Earlier today, a friend brought to my attention an ESPN poll in which they asked which generation- 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s- had the best group of quarterbacks.
Here is who they put for each generation:
60s- Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Joe Namath
70s- Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton
80s- Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Warren Moon
90s- Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly, Brett Favre
2000s- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb, Kurt Warner
After getting over my initial shock that Doug Peterson didn't make the 90s list, looking at the list brought me to this question:
Who had a better career, Dononvan McNabb or Kurt Warner?
Really the only reason it is a debate is because Warner won a Super Bowl and McNabb did not. Because a look at the numbers show it isn't really close.
McNabb has more touchdowns (234 to 208) than Warner, more yards (37,276 to 32,344), a better winning percentage as a starter (60% to 57%) and less interceptions (117-128). McNabb was also considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league for the majority of his career. The same cannot be said for Warner.
McNabb did play in more games- 167 to 125- but that was because Warner could not find a starting job after his time in St. Louis, and was really nothing more than a backup for 5 of the 12 years he was in the league. McNabb did not become a backup until the end of his career.
When they were both on their game, Warner and McNabb were very close. Warner was a very accurate QB, and excelled at hitting receivers in stride. When he was on the top of his game McNabb could do that, but he was far more inconsistent at it. Still, McNabb's completion percentage was only roughly 6 points lower (59-65.5) than Warner's completion percentage.
At the end of the day, I think it's pretty clear McNabb is the better player than Warner. His best season was better than Warner's best season, and was far more consistent throughout his career than Warner was.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks