Long-suffering Cardinals can still fill a Mt. Rushmore

Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals, previously known as the Phoenix Cardinals and the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cardinals, have been around a long time.  As a team, they don’t have much to show for it.

But even the Cardinals will be able to point proudly to a quartet of franchise cornerstones.  While no coach has led the team for more than six years, plenty of great players have worn the white helmet with the red bird on the side.

Nominate your choices below for the Cardinals’ Mt. Rushmore.  The finalists will be named at a later date, and the four picks from PFT Planet will be unveiled during a June edition of Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network.

116 responses to “Long-suffering Cardinals can still fill a Mt. Rushmore

  1. You think they’ll get a discount on the labor by carving Fitz’s mug 4 times?

  2. This is kinda tough because we have had no super bowl wins. But some how I think Rod Tidwell will make it up there. Making that Kwan, show him the money.

  3. Terry Metcalf
    Jim Hart
    Pat Tillman for being a stud
    Fans who’ve put up with them for 80 years

  4. Quarterback Jim Hart, who played for the Cardinals from 1966-1983, and for the Redskins in 1984, had a great run in the 1970’s. From 1974-1976, he guided the Cardinals to three straight 10+ win seasons along with back to back division crowns in 1974 and 1975. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl four times 1974-1977 (source: Wikipedia).

    Those Cardinals teams in the 1970’s were coached by passing game innovator, Don Coryell, whose concept of the deep ball as the primary pass option for the QB has had a huge influence on the evolution of the offense. Coryell’s revolutionary ideas eventually led to the 5,000 yard passing seasons and the primacy of the QB in today’s NFL. Jim Hart and Coryell were a couple decades ahead of their time, in terms of their offensive system.

  5. Denny green for his “they are who we thought they were” shenanigans…fitz…warner for finally taking the team to a super bowl? And whoever else

  6. I’m a rams fan but cards like us are a storied franchise that had many great players but nothing really to show for it. So here are my nominees as a rivals fan:

    Larry Fitzgerald: yes he is “new” but he represents what the cards stand for really. hope, value and integrity, he is the face of the franchise now so why not of all time?

    John “Paddy” Driscoll: guy did it all

    Pat Tillman

    Larry Wilson

    i tried to also include one person from each city they played in. like the rams I feel like each city they played in deserves its own four people, but maybe that’s also because there are so many greats

  7. Off the top of my head:

    – Larry Wilson
    – Dan Dierdorf
    – Roger Wehrli
    – Larry Fitzgerald (Catch from Kurt Warner in SB 43 was one of most electrifying plays I have ever seen.)

    As a Skins fan I miss playing the Cards twice per year. I always respected the likes of Jim Hart, Roy Green, and Terry Metcalf. Will never understand how they gave up on Ken Harvey, who went on to become one of the 70 Greatest Redskins.

  8. Fitzgerald
    Tillman deserves it for his sacrifice. If that’s seen as not germaine to the question then I’d say Jackie Smith.


  9. Ernie Nevers: Still holds the single game scoring record with 40 points(look it up) when they were the new Chicago cardnials.
    Larry Wilson.
    Jim Hart
    Dan Dierdorf

    (By the way they were originally called the Racine Cardinals after Racine Street in Chicago
    with Not the Wisconsin City. )

  10. Aneas Williams by far. He was the greatest AZ Cardinal ever besides Larry Fitzgerald.

  11. No disrespect….but a lot of votes for Pat Tillman and Kurt Warner, who played roughly 60 games apiece for the team.

    And 1 Pro-Bowl between them.

  12. Dan Dierdorf
    Jim Hart
    Roger Werhli
    Larry Fitzgerald

    Honorable Mentions: Roy Greene, Kurt Warner, Ottis Anderson

  13. Fitzgerald
    final spot is a tossup between Warner and Boldin

    On a side note I completely respect Pat Tillman for leaving the NFL to follow his dream and giving up his life for his country (regardless of the circumstances). He played for 4 seasons and had 1 really good season. Maybe the criteria for inclusion needs to be defined, but I honestly am only looking at production. If we are looking at other criteria then there are plenty of other guys who aren’t great players who could be considered for their respective team’s hall of fame. At this point should we be looking at anything other than production?

  14. There cannot be a list that does not include Pat Tillman.

    As for “one of the most electrifying plays”, I remember James Harrison returning an interception for 100 yards in SB 43. One of the best plays ever and the best play in Super Bowl history, hands down.

  15. Cards fan since about ’75, those Coryell Cardiac Cards teams got me hooked. Loved the unis too.

    Well, the first two are easy. Clearly Fitzgerald and Dierdorf are automatic.
    For the other two I’m going to wuss out and say its between Wehrli, both Wilsons: Larry and Adrian, Centers, Green, Boldin, Lomax, Warner, Lane, Matson, J. Smith, O.J. Anderson, A. Williams, Hart, Trippi, Dockett, Bakken, Coryell, Whisenhunt.

