3 Best NFL Quarterbacks to Ever Come Out of Notre Dame

Jason Schandl
The greatest NFL quarterbacks to ever come out of Notre Dame, including Joe Montana.
The greatest NFL quarterbacks to ever come out of Notre Dame, including Joe Montana. / David Madison/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are one of the most storied programs in the history of college football. Dating back to 1899, some of their all-time greats were playing before football was even recognizable as the game we know today.

It's not just the college football world they've taken by storm, however. They've sent 13 eventual Hall-of-Famers to the NFL, which is tied for the most of any school.

With that in mind, here are the three best NFL quarterbacks to ever come out of Notre Dame.

3. Daryle Lamonica

Daryle Lamonica didn't get much of a chance at the pro level in his first few NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Then came the AFL-NFL merger, and his career trajectory was completely altered when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. His first year in Oakland (1967) he led the league with 30 touchdowns, leading the team to a 13-1 regular season record and receiving first-team All-Pro honors. The Raiders lost just four games in his first three seasons combined, and he was once again named a first-team All-Pro in 1969. The Mad Bomber retired with 19,154 passing yards and 164 touchdowns to his name.

2. Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann threw 4 fewer touchdowns than Lamonica in the pros, but he also racked up 25,206 yards in his career — the second-most ever for a player from Notre Dame. Theismann didn't become a full-time starter for the Washington Redskins until 1978, but he led the team to consistent success, putting together a 77-47 regular season record. He peaked in the 1982 and 1983 seasons, making the Pro Bowl both years and being named a first-team All-Pro while leading Washington to a 14-2 record in '83. Theismann stilled looked to be in his prime when a gruesome leg injury cut his career short in 1985.

1. Joe Montana

We could remove the "to ever come out of Notre Dame" qualifier from this list and Joe Montana would still have a legitimate argument for the No. 1 spot. His staggering array of awards and accolades is too lengthy to detail in full, but as a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time first-team All-Pro and two-time NFL MVP, few quarterbacks have ever been as decorated in the NFL as Montana. He also dominates the all-time passing leaderboards for Fighting Irish alumni, with 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns across his storied career.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.