Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame Players: A Complete History

Updated on October 28, 2019
The Pro Football Hall of Fame logo was featured on the field prior to the 2017 Hall of Fame between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame logo was featured on the field prior to the 2017 Hall of Fame between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio. | Source

How Many Arizona Cardinals Players Are in the Hall of Fame?

As one of the founding teams in the American Professional Football Association that still plays in the modern-day National Football League, the Arizona Cardinals have churned out their fair share of Pro Football Hall of Famers. In total, 20 players, coaches, and/or executives have spent at least 1 season with the Cardinals, meaning 6.1% of the 326 men inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, represent the Cardinals.

Among the team's representatives are some of the best defensive players in the history of the NFL, one of the Cardinals' greatest receiving threats of all-time, numerous coaches, and the man who built the team that won the 1947 NFL championship.

Arizona Cardinals Hall of Famers

What follows is a list of every Hall of Famer who has played at least one game for the Cardinals. The players are listed in order by the number of seasons each spent with the franchise.

Larry Wilson

  • Position: Safety
  • College: Utah
  • Seasons Played: 1960–72
  • Years as Coach/Executive: 1973–2002
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1960–2002
  • Year Inducted: 1978
  • Stats: 52 interceptions, 5 TDs
  • Awards: 1966 Defensive Player of the Year; Cardinals Ring of Honor; Cardinals No. 8 Retired
  • All-Pro: 1963, 1965–70
  • Pro Bowl: 1962–63, 1965–70

Lawrence "Larry" Wilson closed his career as one of the greatest Cardinals players of all-time, and immediately followed his retirement by joining the team's front office. He spent a total of 43 years with the Cardinals, first as a dominant defender for 13 seasons, then in various front-office capacities until 2002. Those first 13 years were spent perfecting the safety blitz, while the last 15 were spent as the team's vice president—his tenure culminated with the announcement that the Cardinals would soon get their own stadium.

Wilson was a seventh-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1960, and held a job as a banker in the offseason. Wilson was dubbed "Wildcat" early in his career, because that was the name of the play that called for his safety blitz—a new trend in the NFL in the '60s. By the middle of the decade, Wilson had become the premier defensive player in the league, and among his career-defining moments was a string of seven straight games in 1966 when he intercepted a pass. That stretch included a 91-yard touchdown and a three-interception game for the second season in a row. His 10 picks that season paced the league, and an interception for Wilson was usually good news for the Cardinals, who went 30-13-2 in games when he picked off a pass. He maintains team records with 52 career interceptions and 800 interception return yards. His long return of 96 yards stood as a team record until 2006.

For all of Wilson's successes, however, the team achieved very little during his tenure. Wilson is one of few Hall of Famers to have never appeared in a postseason game, and the Cardinals had an 83-86-11 record throughout Wilson's career. Wilson—one of just four Cardinals to have his number retired—was hired as the team's scouting director following his retirement in 1973, and moved up to become the general manager in 1977. He briefly stepped in as interim coach in 1979, picking up two wins and a loss after Bud Wilkinson was fired. By 1987, Wilson added vice president to his ledger, though he would relinquish his role as GM in 1993.

Charley Trippi
Charley Trippi | Source

Charley Trippi

  • Position: All-Purpose/Coach
  • College: Georgia
  • Seasons Played: 1947–55
  • Seasons Played With the Cardinals: 1947–55
  • Seasons Coached: 1956–65
  • Seasons Coached With the Cardinals: 1956–65
  • Year Inducted: 1968
  • Stats: 3,506 rushing yards, 2,547 passing yards, 1,321 receiving yards; 50 total TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1947–48, '52
  • Pro Bowl: 1952–53

Charles "Charley" Trippi was primarily known for his abilities as a running back, but he actually played a lot more positions than that in his nine years with the Chicago Cardinals. Trippi was also deployed as a quarterback, return man, defensive back, and punter. After retiring, he joined the team as an assistant coach.

Before going pro, Trippi had multiple options. He had a dual-contract offer from the New York Yanks of the newly founded All-America Football Conference, which included the option to also play baseball for the New York Yankees, as well as a $100,000 offer from the Chicago Cardinals. He opted for the Cardinals and became one of the franchise's most remembered players. Right away, as a rookie, Trippi was an impact player—accumulating 206 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1947 NFL championship game.

