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John Elway is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. Not only does he have more wins than any other quarterback in league history, he also has the best winning percentage in league history (148-82-1).
Elway was the first overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. Although he was selected by the Baltimore Colts, Elway refused to play for them, believing they werenít the right fit. The Colts complied with his wishes and traded him to the Denver Broncos, with whom Elway played his entire career.
He became the Broncosí starting quarterback his rookie year and held that role until he retired. He officially established himself as an elite quarterback during the 1985 season when he passed for over 3,800 yards and threw for 22 touchdowns. In 1986, Elway led the Broncos to the first of what would be five Super Bowl appearances.
During the first three Super Bowls, the Broncos got beat rather soundly. It was not until eight years later that Elway would get another shot at winning a title. He took advantage of the opportunity and not only led the Broncos to the Super Bowl title in 1997 but again in 1998.
Soon after the 1998 victory, Elway announced that he was retiring from professional football. He ended his career with 51,475 passing yards, 300 touchdown passes, 4,123 completions, and 3,407 rushing yards, making him the only player in NFL history with at least 50,000 career passing yards and at least 3,000 career rushing yards.
He was selected to nine Pro Bowls, was named NFL MVP in 1987, and is the NFLís all-time leader with 148 games won as a starting quarterback. One record tends to stand out above all the others - he led the Broncos to 47 game-winning or game-tying fourth quarter drives, the most ever for any NFL quarterback.
In 1999, he was inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame and had his jersey number 7 retired. In 2004, Elway became the first Denver Bronco to be inducted into the Pro Football hall of Fame.
Prior to his success in the NFL, Elway established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in college football while at Stanford.. Even though he never led The Cardinal to a bowl appearance, Elway posted impressive stats, and by the time he graduated in 1983 he held nearly every Stanford and Pacific-10 passing and offensive record. He finished college with 9,349 yards passing, 77 passing touchdowns. He won two Pacific-10 Player of the Year awards and was an All-American as a senior.