 3x All-Pro (75, 76, 77) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2007


Now on to the best part of the All-Time Cardinals team, their secondary. Starting with Hall of Fame cornerback Roger Wehrli. He's third all-time in career interceptions for the Cardinals with 40. Wehrli was named to seven Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams, all in the 1970s. He was also named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. Wehrli spent all 14 seasons with the Cardinals and played in just under 200 games. He finally made the Hall of Fame in 2007 after too long of a wait.


CB: Aeneas Williams (1991-2000)

46 Int | 4 FF | 14 FR | 2 Sk | 568 Tackles | Led League Int 1994 (9) | 6x Pro-Bowl (94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) | 2x All-Pro (95, 97) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2014


The next starting cornerback is another Hall of Famer, Aeneas Williams. With 46 interceptions, Williams ranks number two all-time in Cardinal's history. He made six Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams in the 1990s on his way to being named to the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. His best season came in 1994 where he led the league in interceptions with nine. I can see many people claiming "Night Train" Lane should be in this spot over Williams or Wehrli, but he only spent six seasons with the Cardinals compared to Wehrli's 14 and Williams's 10.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Dick “Night Train” Lane (1954-1959) | 30 Int | 4 FR | Led League Int 1954 (10) | 4x Pro-Bowl (54, 55, 56, 58) | 1x All-Pro (56) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1974

  2. Jimmy Hill (1955-1964) | 19 Int | 4 FR | 2 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (60, 61, 62)

  3. Billy Stacy (1959-1963) | 20 Int | 7 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (61)

  4. Pat Fischer (1961-1967) | 29 Int | 11 FR | 2x Pro-Bowl (64, 65) | 1x All-Pro (64)

  5. Cedric Mack (1983-1990) | 20 Int | 7 FR | 3 Sk

  6. Patrick Peterson (2011-2020) | 28 Int | 2 FF | 12 FR | 4 Sk | 499 Tackles | 10 TFL | 8x Pro-Bowl (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) | 3x All-Pro (11, 13, 15) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team

  7. Justin Bethel (2012-2017) | 4 Int | 4 FF | 5 FR | 185 Tackles | 4 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (13, 14, 15)


S: Larry Wilson (1960-1972)

52 Int | 14 FR | 21 Sk | Led League Int 1966 (10) | 8x Pro-Bowl (62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70) | 5x All-Pro (66, 67, 68, 69, 70) | Hall of Fame All-1960s Team | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1978


The next member of the secondary is yet again another Hall of Famer, Larry Wilson. Wilson holds the franchise record for interceptions with 52. He spent his entire 13-year career with the Cardinals making eight Pro-Bowls, five All-Pro Teams and both the Hall of Fame All-1960s and All-1970s Teams. He's currently ranked twenty sixth all-time in interceptions and retired tied for the sixth all-time.


S: Adrian Wilson (2001-2012)

27 Int | 16 FF | 8 FR | 25.5 Sk | 903 Tackles | 81 TFL | 5x Pro-Bowl (06, 08, 09, 10, 11) | 1x All-Pro (09)


Adrian Wilson is the only starter in the secondary who isn't currently in the Hall of Fame, but he may one day make it in himself. He made five Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team with the Cardinals. Wilson's best season came in 2009 where he had five interceptions and helped lead the Cardinals to their lone super bowl appearance. His 703 solo tackles are second all-time in franchise history.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jerry Norton (1959-1961) | 20 Int | 5 FR | Led League in Int 1960 (10) | 3x Pro-Bowl (59, 60, 61) | 1x All-Pro (60)

  2. Jerry Stovall (1963-1971) | 18 Int | 6 FR | 0.5 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (66, 67, 69)

  3. Tim McDonald (1987-1992) | 20 Int | 6 FF | 7 FR | 2.5 Sk | 594 Tackles | 3x Pro-Bowl (89, 91, 92)

  4. Kwamie Lassiter (1995-2002) | 24 Int | 4 FF | 5 FR | 4 Sk | 541 Tackles | 10 TFL

  5. Antrel Rolle (2005-2009) | 12 Int | 3 FF | 1 FR | 1.5 Sk | 338 Tackles | 8 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (09)

  6. Rashad Johnson (2009-2015) | 15 Int | 1 FF | 4 FR | 1 Sk | 346 Tackles | 6 TFL

  7. Tyrann Mathieu (2013-2017) | 11 Int | 4 FF | 1 FR | 4 Sk | 308 Tackles | 28 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (15) | 1x All-Pro (15)

  8. Budda Baker (2017-Present) | 5 Int | 5 FF | 5 FR | 7.5 Sk | 539 Tackles | 31 TFL | Led League Solo Tackles 2019 (104) | 4x Pro-Bowl (17, 19, 20, 21) | 2x All-Pro (17, 20)


K: Jim Bakken (1962-1978)

63.1 FG% | 51 Long | 1,380 Points | Led League FGM 1964, 1967 (25, 27) | Led League FG% 1965, 1967 (67.7%, 69.2%) | Led League Points 1967 (117) | 4x Pro-Bowl (65, 67, 75, 76) | 2x All-Pro (75, 76) | Hall of Fame All-1960s Team | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team