Trippi averaged nearly 5.0 yards per carry over his first four seasons, then switched to quarterback for two seasons. He returned as halfback for a year, then switched to the defensive backfield and punted. In the 1955 preseason, Trippi was viciously tackled and sustained a skull fracture and serious facial injuries that ultimately ended his playing career. He retired as the NFL's all-time leader in total offensive yards and the franchise's all-time leader in rushing yards—both marks have been broken several times since. Following retirement, he was an assistant coach for the Cardinals, primarily focusing on the team's offensive backfield. Currently, at age 97, he is the oldest living NFL Hall of Famer, and with 18 total seasons of service with the Cardinals, he is among the most tenured individuals in franchise history.

Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame tight end, Jackie Smith, waves to the crowd during the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade in 2018.
Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame tight end, Jackie Smith, waves to the crowd during the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade in 2018. | Source

Jackie Smith

  • Position: Tight End
  • College: Northwestern Louisiana State
  • Seasons Played: 1963–78
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1963–77
  • Year Inducted: 1994
  • Stats: 480 catches for 7,918 yards and 40 TDs
  • All-Pro: 1966–69
  • Pro Bowl: 1966–70

Jackie Smith came to the Cardinals as the 129th overall draft pick in 1963, and in just his second career game, he showed he'd become a capable NFL player. On that day against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Smith established career-highs he would never beat with 9 catches for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. His best season was in 1967, when he had four 100-yard games en route to 1,205 yards for the season. Smith added a career-high nine touchdowns and was red-hot over the last four games of the season, hauling in 20 passes for 455 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Smith was a dependable target from the get-go, playing in the first 121 straight games of his career until he was injured in 1971. He picked up at least 100 yards in 22 games during his career, and snatched a touchdown in all but five of those. From 1967–70, he had a reception in 45 straight games while providing superb blocking. His career yardage total is the best-ever for a Cardinals tight end, which was the NFL record until 1990, and he is third all-time in team history for receiving yards. His 15 seasons in a Cardinal uniform were tied for the most of all-time until Larry Fitzgerald suited up for his 16th season in 2019.

The legend retired in 1977, but reportedly wanted to come back to the Cardinals for the 1978 season. Ultimately, he ended up going to the Dallas Cowboys as a backup and he went to the Super Bowl that season, while the Cardinals fell to a 6–10 record—the team's worst mark in five seasons.

Charles Bidwell

  • Position: Owner
  • College: Loyola of Chicago
  • Seasons as Owner: 1931–47
  • Seasons as Cardinals Owner: 1933–47
  • Year Inducted: 1967
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor

Charles Bidwell spent his first two years in professional sports as a minority owner with the Chicago Bears. And while he would have preferred to have purchased that team from George Halas, he ended up buying the Chicago Cardinals for $50,000 instead. Among his first deeds with the Cardinals was claiming the 1925 NFL championship, which had been awarded to the team by the NFL, but never accepted by the franchise. The title was the story of much controversy due to scheduling and ineligible players, among other aspects, but Bidwell staked a claim to the first of just two championships for the Cardinals.

Bidwell never found much success with the Cardinals, however, as the team had just one winning season between 1933–45. In 1944, his Cardinals combined with the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a shortage of players because so many had joined the fight in World War II. Known as Card-Pitt, the team was dubbed the "Carpets" after going 0–10. Two years later, the Chicago Rockets joined the All-American Football Conference, giving Chicago three professional teams.

Refusing to be the worst team in town, Bidwell signed Charley Trippi to an expensive contract to create the "Million Dollar Backfield," a group of offensive forces that propelled the Cardinals to the 1947 NFL title. Despite his role in building that team, however, Bidwell wasn't able to enjoy the championship. He died at age 51, eight months before his team made history.

Roger Wehrli

  • Position: Cornerback
  • College: Missouri
  • Seasons Played: 1969–82
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1969–82
  • Year Inducted: 2007
  • Stats: 40 interceptions, 22 fumble recoveries, 2 TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1970–71, 1974–77
  • Pro Bowl: 1970–71, 1974–77, '79

Roger Wehrli came to the St. Louis Cardinals as a first-round draft selection in 1969, starting a 14-year career with the franchise that left him as one of the top defensive players in the team's history. He was the only player from the Cardinals to be named to the NFL's Team of the Decade for the 1970s, and consistently was among the league's top defensive backs every season. He had six interceptions in a season twice (1970 and '75), and picked off at least one pass every season from 1969–81, except for 1972.

