Top 10 Greatest Redskins QBs of All Time

When talking about the greatest Redskins quarterbacks of all time, I was reminded of the unconventional way that the team won all of their Super Bowls. Under HC Joe Gibbs in the 1980s and ‘90s, the Redskins won three Super Bowls using three different quarterbacks, something no other coach has done in NFL history. This stat is a testament to how great those Redskins teams were and how dominant they were without a true franchise quarterback. Although the ‘Skins may have never had a player like Drew Brees or Tom Brady to lead the team, they have still certainly had some quality signal-callers in the past. In this article, I’m going to be ranking the top ten greatest quarterbacks in franchise history.

1. Sammy Baugh

No surprise for the top ranking here. “Slingin’ Sammy” changed the way that the game of football is played. He was the first quarterback in NFL history to have an offense tailored to his abilities, and the Redskins became a dangerous passing offense. Baugh’s accuracy and ability to throw the ball were unheard of at the time, and other quarterbacks and teams took note of Baugh’s newfound way to get the ball downfield. He is credited as being the first drop-back quarterback in NFL history.

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2. Joe Theismann

Having played his entire 12-year career in Washington, Theismann is perhaps the longest-tenured “franchise QB” in team history. He was the full-time starter for eight of those seasons. In his career for the burgundy and gold, Theismann was a two-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl Champion, and league MVP in 1983. Sadly, his career was cut short by a devastating leg injury he suffered in 1985. Nonetheless, Theismann is still a Redskins all-time great and the all-time leading passer in franchise history.

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3. Sonny Jurgensen

After spending the seven years of his career his Philadelphia, Sonny Jurgensen would find a home for the next 11 seasons with the Redskins. In those 11 seasons, Jurgensen would lead the NFL in passing yards and completions three times, making four Pro Bowls along the way. He would help the ‘Skins reach Super Bowl VII, where they would lose to the undefeated Miami Dolphins. Jurgensen would go on to broadcast Redskins games on the radio up until his retirement in 2019.

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4. Mark Rypien

Despite making his NFL debut at age 26, Mark Rypien certainly made up for his late start with his play on the field. In six seasons in Washington, Rypien was a quality starter and two-time Pro Bowler with the club. His best season came in 1991 when he led the Redskins to a Super Bowl XXVI, where they would win the game, and Rypien would be named Super Bowl MVP. He might not be an all-time great, but he is immortalized in Redskins history for all he did for the burgundy and gold.

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5. Doug Williams

Doug Williams was never able to show much as a regular starter in the NFL, but he came up big when it mattered most. Going into the 1987 postseason, HC Joe Gibbs decided to start Williams, despite him only starting two games in the regular season. This decision would go on to be one of the best in team history, as Williams would lead the Redskins all the way to a dominant 42-10 victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Williams would be named Super Bowl MVP after tossing a then Super Bowl record four TD passes in the big game.

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6. Billy Kilmer

After spending the first eight years of his career in San Francisco and New Orleans, Billy Kilmer would play his final eight seasons as a Washington Redskin. Kilmer would lead the ‘Skins to the playoffs five times, including a trip to Super Bowl VII against the Miami Dolphins. He finished his Redskins career as a one-time Pro Bowler and held a solid 50-23-1 as a starter. Kilmer was a quality starter who is often forgotten about by Redskins fans.

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7. Kirk Cousins

Cousins’ run in Washington ended on a sour note, but that shouldn’t take away from everything he accomplished with the team. After mainly being a backup for the first three seasons of his career, Cousins would get his chance to start in 2015. He would lead the NFL in completion percentage that season and lead the ‘Skins to an NFC East title. Cousins would throw for over 4,000 yards in each of his three seasons as the Redskins starter and made the Pro Bowl in 2016. Whether Redskins fans like it or not, Cousins was perhaps the best quarterback the team has had this century.

