Larry Craig Morton (born February 5, 1943) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Denver Broncos. He played college football at the University of California.
|No. 14, 15, 7|
|Born:||February 5, 1943|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||214 lb (97 kg)|
|High school:||Campbell (CA)|
|NFL Draft:||1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5|
|AFL draft:||1965 / Round: 10 / Pick: 75|
(by the Oakland Raiders)
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
As a pitcher he received offers from major league teams to play in their minor league systems and as a quarterback Morton was voted Northern California high school athlete of the year and was selected to play in the annual California Shrine High School football game.
Morton played college football at the University of California in Berkeley under head coach Marv Levy and assistant coach Bill Walsh, both future NFL head coaches and members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Morton became the starter in the sixth game of his sophomore season in 1962. Back then his nickname was "Big Hummer" and his production dominated the Golden Bears offense output.
As a sophomore in 1962, he only played in the last five games because of a knee injury he suffered in practice while returning punts. He still managed 905 passing yards, a 54% completion rate and 9 touchdowns. As a junior in 1963 he already owned most of Cal's All-time quarterback records.
In his three seasons as a starter at Cal, he never played on a winning team. He completed 185 of 308 passes for 2,121 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior season in 1964, but even with a losing 3–7 record, he was recognized for his talent and contributions by being named first team All-American over other winning quarterbacks. He also received the W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy, given to the best player on the Pacific Coast and the Pop Warner Trophy, given to the best senior player. In the balloting for the Heisman Trophy won by John Huarte of Notre Dame, Morton was seventh, ahead of Joe Namath of Alabama and Gale Sayers of Kansas.
Morton finished his college career with 4,501 passing yards (a Pac-8 record), and most of Cal's All-time passing records, including:
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame and the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
Morton was selected by the Dallas Cowboys fifth overall in the 1965 NFL Draft. He spent his first four seasons as the backup for Don Meredith, but still received opportunities to play due to periodic injuries suffered by Meredith.
In 1969, he became the starter at quarterback over Roger Staubach, after Meredith's unexpected retirement. Morton dislocated a right finger in preseason and had to miss the season opener. In the next three games, he had a 71.1% passing percentage and was seen as having a promising future as the starter. In the fourth game against the Atlanta Falcons, he suffered a separated right shoulder after being tackled by Tommy Nobis. In the next contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, he set club records with 10 consecutive passes and 5 touchdown passes in a single-game, although he sat most of the second half. He did not miss any games because of his shoulder, but his effectiveness decreased to 53.6% the rest of the season, as he caused more damage. He had surgery on his right shoulder during the offseason.
In 1970, although he was bothered most of the season recuperating from his right shoulder surgery, he finished third in the NFL in passer rating with 89.8%. He also led the Cowboys to Super Bowl V, where the team lost 16–13 to the Baltimore Colts. He had surgery on his right elbow during the offseason.
In 1971, head coach Tom Landry created one of the most famous quarterback controversies in NFL history, when he began alternating Morton with Staubach as the starting quarterback, reaching its extreme against the Chicago Bears, where they alternated between plays. After this famous game, Landry settled on Staubach and the Cowboys went on a 10-game winning streak that included a 24–3 victory in Super Bowl VI over the Miami Dolphins.
In 1972, Staubach suffered a separated right shoulder in the third preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and Morton was named the starter. Although Staubach was activated in the fifth game of the season, by then Morton was entrenched at quarterback. For the first time since 1969, his arm had regained its strength, helping him register 185 completions (club record) out of 339 attempts (54.6%), 2,396 yards (fifth in the league), 15 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He was replaced late in the third quarter of the first round playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. Staubach entered an apparently hopeless situation trailing 28-13 and threw two touchdown passes in the last 90 seconds to win the game 30–28, eventually sealing Morton's fate with the team.
In 1974, after repeatedly asking for a trade, Morton signed a WFL contract with the Houston Texans for the 1975 season, but never played a down with them. He was traded to the New York Giants six games into the season in exchange for their number one draft choice in 1975 (#2-Randy White) and a second round draft choice in 1976 (#40-Jim Jensen).
