1. Staubach vs. Morton
Dallas Cowboys, 1971
Remember what I said about how platoons usually do not solve QB controversies? Yeah, well I had this case in mind.
In 1971, the Tom Landry-coached Cowboys were coming off their first Super Bowl appearance—a loss to the Colts. Though they had been led to that Super Bowl by QB Craig Morton, both he and Roger Staubach had very good training camps in 1971, so Landry decided not to decide the quarterback issue. Instead, he went with a ridiculous 50-5o platoon in which Morton would start one game, then Staubach the next, then Morton, then Staubach, and so on.
The Cowboys were actually 4-2 through the first six week of this. So I guess at that point Landry got cocky and decided to try something really nuts: alternating QBs on every play. Seriously.
This was back in the day before QBs had headsets in their helmets, so play calls had to be given by messengers anyway. Landry figured if he switched QBs every play, he wouldn’t have to send a messenger to relay the call. He could just tell the QB himself.
Obviously, neither QB liked the idea of this. In fact, Staubach once said, “I thought Tom got Alzheimer’s or something.”
Not surprisingly, the Cowboys lost that game to the Bears. But the next week Staubach started and won, and apparently Landry decided his platoon experiment was a failure. So he stuck with Staubach again, and again, and again, and the ‘Boys rattled off 10 straight wins, which included their first Super Bowl.
After that, the QB controversy in Dallas was over, and the rest was history.