Biography: Craig Morton, QB

Craig Morton
Denver Broncos quarterback Craig Morton (7) drops back to pass during an NFL game against the San Diego Chargers in San Diego, Calif., Nov. 13, 1977. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 17-14. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)
Craig Morton was one of three Broncos Ring of Fame inductees in 1988 along with fellow teammates Haven Moses and Jim Turner.

Morton, who joined the Broncos from the New York Giants in a 1977 trade, was Denver’s starting quarterback for most of the period from 1977-82 and led the team to its first postseason and Super Bowl berth (XII vs. Dallas) in 1977 when he guided the Broncos to a 12-2 regular-season record and home playoff wins against Pittsburgh and Oakland that year.

Morton, who played for the Cowboys from 1965-74, earned a variety of awards for his performance in 1977, including AFC Most Valuable Player honors after ranking fourth in the league in passer rating (82.0).

During his career with Denver, he led the team to two division titles (1977- 78) and three playoff berths (1977-79). Morton finished his Broncos career ranked first in passing yards (11,895 – currently third), touchdown passes (74 – currently third), pass attempts (1,594 – currently fifth), completions (907 – currently fifth) and total offense (12,155 – currently fourth). His 41 career regular-season wins as the Broncos’ starting quarterback mark the second-highest total in club history, and his .641 winning percentage as Denver’s signal caller (41-23) is the fourth best in franchise annals.

In 1981, the quarterback led the NFL with an 8.50 yards per attempt average, a figure that stands as the highest single-season total in Broncos history, and threw for a career-high 3,195 yards. Morton once completed 16 consecutive passes in a game and had a streak of nine consecutive games with a touchdown pass. He was a consensus All-American at the University of California, where he also starred in baseball.