In 1981 and '82, Wehrli was a backup on a team that was rebuilding with younger players. He did have a highlight game in 1981 against the rival Philadelphia Eagles, however, intercepting two passes—the fourth time in his career he had done so. Wehrli was a reliable workhorse who once played 130 straight games, and only missed 4 due to injury throughout his career. Wehrli recovered 22 fumbles for the Cardinals, retiring tied atop the team's all-time leaderboard (still first), and his 40 interceptions were second all-time (now third).

Dan Dierdorf

  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • College: Michigan
  • Seasons Played: 1971–83
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1971–83
  • Year Inducted: 1996
  • Stats: 160 games, 7 fumble recoveries
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1974–78, '80
  • Pro Bowl: 1974–78, '80

Dierdorf began his 13-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals as a second-round draft pick, and by his fourth season, he had cemented himself as a fixture on the offensive line. He didn't miss a game at right tackle from 1972–76, which helped push the Cardinals to 31 wins and two postseason appearances from 1974–76 . St. Louis finished 10th, 6th, and 3rd in total offensive yardage those three seasons, and in 1975, St. Louis quarterbacks were sacked just 8 times in 14 games. He was also recognized by his peers—being named the best offensive lineman in football by the NFL Players Association from 1976–78.

In 1979, Dierdorf sustained a major knee injury, and his play was never the same. He did start every game from 1980–82 and made a Pro Bowl in '80, but by 1983, the knee was too bothersome and he announced his retirement in the middle of the season. In 1982, he moved to center and mentored younger players on the line, helping the Cardinals to their first winning season since 1976. He's enjoyed a successful career in sports broadcasting since retiring.

Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame cornerback, Aeneas Williams, speaks in London during NFL UK Live at The Mermaid in 2017.
Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame cornerback, Aeneas Williams, speaks in London during NFL UK Live at The Mermaid in 2017. | Source

Aeneas Williams

  • Position: Defensive Back
  • College: Southern
  • Seasons Played: 1991–2004
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1991–2000
  • Year Inducted: 2014
  • Stats: 795 tackles, 55 interceptions, 13 TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1994–97, 2001
  • Pro Bowl: 1994–99, 2001, '03

Aeneas Williams was much more than a standout defender during his decade-long tenure with the Phoenix Cardinals. Known as the heart and soul of the team and its spiritual leader, Williams led by example off the field, and did his part on the field, too. He was a shutdown cornerback taken in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft and is remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in franchise history.

After suffering through five losing seasons, Williams considered leaving the Cardinals for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996, but instead signed an identical contract to stay in Phoenix. He'd help the Cardinals to the postseason in 1998 and would then intercept Hall of Fame quarterback, Troy Aikman, twice in a first-round victory—the team's first win in the postseason since 1947. Once his contract expired, Williams was given the franchise tag and then traded to the St. Louis Rams during the 2001 NFL Draft.

With the Cardinals, Williams ranks second all-time with 46 interceptions, and still holds the club record with 6 interception returns for touchdowns. In 1994, he led the league with nine interceptions, and had six interceptions as a rookie. He also tied an NFL record when he returned a recovered fumble 104 yards against the Washington Redskins in 2000.

Ollie Matson

  • Position: Running Back
  • College: San Francisco
  • Seasons Played: 1952, 1954–66
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1952, 1954–58
  • Year Inducted: 1972
  • Stats: 5,173 rushing yards, 40 TDs; 3,295 receiving yards, 23 TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1952, 1954–59
  • Pro Bowl: 1952, 1954–58

Ollie Matson joined the Chicago Cardinals as the third overall draft pick in the 1952 NFL Draft, and was the fastest player in the league after winning two medals as a sprinter in that year's Olympic Games. He spent 1953 in the U.S. Army, and came back to become one of the leading players for the Cardinals over the next several seasons. In 4 of the next 5 years, he would gain at least 900 offensive yards, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in 1954, '56, and '57.

The finest game of his career came during Week 9 of the 1954 season, when he carried the ball eight times for 163 yards and a career-high three scores, and hauled in five passes for 64 yards and another touchdown in a 38–16 win over Washington. A week later, he was a shining star again, picking up a career-best 161 receiving yards on five catches and adding another 115 on the ground in a loss to Pittsburgh.

After six seasons with the Cardinals, Matson was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams in an unusual deal that saw the Cardinals get five players and four draft picks in return. His 3,381 rushing yards for the Cardinals were second all-time in franchise history at the time of his trade (now ninth).