After acquiring Morton, the Giants traded their starting quarterback Norm Snead to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a third-round draft choice in 1975 and a fourth in 1976. During his time with the Giants, he struggled along with the team, and "felt the vocal wrath of the fans." He was traded to the Denver Broncos in 1977 in exchange for quarterback Steve Ramsey and a fifth-round draft choice in 1978 (#137-Brian DeRoo). In his 34 career games with the Giants over three seasons, he had an 8-25-0 record, throwing a total of 5,734 yards, 29 touchdowns, 49 interceptions and a 52.1 completion percentage.
At age 34, Morton revived his career with the Broncos, finishing the season as the second rated passer in the AFC. Although he suffered in the playoffs from a swollen left hip that needed to be drained, he overcame the injury to become the first NFL quarterback to start the Super Bowl for two different teams (Dallas in V and Denver in XII). This was later equaled by Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning, but Morton is the only quarterback to have started for two different team's inaugural Super Bowl appearances. Morton was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year for 1977 and selected All-AFC by the Sporting News. He threw a franchise playoff record four interceptions in the defeat, and shares a franchise record 5 interceptions from the 1977 post-season with John Elway.
Morton's best statistical season came in his penultimate 17th season in 1981, when he threw for 3,195 yards and 21 touchdowns and had a 90.5 passer rating. He was a downfield passer not known for his mobility, but is one of the all-time leaders in yards per completion. He briefly held the record for the most consecutive passes completed. His 8.5 yards per attempt that season remains a Broncos franchise record, as do his 54 sacks, and two games where he was sacked seven times each (later matched by Elway and Tim Tebow).
Morton wore number 7 for the Broncos and retired just before the arrival of celebrated rookie John Elway in 1983, who wore the same number and in whose honor it was retired. Morton remains the third all-time passing yards leader in team history with 11,895 and his regular-season record was 50 wins and 28 losses in five seasons. Morton was inducted into the Denver Broncos' Ring of Fame in 1988.
Although Staubach replaced him for the Dallas Cowboys 1973 season, Morton played seven more years than did Staubach. The Cowboy teammates graduated from college the same year, but Staubach first served in the U.S. Navy for four years and then retired after the 1979 season, while Morton played through 1982.
In 1986, Morton was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. In 1988, he was inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame.
|1970||Dallas||San Francisco||W, 17-10||7||22||101||1||0||--||--||--|
|1972||Dallas||San Francisco||W, 30-28||8||21||96||1||2||--||--||--|
Following his playing career, Morton served as head coach for the Denver Gold of the United States Football League (USFL). He was a voter in the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, a component of college football's now-defunct Bowl Championship Series.
In 2008, he co-authored a book with Denver Post writer Adrian Dater entitled "Then Morton Said to Elway..." - The Best Denver Broncos Stories Ever Told. The book was published by Triumph Books.
