Rushing/passing threats are always special, regardless of the era
While he did not win Super Bowl LV, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has the potential to be one of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks in NFL history. With 14,152 career yards in the air and 808 on the ground, he is well on his way.
While there are more in today's game, a quarterback who is a threat with both his arm and his feet is truly special and has been wowing fans well before Mahomes or Lamar Jackson arrived on the scene. Mahomes and Jackson have already been named league MVPs in their short careers but neither has done enough quite yet to make this list of the five dual-threat quarterbacks who have captivated us the most.
5. Cam Newton*
Career: Nine seasons (2011-present)
Passing: 31,698 yards, 190 touchdowns
Rushing: 5,398 yards, 70 touchdowns
With his unique combination of size, speed, and accuracy, Newton is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks to ever play the game and his 2015 season is one of the best in NFL history. Both his 1,071 rushing attempts and 70 touchdowns are career records for a quarterback.
4. Randall Cunningham
Career: 16 seasons (1985-95, '97-2001)
Passing: 29,979 yards, 207 touchdowns
Rushing: 4,928 yards, 35 touchdowns
Every player on this list is/was exciting to watch, but Cunningham was a true human highlight reel, especially during his formative years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Take a look.
3. Steve Young
Career: 15 seasons (1985-99)
Passing: 33,124 yards, 232 touchdowns
Rushing: 4,239 yards, 43 touchdowns
Young is currently the only quarterback with more than 30,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing and he completed 64 percent of his passes during his career. He also is the fourth-leading rushing quarterback in NFL history, averaging nearly six yards a carry.
2. Fran Tarkenton
Career: 18 seasons (1961-78)
Passing: 47,003 yards, 342 touchdowns
Rushing: 3,674 yards, 32 touchdowns
An anomaly during his career with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, "Scramblin’ Fran" is often forgotten in these discussions. However, fans should never forget that he retired with the most passing and rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history. The way offenses and defenses are now constructed, that is a feat no other quarterback will ever accomplish.
1. Michael Vick
Career: 13 seasons (2001-06, '09-15)
Passing: 22,646 yards, 133 touchdowns
Rushing: 6,109 yards, 36 touchdowns
The only quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season (2006) completed 56 percent of his passes and averaged an NFL record seven yards a carry in a career interrupted by a two-year suspension for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring. His success with the Atlanta Falcons before the suspension and with the Philadelphia Eagles after it ushered in the era of the dual-threat quarterback.
*Active player, statistics through 2020 season.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.