    Longevity as a Cardinal is big with me for this.
    Warner would be a lock but he only played parts of 5 seasons in AZ. Same goes for Terry Metcalf who I idolized.
    Ernie Nevers wasn’t with Cards long enough either, I think only 3 years.

  16. charley trippi, larry wilson, dan dierdorf & aeneas williams

    (anyone with the last bidwell is automatically eliminated from consideration)

  17. Aeneas Williams

    Adrian Wilson

    Kurt Warner

    Larry Fitzgerald

    Honourable mentions:

    Larry Centers

    Neil Lomax

    Pat Tillman

  18. Dierdorf
    Adrian Wilson
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Kurt Warner
    Larry Centers
    Pat Tillman
    Aeneas Williams

  19. Ollie Matson
    Jim Hart
    Larry Wilson
    Larry Fitzgerald

    Honorable mention–Don Coryell, Kurt Warner, Conrad Dobler, Terry Metcalf, Roger Wehrli, Aeneas Williams, Roy Green, and of course Rod Tidwell.

    More DBs than most franchises, not sure what that means.

  20. Thanks to all the trolls lifting their legs on this post. Yes, we the people who live in AZ know our team has sucked forever. One guy even found a way to work in Harrison’s interception in the Superbowl. As if its not bad enough already! I wouldn’t wish my suffering on anybody!

  21. I see there’s a lot of mid-70’s Cards love. And I can see why Tillman’s name surfaces in the discussion, but based on skills on the football field, he’s not in the top one hundred.

    Of the 75 or so replies so far, it’s amazing how many left off Larry Wilson. He is the ONLY player that gets an automatic nod, IMO.

    Larry Wilson, HOF
    Dan Dierdorf, HOF
    Larry Fitzgerald, future HOF
    Kurt Warner, future HOF

    Honorable mentions:
    Charlie Trippi, HOF
    Jim Hart
    Terry Metcalf
    Aenas Williams, future HOF
    Roger Wherli, HOF
    Adrian Wilson, possible HOF

  22. Bill Bidwill’s wallet

    Team logos of all visiting teams

    All #1 draft picks

    All Super Bowl trophies

  23. As a lifelong Cards fan, I think these are the guys that should be included:

    1. Bill Bidwell, Sr.: Say what you want about his cheapskate son, but Bill, Sr. is an NFL HOFer who helped develop the NFL as we know it today. The Cards won their last NFL championship (I think it was 1947) when he was the owner. Without Bill, Sr. there would be no Cardinals franchise.

    2. Larry Fitzgerald: Not much reasoning here. He’ll go down as probably the greatest Cardinal ever and one of the best WR to ever play the game.

    3. Jim Hart: Still owns most of the team’s career passing records. He was the best QB to play an extended period of his career with the Cards.

    4. Larry Wilson: He is in the HOF as a DB and worked for years in the team’s front office until his retirement. There aren’t many guys that are as synonymous with this franchise as Wilson. He was one of the toughest DBs to ever play the game, once playing through much of a season with two broken hands. He’s one of the best three or four players to ever wear the red and white.

    Honorable mention: Stump Mitchell, OJ Anderson, Terry Metcalf, Don Coryell, Ernie Nevers, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Roy Green, Luis Sharpe (guy turned into a crack addict, but he was one of the best LTs in the game for years), Conrad Dobler, Dan Dierdorf, Adrian Wilson, Kurt Warner, Tim McDonald, Aeneas Williams, Roger Werhli.

  24. Actually, it’s not hard to fill the Cards’ Mt. Rushmore with great Hall of Fame (and one future Hall of Fame) players:

    “Night Train” Lane
    Jackie Smith
    Dan Dierdorf
    Larry Fitzgerald

    Warner belongs on the Rams’ mountain.

  25. Here are my top 10 nominees:

    Anquan Boldin, WR 2003-2009
    Dan Dierdorf, OT 1971-1983
    Larry Fitzgerald, WR 2004-Present
    Dick “Night Train” Lane, CB 1954-1959
    Charley Trippi, RB 1947-1955
    Kurt Warner, QB 2005-2009
    Roger Wehrli, CB 1969-1982
    Aeneas Williams, CB 1991-2000
    Adrian Wilson, S 2001-2012
    Larry Wilson, S 1960-1972

    Dierdorf, Lane, Trippi, Wehli, and L. Wilson are all members of the Hall of Fame and Cardinals Ring of Honor.

    Williams is in the Ring of Honor and should be in the HOF.

    Of the remaining 4 I could see all of them in the Ring of Honor, and possibly the Hall. (Kurt and Larry will both definately be in, probably on first ballot.)

  26. Growing up in Arizona this is the only team I have ever known and I have seen players just play the game with passion and dedication for the Cardinals. My 4 are:

    Larry Centers: Growing up, he was my favorite player and he just gave everything he had to the team and balled out every single play. He was such a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game and was the undisputed team leader on the ’98 playoff team.

    Anquan Boldin: His first game against Detroit with Jeff Blake throwing the passes and setting records on day one, he became an instant success. I have never seen a tough football player like him and he made Fitz a better WR by taking coverage away from him. One of the few great WRs I have seen with great hands, getting the tough yards across the middle, and just a pure football player who plays for the love of the game.

