A decision regarding his possible retirement is expected soon from quarterback Roger Staubach, who's been banged around plenty during his 11 seasons in the National Football League. The Dallas Cowboys, of course, are eager to keep him on the payroll. For despite injuries and a late professional start (delayed four years by a military commitment), Roger has emerged as the all-time top-rated passer among players who performed only in the NFL.
This news comes from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, which regularly updates its lists of top performers at this time of year.
In the passing deparment, only those quarterbacks with a minimum of 1500 attempts are rated using the league's passer grading system, which takes into account average yards per attempt and percentages for completions, touchdowns, and interceptions. Otto Graham actually appears at the top of this list, but only when four years of statistics compiled in the old All-America Football Conference are included in the tabulations.
When that is done, he winds up with 86.8 rating points to Staubach's 83.5. The only other active QBs among the top 20 are Bert Jones, tied with Bart Starr in sixth place, Ken Stabler (No. 8), Ken Anderson (No. 9), and Greg Landry (No. 19).
In rushing, Chicago's Walter Payton catapulted from off the charts to eighth place on the all-time list, the biggest leap by any active player. Jim Brown remains the career leader, his 12,312 yards more than a thousand better than O. J. Simpson compiled before retiring at the end of last season. Brown is also the only non-kicker among the leading lifetime scorers, situated in 19th position well behind George Blanda, the scoring king with 2,002 points.
In the pass receiving rankings, New England's Harold Jackson, the only active player among the top 20, moved up to ninth.