Given that the forward pass turned 100 years old on Sept. 5, SI.com took the opportunity to look back at some of the great NFL passers of the last seven decades.<br><br>Layne was known as one of the greatest leaders ever to play the game. He threw for 26,768 yards and 196 touchdowns in his career.
2 of 11Hy Peskin/SI
Perhaps the greatest winner of all time, Graham set the standard for quarterbacks in the 1940s and '50s. He led the Browns to 10 championship games in 10 years, seven of which they won.
3 of 11Hy Peskin/SI
Johnny U led the Colts to two championships and brought the NFL to new levels of popularity in the 1950s and '60s. The unheralded passer out of Louisville rewrote the NFL record book, ending his career with 40,239 passing yards and 290 touchdowns.
4 of 11Walter Iooss Jr./SI
He was a 17th-round pick who became the leader of the great Packers teams of the 1950s and '60s. He led Green Bay to five NFL titles and two Super Bowl victories. Starr was always at his best when the game was on the line and captured two Super Bowl MVPs.
5 of 11Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Broadway Joe took NFL stardom to a new level. After he guaranteed a Jets victory in Super Bowl III and delivered it against the highly favored Colts, Namath became a household name.
6 of 11John Iacono/SI
The brash gunslinger out of Louisiana Tech helped turn the Steelers from a struggling franchise into one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history. Bradshaw led Pittsburgh to four championships and was MVP of Super Bowls XIII and XIV.
7 of 11Andy Hayt/SI
He had a cannon for an arm, excellent mobility and an uncanny ability to lead Denver back in the fourth quarter. He helped the Broncos reach five Super Bowls, two of which they won, and he was named to nine Pro Bowls.
8 of 11Ronald C. Modra/SI
"Joe Cool" might not have had the best physical tools of any quarterback, but when the game was on the line, no one was better. Montana was a three-time Super Bowl MVP and was named All-NFL three times.
9 of 11John Biever/SI
He deserves credit for making his personal statistics secondary to his team's success. He led the Cowboys to three Super Bowls and had more wins in the 1990s than any other quarterback had in any other decade.
10 of 11Bill Frakes/SI
Marino's numbers may never be topped in the NFL. The Dolphins great completed 4,967 of 8,358 passes for 61,361 yards and threw 420 touchdowns during his 242-game NFL career. He wasn't fleet of foot, but his quick release helped him avoid sacks and consistently led the Dolphins to huge scoring seasons.
11 of 11John Iacono/SI
His idol growing up was Montana, and the Patriots' quarterback is doing everything he can to emulate his hero. Brady's game seems to get better as the stakes get higher, and he's already led New England to three Super Bowl titles.
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