The 1962 California Golden Bears football team was an American football team that represented the University of California, Berkeley in the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU) during the 1962 college football season. In its fourth year under head coach Marv Levy, the team compiled a 1–9 record (0–4 against AAWU opponents), finished in last place in the AAWU, and was outscored by its opponents by a combined total of 247 to 143.The team's statistical leaders included Craig Morton with 905 passing yards, Alan Nelson with 334 rushing yards, and Bill Turner with 537 receiving yards. Morton was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.1963 California Golden Bears football team
The 1963 California Golden Bears football team was an American football team that represented the University of California, Berkeley in the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU) during the 1963 college football season. In its fourth year under head coach Marv Levy, the team compiled a 4–5–1 record (1–3 against AAWU opponents), finished in fifth place in the AAWU, and was outscored by its opponents by a combined total of 213 to 195.The team's statistical leaders included Craig Morton with 1,475 passing yards, Tom Blanchfield with 387 rushing yards, and Jack Schraub with 467 receiving yards. Morton was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.1964 California Golden Bears football team
The 1964 California Golden Bears football team was an American football team that represented the University of California, Berkeley in the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU) during the 1964 college football season. In its first year under head coach Ray Willsey, the team compiled a 3–7 record (0–4 against AAWU opponents), finished in last place in the AAWU, and was outscored by its opponents by a combined total of 187 to 152.The team's statistical leaders included Craig Morton with 2,121 passing yards, Tom Relles with 519 rushing yards, and Jack Schraub with 633 receiving yards. Morton was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.1972 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1972 Dallas Cowboys season was their 13th in the league. The team failed to improve their previous output of 11–3, winning only ten games. They qualified for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season but settled for the wildcard spot. A pre-season injury to quarterback Roger Staubach and the trade of Duane Thomas (both had been integral figures in the 1971 championship team) hindered the offense (mitigated somewhat since their replacements, Craig Morton and Calvin Hill, were former starters). In the divisional playoff round, Staubach came off the bench to engineer an improbable 30–28 comeback win over the 49ers (Dallas had trailed by 28–16 with less than 2 minutes to play). The win over the 49ers still ranks as one of the all-time great Cowboys wins. However, the momentum could not carry them to a victory over Washington in the NFC Championship game.1974 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1974 Dallas Cowboys season was their 15th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 10–4, winning only eight games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons and this marked the only season from 1966 to 1983 (18 seasons) that the Cowboys did not qualify.
The Cowboys began with a 1–4 start and although they went 7–2 afterwards, it was not enough to overcome the slow start.
The season featured one of the most memorable Thanksgiving Day games in Cowboys history. Trailing 16–3 in the second half (and having already lost quarterback Roger Staubach to injury), little used backup Clint Longley threw two touchdown passes to lead the team to a 24–23 victory over the Redskins at Texas Stadium.
1974 was also a season of transition; as it would be the final season of future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly. Also finishing their careers that season would be fullback Walt Garrison; and center Dave Manders. Also, this would be the final season for wide receiver Bob Hayes (who would finish his career with the San Francisco 49ers the following year); running back Calvin Hill (who departed for the Hawaiians of the World Football League); defensive end Pat Toomay (who left for the Buffalo Bills); guard John Niland (who left the following year for the Philadelphia Eagles) and quarterback Craig Morton (traded early in the season to the New York Giants) in a Cowboy uniform.1974 New York Giants season
The 1974 New York Giants season was the franchise's 50th season in the National Football League. The Giants finished in last place in the National Football Conference East Division with a 2–12 record, the team's worst since 1966.The Giants’ home venue in 1974 was the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, and they were winless at home in seven games. They won only one of twelve games at the Yale Bowl in 1973 and 1974. The Giants played at Shea Stadium in Queens in 1975 and opened Giants Stadium in New Jersey in October 1976.1977 Denver Broncos season
The 1977 Denver Broncos season was the team's 18th year in professional football and its eighth with the National Football League (NFL).
The team had by far its best season to date, finishing first in the AFC West and making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Broncos won the first two playoff games in franchise history (over perennial AFC powerhouses Pittsburgh and Oakland) and won their first AFC Championship, earning a berth in Super Bowl XII, where they fell to the NFC champion Dallas Cowboys, 27–10.