    Kurt Warner: Who will ever forget him playing the entire back end of the 2007 season with torn ligaments in his non-throwing elbow and still being effective enough to earn the job for the 2008 Dream season. He is the ONLY reason we made it to XLIII and he is the greatest QB the Cardinals have ever seen to this point.

    Larry Wilson: He re-defined how the secondary is supposed to be played. A member of the team while in St. Louis but will always be synonymous with the Cardinals.

    Honorable Mention: Pat Tillman, Aneas Williams, and Larry Fitzgerald

  27. The Cardinal Rushmore:

    Larry Fitzgerald
    Aeneas Williams
    Dan Dierdorf
    Larry Wilson

    Honorable mentions:

    Dick “Night Train” Lane (wasn’t a Cardinal long enough, or he’d probably bump someone on the list down here)
    Roger Wehrli
    Kurt Warner
    Jim Hart
    Adrian Wilson
    Luis Sharpe
    Charley Trippi
    Jackie Smith
    Tim McDonald
    Stump Mitchell
    Terry Metcalf
    Ernie Nevers
    Conrad Dobler
    Marshall Goldberg

    And folks, PLEASE stop pushing for Pat Tillman. He was good, but not THAT good. And he was with the team for 4 years only, 3 as a starter.

    Be honest. We aren’t going to bring him up in the same conversations as, say, Ronnie Lott, so please just stop it. Stop it. Please.

    A patriotic, sad death should NOT be a free pass here. Donate to his foundation if you REALLY want to show respect to his memory.

    Just don’t try and guilt us into a revision of NFL history that is based on “feelings” about a player rather than his actual on-field performance.

  28. The Cardinals have a wealth of well known Hall Of Famers that it’s way too hard to pick just 4.

    Ozzie Smith
    Rogers Hornsby
    Bob Gibson
    Stan Musial

    Oh, excuse me. This is for the football Cardinals, huh.

    Matt Lienart
    Daryl Washington
    The Honey Badger
    Emmitt Smith

    Honorable mentioned 2nd year superstud Ryan Lindley

  29. 1. Larry Wilson-Anyone who doesn’t put Larry in the top 4 doesn’t know much about Cardinals football. One of the greatest safeties to ever play the game. 52 career picks, 8 time All Pro selection, member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team. No brainer to be one of the faces on the Cardinals Mt. Rushmore

    2. Larry Fitzgerald-The current face of the franchise. A lock for the Hall of Fame. The greatest offensive player in the team’s history.
    Another lock for the Cardinals Mt. Rushmore

    3. Dan Dierdorf-HOF member. The best Offensive Lineman in the long history of the Cardinals

    4. Aeneas Williams-Its only a matter of time before Aeneas hears his name called and earns a spot in Canton. 8 time Pro Bowl selection.
    Team record 55 interceptions. His positive attitude and consistent play were one of the few bright spots for the Cardinals in the ’90’s.

    I understand people voting for Tillman. I feel the team has fittingly honored Pat with his monument at U of P stadium, his inclusion in the Ring of Honor, and having his number retired. I don’t think he deserves a spot in place of other Cardinals who accomplished more On the field as members of the Big Red.

  30. Yuck. Another franchise with a long, sorry history. But here it goes…

    Larry Fitzgerald
    Jim Hart
    Dan Dierdorf
    Aeneas Williams

    HM: Wherli, Larry Wilson

  31. Pat Tillman
    Aeneas Williams
    Dan Dierdorf
    Larry Fitzgerald

    Even if Tillman didn’t do as much on the field, this monument is about icons and the Cardinals shouldn’t be any prouder that someone represents them, than Pat Tillman.

  32. Aeneas Williams
    Larry Wilson
    Larry Centers
    Larry Fitzgerald

    Honerable Mention: Terry Metcalf

  33. Surprisingly tough list to pick from, considering the dearth of great teams for the Cardinals franchise:

    Larry Wilson (Hall of Fame safety)
    Jackie Smith (Hall of Fame tight end)
    Roger Wehrli (Hall of Fame cornerback)
    Dan Dierdorf (Hall of Fame tackle)
    Aeneas Williams (Hall of Fame cornerback)
    Jim Hart (should be Hall of Fame QB)
    Larry Fitzgerald (will be Hall of Fame receiver)
    Adrian Wilson (might be Hall of Fame safety)
    Don Coryell (should be Hall of Fame coach)

  34. Consideration Now:

    Larry Wilson (Hall of Fame safety)
    Roger Wehrli (Hall of Fame cornerback)
    Dan Dierdorf (Hall of Fame tackle)
    either Jackie Smith (Hall of Fame tight end) or Jim Hart

    Consideration in the Future:

    Larry Fitzgerald (will be Hall of Fame receiver)
    Aeneas Williams (Hall of Fame cornerback)
    Adrian Wilson (might be Hall of Fame safety)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!