The Arizona Cardinals have a long withstanding history of quarterbacks wearing the ninth digit.
We are finally down to the single digits. It’s been a long time in the making, but we finally made it here. The Arizona Cardinals meet with the media today which signals their Top 120 board is complete and barring a trade; they know exactly who they are taking with the top selection. Will it be Kyler Murray? Or maybe Quinnen Williams? We won’t know until they turn their draft card to the NFL Commissioner.
Our countdown left off with the jersey No. 10, where we saw a few punters and a quarterback related to a San Francisco 49ers backup. We continue with the No. 9 jersey. Only nine total players have worn the jersey for the Cardinals franchise with six of them having worn it with the Arizona Cardinals. Let’s kick it off with a throwback to 1950.
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The first player to wear the jersey was Garry Cowhig, who split time between linebacker, running back, and fullback. I could not find any stats for Cowhig during his lone season with the Cardinals, but he did make an appearance in 12 games.
Quarterback Don Panciera wore it for the 1952 season. He spent three seasons playing football, two as a quarterback and one as a defensive back for Detroit. Panciera saw time in 10 games for the Cardinals, making one start which he lost. Panciera only completed 35% of his passes in two seasons as a quarterback and threw ten touchdowns to 25 interceptions.
Jim Root wore it for the 1953 season, his first stint with the team. Root appeared in 11 games, starting six, going 0-5-1 over that span. Root only recorded two statistical seasons, 1953 and 1956. His 1956 season was also with the Cardinals but wore No. 17 for that season.
It would be 41 years before the next player would decide to wear the jersey, that person being quarterback Jim McMahon. McMahon would play in 15 seasons but joined the Arizona Cardinals in 1994 at the age of 34. He started one game and lost. He would play two more seasons in the league, both with Green Bay before he hung up his cleats.
After McMahon, three punters would wear the number. Dirk Johnson (2008), Dave Zastudil (2011-2014) and Ryan Quigley (2016). Johnson played 12 games for the Cardinals in 2008, and Quigley only saw six. Zastudil had the longest career out of the other two and saw the most success with the Cardinals.
Matt Barkley and Sam Bradford are the last two on our list. Barkley was with the Arizona Cardinals during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The team never needed his services, despite injuries to Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.
Bradford was supposed to help groom Josh Rosen and have the rookie sit behind him for a year. Those plans changed only four weeks in, as the Cardinals would bench Bradford for Rosen, before cutting the veteran. Bradford has dealt with injuries for much of his career and has yet to sign with anyone this offseason.
It’s moving quickly to draft day. We will continue our countdown tomorrow with No. 8, another retired jersey for the Cardinals franchise. Stick with Raising Zona for all your Arizona Cardinals draft needs!