CBS makes ‘Franchise 5’ list of greatest Cardinals in franchise history
While the Arizona Cardinals have had a lack of sustained success over the years, the organization’s deep history going back to 1920 gave CBS Sports a century of talent to choose from for the outlet’s latest endeavor.
CBS Sports put together a “Franchise Five” list of the most impactful Cardinals in organizational history.
The only limiting factor: The list was to be made of just one quarterback to go with three non-quarterbacks and a head coach.
The “Franchise Five” selections were quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, defensive back Larry Wilson, offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf and head coach Jimmy Conzelman.
Warner was only on the Cardinals for five seasons, but because he led the team to it first division title since 1975 and first Super Bowl appearance since moving to Arizona, he got the spot over four-time Pro Bowler Jim Hart, who spent 18 years on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cardinals reporter Darren Urban helped with the choices, and told CBS that Warner “changed the culture of the franchise.”
Fitzgerald was an obvious choice for his 16 seasons in Arizona, during which he became one of the greatest wide receivers in league history. CBS Sports wrote:
Fitzgerald holds 40 Cardinals franchise records and holds the NFL record with eight seasons of 90-plus catches. His 236 consecutive games with a catch is second in NFL history and is tied for third all-time with five 100-catch seasons.
Wilson, who played for the Cardinals from 1960-1972, is one of five numbers retired by the Cardinals and one of 18 members of the team’s Ring of Honor.
He has a franchise record of 52 interceptions over his career and made eight Pro Bowls in addition to five-time First-Team All-Pro nods.
He’s the only player to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Decade Team in the 1960s and 1970s, and Wilson’s eight Pro Bowl selections were a record when he retired. Wilson once played with two broken hands (both of which were in a cast) in a game, adding to his legacy as one of the toughest players to play the game.
Dierdorf played for the Cardinals from 1971-83.
He didn’t allow in a single sack in 1976 or 1977 and was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year from 1976-78 by the NFL Players Association.
While right tackle was Dierdorf’s primary position, he also was successful at left guard and in emergency duty at center in 1982.
Conzelman had two different coaching stints with the Chicago Cardinals: 1940-42 and 1946-48.
Conzelman led the Cardinals to an NFL championship in 1947, something the team has not done since. From 1946-48, the Cardinals had a combined record of 26-9.
Those are the five figures CBS listed as the most impactful in organization history. Do you agree with the list, or do you think they missed out on a deserving candidate?