Arizona Cardinals’ Franchise Boasts History of Good Corners
Throughout the history of the Arizona Cardinals’ organization, the team has benefitted from some excellent play at cornerback
The Arizona Cardinals know firsthand how difficult it is to find good cornerbacks. They do have Patrick Peterson, who just so happens to be one of the best, if not THE best corner in the NFL. Finding a suitable cover guy to play opposite him, however, has not been an easy task.
Throughout their long history, the Cardinals’ franchise has been blessed with some of the best cornerbacks the league has ever seen. The most recent one of that contingent, Peterson, was the club’s first-round draft pick (fifth overall) in 2011. Just how good has the 6’1″, 203 pounder been?
How about six Pro Bowls in six seasons for the stud from Louisiana State University? During his time in the desert, Peterson has accounted for 297 tackles, 20 interceptions, 63 pass deflections and five touchdowns (four on punt returns). He may be on pace to become the franchise’s best corner of all time, a superb feat considering the others who’ve played the position for Big Red.
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Aeneas Williams, drafted in 1991 when the squad was known as the Phoenix Cardinals, may be the Cards’ best ever. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014, a crowning achievement for the former third-round pick (59th overall). Williams was voted to eight Pro Bowls (two with the St. Louis Rams) during a career that lasted for 14 campaigns. He tallied 55 interceptions, 795 tackles and an amazing nine touchdowns as a pro.
Roger Wehrli starred for the Cardinals when they resided in St. Louis. The product of the University of Missouri is another of the team’s Hall of Famers, inducted in 2007. He played his entire 14-year career (1969-82) with the Cards, and recorded 40 picks in 193 games (163 starts).
The team was based in Chicago when Dick “Night Train” Lane donned a Cardinals’ uniform. The 6’1″, 194 pound cornerback went to four Pro Bowls as a Card during the 1950’s. He grabbed 30 of his 68 career interceptions during his stint in the “Windy City”.
Pat Fischer was a tiny corner (5’9″, 170) who played for the club for seven seasons (1961-67) in St. Louis. He played his way into three Pro Bowls (one with the Washington Redskins). Fischer picked off 29 passes and recorded four touchdowns (one on a fumble return) while with the Cardinals.
There are a few other cornerbacks who’ve played well for the franchise throughout their history. Those worth mentioning include Norm Thompson, Cedric Mack, Ken Stone, Lionel Washington, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Antonio Cromartie.
Arizona’s recent, frustrating quest to find a number-two cornerback shows that good ones just don’t grow on trees. But history shows that talented cover guys have found their way to the Red Birds throughout the years. Cards’ fans can only hope there are more great ones brought to the Valley of the Sun in the future.