Warren Moon Houston Oilers & Kansas City Chiefs & Minnesota Vikings & Seattle Seahawks
"I started wearing number one in college because I always wanted to be the No. 1 guy. I always want to remind my teammates that I’m the man who can get it done.”
Prior to the 1978 NFL Draft, some NFL scouts suggested that since University of Washington quarterback Warren Moon had played in a rollout rather than a drop-back passing offense, he would be a mid-round pick. Others speculated that since only one African American quarterback, James Harris, had achieved any measurable success in the NFL, Moon would have to play some other position. Regardless of which misguided reason motivated NFL scouts, Moon remained confident of his abilities and opted to sign with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He went on to lead the Eskimos to an unprecedented five consecutive Grey Cup victories.
Eventually, Moon returned to the United States to play for the Houston Oilers in 1984. He racked up nearly 50,000 passing yards in 17 NFL seasons. Moon set a new club record with 3,338 yards passing in his first year with the Houston, a mark he would break four more times. In 1986, when the Oilers installed the run-and-shoot offense, Moon's quarterback skills finally became apparent to all. The wide-open offense showcased Moon's strong arm, running skills, and big-play ability.
In 1990, Moon led the league with 4,689 passing yards. He also led the league in attempts (584), completions (362), and touchdowns (33), and tied Dan Marino's record with nine 300-yard games in a season. The following year, he again led the league in passing yards 4,690. At the same time, he joined Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Dan Fouts as the only quarterbacks to post back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons. Moon also established new NFL records that season with 655 attempts and 404 completions.
Moon was traded to the Minnesota Vikings before the 1994 season. In his debut season he passed for 4,264 yards and led the team to the playoffs. In his second season in Minnesota, he again passed for more than 4,200 yards. Moon moved on to the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent in 1997 where the veteran star set franchise records for completions (313) and yards passing (3,678) and earned his ninth Pro Bowl selection. Injuries limited his play in 1998. In 1999, Moon joined the Kansas City Chiefs and spent two seasons as a backup there before retiring.
Despite spending his first six professional seasons in the CFL, Moon ranked third all-time in NFL passing yardage and fourth in touchdown passes thrown at the time of his retirement.