Still, 1977 was a major leap for the Broncos, who had never won more than nine games in a season. Coach Red Miller — in his first season as the Broncos' head coach — was named NFL Coach of the Year, and quarterback Craig Morton was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Denver's 1977 season is chronicled in Terry Frei's 2008 book, '77: Denver, the Broncos and a Coming of Age.1977 New York Giants season
The 1977 New York Giants season was the franchise's 53rd season in the National Football League (NFL). The Giants had a 5–9 record in 1977 and finished in a tie for last place with the Philadelphia Eagles.The Giants selected defensive end Gary Jeter in the 1977 NFL Draft with the fifth overall pick. Before the season, the Giants signed quarterback Joe Pisarcik, who won the starting position to replace Craig Morton, whom they had traded to the Denver Broncos. New York won their opening game of the year against the Washington Redskins, prevailing 20–17 on a field goal by Joe Danelo in the final seconds. After losses in their next three games, victories over the San Francisco 49ers and Redskins evened the Giants’ record at 3–3. Afterwards, New York lost six of their last eight games. With a season-ending 12–9 defeat by the Chicago Bears in overtime, the team concluded the year at 5–9.Offensively, New York's season total of 181 points was lower than all but four of the 27 other NFL teams. Pisarcik started 11 of the Giants' 14 games in 1977 and threw for 1,346 yards, but had 14 passes intercepted and only four touchdowns. Bobby Hammond led the Giants in rushing with 154 carries for 577 yards. Doug Kotar and Larry Csonka also rushed for more than 450 yards each. The team's leading receiver statistically was Jimmy Robinson, who caught 22 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns. Gary Shirk was the only other Giants player with multiple touchdown catches, while Johnny Perkins was second behind Robinson with 20 receptions. On defense, cornerback Bill Bryant led New York with three interceptions. For the second consecutive season, linebacker Brad Van Pelt was the only Giant to make the Pro Bowl.Ed Sharockman
Edward Charles "Ed" Sharockman (November 4, 1939 – August 19, 2017) was a professional American football defensive back.Sharockman graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where he starred as a cornerback. He played 11 seasons in the National Football League, all with the Minnesota Vikings (1961–1972). He started in Super Bowl IV.
In 1970, Sharockman enjoyed a banner day against the Dallas Cowboys, blocking a punt and recovering it for a touchdown, and also returning an intercepted Craig Morton pass for another touchdown in the Vikings' 54-13 annihilation of the eventual NFC champions.List of California Golden Bears starting quarterbacks
The following individuals have started in games at the quarterback position for the California Golden Bears football team, updated from 1961 through 2018.List of Dallas Cowboys starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Cowboys.List of Denver Broncos starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the team.List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a perfect passer rating
In the National Football League (NFL), the highest official passer rating that a quarterback can achieve is 158.3, which is called a "perfect passer rating". To qualify, during a single game a quarterback must attempt at least 10 passes, have zero interceptions, have a minimum completion percentage of a 77.5%, have a minimum of 11.88% of their passes score touchdowns, and have a minimum of 12.5 yards per attempt. The passer rating was developed in 1971.Applying the formula to pre and post-1971 quarterbacks, as of November 2018, there have been 60 different players, playing in 72 distinct games, who have achieved a perfect passer rating. Four of these games have occurred in the post-season. Seven quarterbacks have achieved the feat more than once: Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning have four; Kurt Warner has three; and Craig Morton, Dave Krieg, Ken O'Brien, and Tom Brady have two.
Ben Roethlisberger is the only quarterback with multiple perfect ratings in a single regular season, when he achieved the feat twice in 2007. The San Francisco 49ers had two different quarterbacks achieve a perfect rating in the same season, with Steve Young (week 7) and Joe Montana (week 10) both earning perfect ratings. Peyton Manning had one perfect rating in the 2003 regular season and one in the post-season.
Drew Bledsoe, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Mariota are the only quarterbacks to achieve a perfect passer rating in their rookie seasons, with Mariota being the only quarterback to post one in his NFL debut.
Five of these performances were in a losing cause, though Chad Pennington is the only quarterback to play from start to finish and earn both a loss and a perfect rating. Twelve quarterbacks have had a game where they earned a perfect 158.3 passer rating and also a game where they earned a 0.0 the lowest possible passer rating during their careers: Otto Graham, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Len Dawson, Bob Griese, James Harris, Bob Lee, Craig Morton, Dan Fouts, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning.