Jim Bakken is the only real choice for kicker. He is the franchise leader in points with 1,380. This is over 600 more points than the next closest player. He was one of the best kickers in the league for the majority of two decades, being named to the Hall of Fame All-1960s and All-1970s Teams. He played in 234 games with the Cardinals, second only to Larry Fitzgerald. Kickers have never gotten enough love when it comes to the Hall of Fame, but Bakken deserves to be immortalized in Canton.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Neil Rackers (2003-2009) | 82.6 FG% | 55 Long | 699 Points | Led League FGM 2005 (40) | Led League Long 2004 (55) | Led League FG% 2005, 2009 (95.2%, 94.1%) | 1x Pro-Bowl (05) | 1x All-Pro (05)


P: Rich Camarillo (1989-1993)

15,114 Punt Yds | 43.7 Yds/Punt | 73 Long | Led League Yds/Punt 1989 (43.4) | 4x Pro-Bowl (89, 91, 92, 93) | 1x All-Pro (92)


Rich Camarillo only spent five seasons with the Cardinals but made the Pro-Bowl in four of those seasons and also made an All-Pro Team in 1992. He averaged almost 44 yards per punt and this along with his league awards give him the edge over Scott Player.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Carl Birdsong (1981-1985) | 14,916 Punt Yds | 75 Long | 41.4 Yds/Punt | Led League in Long 1981 (75) | 1x Pro-Bowl (83)

  2. Scott Player (1998-2006) | 30,752 Punt Yds | 67 Long | 43.1 Yds/Punt| 1x Pro-Bowl (00)


Returner: Ollie Matson (1952-1958)

524 Punt Rt Yds | 3 Punt Rt TD | 10.9 Yds/Punt Rt | 2,454 Kick Rt Yds | 6 Kick Rt TD | 28.5 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League Punt Rt Yds 1955 (245) | Led League Punt Rt TD 1954, 1955 (1, 2) | Led League Punt Rt Long 1955 (78) | Led League Kick Rt TD 1952, 1956, 1958 (2, 1, 2) | Led League Kick Rt Long 1952 (100) | 6x Pro-Bowl (52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58) | 5x All-Pro (52, 54, 55, 56, 57) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1972


Along with being one of the best running backs, Ollie Matson is also the best returner in franchise history. He has an outstanding nine total return touchdowns with six from kick returns and three from punt returns. He led the league at least once in every major return category. Matson was truly a do it all back that was way ahead of his time.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Vai Sikahema (1986-1990) | 2,152 Punt Rt yds | 3 Punt Rt TD | 11.2 Yds/Punt Rt | 350 Kick Rt Yds | 21.3 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League Punt Rt Yds 1986, 1987 (522, 550) | Led League Punt Rt TD 1986 (2) | 2x Pro-Bowl (86, 87) | 1x All-Pro (87)

  2. Patrick Peterson (2011-2020) | 1,816 Punt Rt Yds | 4 Punt Rt TD | 9.3 Yds/Punt Rt | 75 Kick Rt Yds | 18.8 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League Punt Rt Yds 2011 (699) | Led League Punt Rt TD 2011 (4) | 7x Pro-Bowl (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) | 3x All-Pro (11, 13, 15) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Head Coach: Jimmy Conzelman (1940-1942, 1946-1948)

34-31-3 Regular Season | 52.3 W-L%| 1-1 Playoffs | 1947 NFL Champion | 1948 NFL Championship Appearance | Hall of Fame Class 1964


The final member of the Cardinals All-Time Team is head coach Jimmy Conzelman. He is the last coach to win a championship with the Cardinals, coming all the way back in 1947. He has a winning record in his years with the Cardinals and is also a member of the Hall of Fame, being inducted in 1964.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Norm Berry (1925-1926) | Regular Season: 16-8-2 | 66.7 W-L%| 1925 NFL Champion

  2. Charley Winner (1966-1970) | Regular Season: 35-30-5 | 53.8 W-L%

  3. Don Coryell (1973-1977) | Regular Season: 42-27-1 | 60.7 W-L% | Playoffs: 0-2 | 1974 Coach of the Year

  4. Jim Hanifan (1980-1985) | Regular Season: 39-49-1 | 44.4 W-L% | Playoffs: 0-1

  5. Ken Whisenhunt (2007-2012) | Regular Season: 45-51 | 46.9 W-L% | Playoffs: 4-2 | 2008 NFC Champion

  6. Bruce Arians (2013-2017) | Regular Season: 49-30-1 | 61.9 W-L% | Playoffs: 1-2 | 2014 Coach of the Year


3 Comments


Chris Bonneu
Chris Bonneu
Mar 15, 2023

My pick for #1 Cardinals QB of all time is Kurt Warner, given that he (with a big assist from Larry Fitzgerald) took the team to its only S.B. Unlike you I have no problem placing a player on the all-time greats roster for more than one team. . .as long as the player made a significant contribution to each team (Reggie White being an example).

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Chris Bonneu
Chris Bonneu
Feb 10, 2023

The Cardinals are a little strange in that they're not very strong at certain positions despite being the oldest team in the league. Personally, I rate their defensive secondary as their strongest unit as far as their all-time greats team goes.

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Chris Bonneu
Chris Bonneu
Feb 10, 2023

Hi. I just found your blog. I love it! I have a couple of football simulations and my absolute favorite thing to do with them is to pit each franchise's all-time best players against one another with them so it's great to see your compilations of all-time bests and compare them with mine!

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