1. Joe Montana: 1979-1992 (2x NFL MVP, 7x Pro Bowler, 13 postseason victories, 4x Super Bowl champion, 3x Super Bowl MVP, Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2000)
As perhaps the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, Joe Montana was an easy first-string selection.
A sneaky athlete who could dunk a basketball at 6-foot-2, Montana broke the Super Bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. Montana wasn’t blessed with the strongest arm, but he could still make all the necessary throws and brought a new level touch to the NFL passing game.
From his days at the University of Notre Dame through his career in the NFL, Montana’s accolades and accomplishments are too numerous list. Perhaps he will be most loved for revitalizing a proud franchise and giving fans moments that will be passed down from parent to child.
2. Steve Young 1987-1999 (2x NFL MVP, 7x Pro Bowler, 14 postseason victories, 3x Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl XXIX MVP, Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2005)
Head Coach Bill Walsh had many reasons for acquiring quarterback Steve Young from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Walsh was particularly worried, given recent injuries to Montana, that the team needed immediate quarterback insurance.
Walsh liked the idea of forcing competition to get the most out of the quarterback position and flirted with the idea of alternating series between Montana and the left-handed Young. Ultimately, Young wouldn’t permanently take over the team’s starting quarterback job until Montana was injured prior to the 1991 NFL regular season.
A fantastic scrambler, Young relied on his speed and athleticism early in his career, before developing into one of the best passers of his generation. Young was able to extend the Niners’ dynasty and ultimately led the San Francisco 49ers to their fifth Super Bowl victory.