"Night Train" Lane

  • Position: Cornerback
  • College: Scottsbluff JC
  • Seasons Played: 1952–65
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1954–59
  • Year Inducted: 1974
  • Stats: 68 interceptions, 6 TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1956–57, 1959–63
  • Pro Bowl: 1954–56, '58, 1960–62

Dick "Night Train" Lane is remembered as one of the best ball-hawking cornerbacks in the history of the NFL. He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 1952, setting an NFL record with 14 interceptions for the Los Angeles Rams. Despite his obvious talent, Lane was traded to the Chicago Cardinals as part of a three-team deal before the 1954 season.

Lane led the league in interceptions with 10 in 1954, and two seasons later, his defensive prowess helped lead the Cardinals to their first winning season since 1949. Because of his athleticism, Lane was sometimes deployed on offense, and in 1955, he scored on a 98-yard touchdown reception, which was then the second-longest offensive play in the history of the league. In 6 seasons in Chicago, he intercepted 30 passes, which was a team record when was traded to the Detroit Lions in 1960. Currently, his mark is fourth-best in Cardinals' history.

Paddy Driscoll holds the the football with his teammates on the 1920 Chicago Cardinals, the first team in franchise history.
Paddy Driscoll holds the the football with his teammates on the 1920 Chicago Cardinals, the first team in franchise history. | Source

"Paddy" Driscoll

  • Position: Quarterback, coach
  • College: Northwestern
  • Seasons Played: 1917–29
  • Seasons Played With the Cardinals: 1920–25
  • Seasons Coached: 1920–22, 1941–57
  • Seasons Coached With the Cardinals: 1920–22
  • Year Inducted: 1965
  • Stats: 47 total offensive TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1920, 1922–28

John "Paddy" Driscoll was the first coach and quarterback in franchise history, and is considered one of the best players from the earliest days of the NFL, despite weighing in at around 150 pounds. Driscoll's play, which came at the cost of $300 per game, led the Cardinals to a fourth-place finish in the standings, and earned the honor of being the first-ever All-Pro quarterback. Between his passing, rushing, and kicking abilities, Driscoll left his mark all over the field throughout his career. In 1925, Driscoll and the Cardinals won the NFL championship, but the Bears lured him across town in the offseason with an offer of $3,500.

Jimmy Conzelman

  • Position: Coach
  • College: Washington (Mo.)
  • Seasons Coached: 1921–29, 1931–42, 1946–48
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1940–42, 1946–48
  • Year Inducted: 1964
  • Stats: 87 NFL wins, 1947 NFL championship
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor

James "Jimmy" Conzelman was a standout quarterback in his playing days, but made his mark on the Chicago Cardinals as a head coach. He first took on the role from 1940–42, and after an 8–22 record, he left the team for the St. Louis Browns of Major League Baseball. Conzelman returned to the Cardinals in 1946, and with some extra stars on the roster, led two of the greatest seasons in franchise history.

Under his watch, the 1947 Cardinals finished the regular season at 9–3 and dispatched the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFL championship. They followed up with an 11–1 record in 1948, but it was the Eagles who would claim that season's league crown. Conzelman unexpectedly resigned following the season, and finished with a 34–31 record in his 6 years at the helm.

Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner, delivers his induction speech during the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
Arizona Cardinals Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner, delivers his induction speech during the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. | Source

Kurt Warner

  • Position: Quarterback
  • College: Northern Iowa
  • Seasons Played: 1998–2009
  • Seasons With Cardinals: 2005–09
  • Year Inducted: 2017
  • Stats: 32,344 passing yards, 208 TDs
  • Awards: MVP, 1999 and 2001; Super Bowl XXXIV MVP; Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1999, 2001
  • Pro Bowl: 1999–2001, '08

After building his Hall of Fame candidacy with a run of success for the St. Louis Rams, Kurtis "Kurt" Warner closed his career with five seasons for the Arizona Cardinals. In his first three seasons in Arizona, he was never the solidified starter, competing with youngsters like Josh McCown and Matt Leinart. But once he was named the starter for the 2008 season, Warner led the Cardinals to the one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history.

Warner threw for 4,538 yards and a then-franchise record 30 touchdowns while leading the Cardinals to a 9–7 record and their first playoff appearance since 1998. As a wild card team, Arizona faced a long road to a championship, but Warner threw for eight touchdowns over the first three rounds of the playoffs to give the Cardinals their first berth in a Super Bowl. He threw for 377 yards in Super Bowl XLIII, but his team fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27–23.

He pushed the Cardinals into the playoffs again in 2009. With two touchdown passes in Week 16, Warner became just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw 100 touchdowns for two teams, and he threw five touchdowns in a wild first-round postseason win over the Green Bay Packers. Warner stands fifth all-time in franchise history, with 15,843 passing yards and 100 touchdowns.