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8. Robert Griffin III

Although Griffin was never able to become the franchise quarterback that many thought he would become for the Redskins, he makes this list for his magical 2012 rookie campaign. Griffin, alongside rookie running back Alfred Morris, took a 3-6 Redskins team on a seven-game winning streak to go 10-6 and claim their first NFC East title since 1999. Griffin wowed fans with his strong throwing arm and ability to make plays on his feet. While the decision to trade up to draft him may have backfired, Redskins fans will always remember that 2012 season.

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9. Jay Schroeder

Jay Schroeder is another quarterback who is often forgotten about by Redskins fans. In three seasons with the Redskins, Schroeder amassed an impressive 24-7 record as a starter and made the Pro Bowl in 1986. He was the regular-season starter for the ‘Skins when they won the Super Bowl in 1987, but was benched in favor of Doug Williams in the playoffs. He would leave the Redskins to join the Raiders the next season and would play in the NFL for another seven years before his retirement.

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10. Jason Campbell

Campbell was drafted in 2005 by the Redskins, just one pick behind Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, Campbell did not have the same production that Rodgers has had in Green Bay. Campbell was the full-time starter for three seasons in Washington. In those three seasons, he was able to reach #7 on the all-time Redskins passing list. He was the starter for a team that would make the playoffs in 2007. However, he was injured late in the season and did not start the ‘Skins playoff game against Seattle. Campbell makes this list, not for his play, but rather because there weren’t many quarterbacks left to choose from.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the greatest Redskins quarterback of all time?

Sammy Baugh. He played with the team from 1937-1952, making the Pro Bowl six times and winning two NFL championships. He was the first-ever drop-back style quarterback in the NFL. Besides throwing dimes to his teammates, you could also find Baugh making interceptions and punting the ball, as he also started at safety and punter for the team.

What quarterback has the most Super Bowl wins in Redskins history?

Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien. The Redskins have never had one quarterback win multiple Super Bowls. Sammy Baugh won two championships, but that was before the Super Bowl era. Joe Gibbs was a brilliant head coach and was able to win three Super Bowls using a different starting quarterback each time.

Who has the most passing yards in Redskins history?

Joe Theismann. In 12 seasons in Washington, Theismann amassed a 77-47 record as a starter and threw for 25,206 yards in his career. He was the best Redskins quarterback of the 1980s, a decade that saw the ‘Skins reach three Super Bowls, winning two of them.

Who has the most passing touchdowns in Redskins history?

Sammy Baugh. “Slingin’ Sammy” passed for 187 touchdowns in his career, which was the most in NFL history at the time of his retirement. This statistic is another testament to Baugh’s passing ability as well as the way he shaped the way the game of football is played.

Who was the best Redskins quarterback of the 2010s?

Kirk Cousins. “Captain Kirk” threw for 16,206 yards and 99 touchdowns in his career as a Redskin. He has two winning seasons and an NFC East title in 2015 under his belt as well. He now plays with the Minnesota Vikings following a two-year contract dispute between Cousins and the Redskins front office.

Who has the most interceptions in Redskins history?

Sammy Baugh. Although he is a Hall of Famer and consensus best quarterback in franchise history, Baugh actually threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his career. Baugh threw 203 passes to the other team, which is the 27th most in NFL history.

How many Pro Bowl quarterbacks have the Redskins had in their history?

Fourteen. While not the strongest position in team history, the ‘Skins have still had some talented players under center. These players include Sammy Baugh, Harry Gilmer, Billy Kilmer, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann, Eddie LeBaron, Mark Rypien, Norm Snead, Al Dorow, Brad Johnson, Kirk Cousins, Gus Frerotte, Jay Schroeder, and Robert Griffin III.

I am a rising junior at Butler University with a Sports Media major and a minor in Strategic Communication. I was born and raised in Bethesda, MD right outside Washington DC, and I’ve been a huge DC sports fan my whole life. I’ve been lucky enough to see both the Nats and Caps win titles in my lifetime, however I have a feeling that my Redskins and Wizards won’t be joining them as champions anytime soon.

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