On 8 November 2018, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became the most recent person to achieve a perfect passer rating.List of New York Giants starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the New York Giants of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Giants.List of Super Bowl starting quarterbacks
This is a list of quarterbacks with Super Bowl starts.Norris Weese
Norris Lee Weese (August 12, 1951 – January 20, 1995) was a star quarterback for Chalmette High School and the University of Mississippi. He had the unenviable task of succeeding Mississippi QB legend Archie Manning, but performed well in the key position.
Recalling the November 4, 1972 game in Baton Rouge in which Ole Miss lost to Louisiana State University, 17-16, because of a unique touchdown catch from quarterback Bert Jones to LSU running back Brad Davis, Weese said Tiger Stadium "just exploded with thousands of fans jumping high in the night air." Until that point the Rebels had outplayed LSU all night long.Weese played the 1974 season for The Hawaiians in the World Football League before joining the NFL. He spent four seasons in the NFL playing for the Denver Broncos (1976-1979), mostly as a backup quarterback.
In Super Bowl XII against the Dallas Cowboys, where his famed high school head coach Bobby Nuss held the chains, Weese replaced starter Craig Morton in the third quarter after Morton nearly threw his 5th interception. Weese led the Broncos to a touchdown on the drive to cut his team's deficit to 20-10, but he lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, setting up a Dallas touchdown that put the game away. He was known for being a mobile QB.
Weese was named starting quarterback for the Broncos in 1979, but a knee injury that year ended his NFL career. He finished his career with 1887 passing yards, seven touchdowns and fourteen interceptions.
Weese went on to become a certified public accountant in Denver, Colorado.
Norris Weese died on January 20, 1995, of bone cancer.To this day, Weese holds the record for most single game rushing yards as a quarterback in Broncos history, rushing for 120 yards on 12 carries against the Chicago Bears on December 12, 1976.Steve Ramsey (American football)
Stephen Wayne Ramsey (April 22, 1948 – October 15, 1999) was a professional American football quarterback who played in seven National Football League seasons from 1970-1976 for two different teams, the New Orleans Saints and the Denver Broncos. He was traded to the New York Giants in exchange for Craig Morton in 1977 but was released before the season began. Ramsey attended W. W. Samuell High School in Dallas, Texas and The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.Super Bowl XII
Super Bowl XII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1977 season. The Cowboys defeated the Broncos 27–10 to win their second Super Bowl. The game was played on January 15, 1978, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. This was the first time that the Super Bowl was played in a domed stadium, and the first time that the game was played in prime time in the Eastern United States.
The game pitted Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach against their former quarterback, Craig Morton. Led by Staubach and the Doomsday Defense, Dallas advanced to its fourth Super Bowl after posting a 12–2 regular season record and playoff victories over the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings. The Broncos, led by Morton and the Orange Crush Defense, made their first Super Bowl appearance after also posting a 12–2 regular-season record and postseason wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders.
The Cowboys defense dominated most of Super Bowl XII, forcing eight turnovers and allowing only eight pass completions by the Broncos for just 61 yards. Two interceptions led to 10 first-quarter points. Denver's longest play of the game was just 21 yards, which occurred on their opening drive. Dallas expanded its lead to 20–3 in the third quarter after wide receiver Butch Johnson made a diving catch in the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown reception. An ineffective Morton was replaced by Norris Weese late in the third period. He promptly drove the Broncos downfield to score a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-10, capped by a Rob Lytle one-yard touchdown run. But the Cowboys put the game out of reach in the fourth when fullback Robert Newhouse threw a 29-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option play to receiver Golden Richards.For the first and only time, two players won Super Bowl MVP honors: defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin. This was also the first time that a defensive lineman was named Super Bowl MVP.W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy
The W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy was awarded by the Helms Athletic Foundation from 1951 to 1978 to the outstanding college football player on the Pacific Coast. The recipient was determined based on votes cast by West Coast football writers and later broadcasters as well. Award recipients include College Football Hall of Fame inductees, O.J. Simpson, Mike Garrett, Jim Plunkett, Joe Kapp, Craig Morton, Billy Kilmer, and Anthony Davis.
Pop Warner Trophy winners