Walt Kiesling

  • Position: Offensive Line
  • College: St. Thomas (Minnesota)
  • Seasons Played: 1926–38
  • Seasons With Cardinals: 1929–33
  • Year Inducted: 1966
  • All-Pro: 1929–32

Walter "Walt" Kiesling was a football lifer, spending 36 years in professional football. That included four years of his prime with the Chicago Cardinals. Kiesling was regarded as one of the best offensive lineman of his time, bringing back All-Pro selections in all but one of his seasons with the Cardinals, and helping his team finish fourth in the standings twice. He was selected by the Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman on the NFL's 1920s All-Decade Team.

Ernie Nevers
Ernie Nevers | Source

Ernie Nevers

  • Position: Fullback, coach
  • College: Stanford
  • Seasons Played: 1926–31
  • Seasons Played With the Cardinals: 1929–31
  • Seasons Coached: 1927, 1930–31, '39, '46
  • Seasons Coached With the Cardinals: 1930–31, '39
  • Year Inducted: 1963
  • Stats: 38 rushing TDs
  • Awards: Cardinals Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1926–27, 1929–31

Ernest "Ernie" Nevers didn't have a long career, but he made quite the impact. A four-sport athlete at Stanford, Nevers played professional football and baseball and is considered one of the finest NFL players of the league's early years. In his first season with the Chicago Cardinals, he established an NFL record by scoring all of his team's points in a 40–6 win over the Chicago Bears. He routinely scored all of his team's points because he was a prolific runner, passer, and kicker, and scored 28 rushing touchdowns in 3 seasons with the Cardinals. In 1931, an informal poll placed Nevers in a tie for second as the greatest football player in history up to that point. As a coach for the Cardinals, he was 11-19-2.

Emmitt Smith's bust as seen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Though he played the majority of career with the Dallas Cowboys, he closed out his playing days with two seasons for the Arizona Cardinals.
Emmitt Smith's bust as seen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Though he played the majority of career with the Dallas Cowboys, he closed out his playing days with two seasons for the Arizona Cardinals. | Source

Hall of Famers Who Made a Stop With the Cardinals

Several Hall of Famers only made a very brief stop with the Cardinals during their career. The following players spent two seasons or fewer a Cardinals' uniform, or on the sidelines as their coach.

Emmitt Smith

  • Position: Running Back
  • College: Florida
  • Seasons Played: 1990–2004
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 2003–04
  • Year Inducted: 2010
  • Stats: 18,355 rushing yards, 174 TDs
  • Awards: 1990 ROY, 1993 MVP, 1993 Bert Bell Award, Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor
  • All-Pro: 1991–95
  • Pro Bowl: 1990–95, 1998–99

With the Cardinals, Emmitt Smith had 1,193 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns over two seasons. That included a 937-yard effort in 2004, the final season of his career.

Earl "Curly" Lambeau

  • Position: Coach
  • College: Notre Dame
  • Seasons Coached: 1919–53
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1950–51
  • Year Inducted: 1963
  • Stats: 226 wins, 6 NFL championships

The namesake to the Green Bay Packers' stadium, Earl "Curly" Lambeau compiled a 7–15 mark in two seasons with the Cardinals, after winning six NFL championships in Green Bay.

Joe Stydahar

  • Position: Coach
  • College: West Virginia
  • Seasons Coached: 1947–54, 1963–65
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1953–54
  • Year Inducted: 1967
  • Stats: 20 wins, 1951 NFL championships

Joseph "Joe" Stydahar was inducted to the Hall of Fame as a tackle, but also spent a handful of seasons as a head coach, including two with the Cardinals. During those seasons, Stydahar compiled a 3-20-1 mark.

Jim Thorpe

  • Position: Running Back
  • College: Carlisle
  • Seasons Played: 1915–17, 1919–26, '28
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1928
  • Year Inducted: 1963
  • All-Pro: 1923

Arguably the greatest athlete of all-time, James "Jim" Thorpe donned the Cardinals' uniform for the final season of his football career. Thorpe also played professional baseball and basketball, and won two gold medals in the 1912 Olympics.

Don Maynard

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • College: Texas Western
  • Seasons Played: 1958, 1960–73
  • Seasons With the Cardinals: 1973
  • Year Inducted: 1987
  • Stats: 11,834 receiving yards, 88 TDs
  • All-AFL: 1965, 1967–69
  • AFL All-Star: 1965, 1967–69

Donald "Don" Maynard played the final season of his career with the Cardinals, but didn't see much action at wide receiver, hauling in one catch for 18 yards.

Guy Chamberlin

  • Position: Halfback, End, Coach
  • College: Nebraska
  • Seasons Played: 1919–27
  • Seasons Played With the Cardinals: 1927
  • Seasons Coached: 1922–27
  • Seasons Coached With the Cardinals: 1927
  • Year Inducted: 1962
  • Stats: 5-time NFL champion
  • All-Pro: 1920, 1922–24

Berlin "Guy" Chamberlin played end and coached the Cardinals in the last season of his career. The team finished with a 3-7-1 record that year.

Alan Faneca, who primarily played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is seen above getting inducted into their Ring of Honor in 2018. He would also represent the Arizona Cardinals if he is inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Alan Faneca, who primarily played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is seen above getting inducted into their Ring of Honor in 2018. He would also represent the Arizona Cardinals if he is inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. | Source

Potential Hall of Famers in Waiting

The list of Hall of Famers who played with or coached the Cardinals may grow soon. Running back Edgerrin James and offensive lineman Alan Faneca were named finalists on the Modern Era committee's 2019 ballot, and will look to be inducted in 2020. James had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Cardinals, and ran for 2,895 yards and 16 touchdowns in 3 seasons with Arizona. Faneca spent the 2010 season with the Cardinals, and started all 16 games at left guard. That was Faneca's last season and the ninth straight in which he started every game of the season.

Former coach Don Coryell has also been a finalist in balloting by a selection committee in 2015 and '19, and many have argued for his inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Coryell coached the St. Louis Cardinals for five seasons, and won NFC East Division titles in 1974 and '75. He compiled a 42-27-1 record with the Cardinals, and also led the San Diego Chargers to several postseason berths.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, drops back to pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Game.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, drops back to pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Game. | Source

Arizona Cardinals in Hall of Fame Games

The Arizona Cardinals have appeared in the annual Hall of Fame Game five times, posting a 1-3-1 record. Most notably, the Cardinals played the New York Giants in the inaugural Hall of Fame Game in 1962, twice played the year after the game was canceled, and also had a great matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in a 2017 loss.

1962: St. Louis Cardinals 21, New York Giants 21

The Cardinals struggled out of the gate, allowing the Giants to take a 21-0 lead before even finding a first down on offense. St. Louis and first-year head coach Wally Lemm, however, made a furious comeback. Joe Childress scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter to trim the deficit. Sonny Randle caught an 8-yard touchdown pass out of halftime, and safety Larry Wilson picked up a fumble on New York's next play and rumbled into the end zone.

1974: St. Louis Cardinals 21, Buffalo Bills 13

Tensions were high as striking members of the NFL Players Association tried to disrupt the Hall of Fame exhibition game. Larry Stallings was the only veteran player from the Cardinals to cross the picket line and play in the game, which saw St. Louis control most of the matchup. Rookies and free agents played a clean game in front of 17,286 fans, while veterans and members of other unions protested outside the gate. The turmoil caused both teams to change travel plans and be escorted to the stadium by police.

1986: New England Patriots 21, St. Louis Cardinals 16

The Cardinals got just one touchdown—on a punt return of 91 yards by Vai Sikahema—but even with a handful of field goals, it wasn't enough to get past the Patriots. Rookie kicker John Lee, the first Asian player in the NFL, knocked in all three of his field goals (28, 39, and 25 yards) and an extra point.

2012: New Orleans Saints 17, Arizona Cardinals 10

One year after the Hall of Fame was canceled for the first time due to a lockout, the Cardinals fell to the Saints in the first game of a quarterback competition between John Skleton and Kevin Kolb, who started but threw an interception and suffered minor injuries. The game also featured replacement officials, as the referees were locked out. Arizona punter Dave Zastudil booted a 79-yard punt, a Hall of Fame Game record.

2017: Dallas Cowboys 20, Arizona Cardinals 18

For the second time, the Cardinals were invited to the Hall of Fame Game a year after it was canceled. The 2016 edition was called off due to poor field conditions, and the Cowboys and Cardinals thrilled in the 2017 version. New quarterback Blaine Gabbert—who was fighting for the backup role behind Carson Palmer—was a perfect 7-for-7 while leading a pair of long scoring drives early in the game, for a 15–0 lead. Dallas stormed back for 10 points, then added a touchdown and field goal in the second half for the victory. Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith, who played 15 seasons with the Cardinals and one with the Cowboys, sang the National Anthem before the game.

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