The 1 Thing Jimmy Garoppolo, Joe Montana, and Dan Marino Have in Common

Jimmy Garoppolo has had a great year for the San Francisco 49ers so far. Any time a new young quarterback emerges as a potential elite talent, it’s natural to compare him to quarterbacks from the past. There are two quarterbacks, in particular, Garoppolo may draw comparisons to: Joe Montana and Dan Marino. Why is that and what exactly do they all have in common? 

Jimmy Garoppolo career overview so far

Garoppolo isn’t nearly as accomplished as the other two quarterbacks mentioned here, but in fairness to him, he’s closer to the beginning of his career. Garoppolo is off to a good start. Here’s what he’s been able to achieve in his short career so far: 

  • Win-loss record of 17-3
  • Completed 68.8% of his passes
  • 5,446 passing yards
  • 35 touchdowns
  • 18 interceptions 

In what will (hopefully for him) be his first full season as a starter, Garoppolo has led the 49ers to a dominant 9-1 record through 10 games. 

Joe Montana career overview

Montana is known as one of the most winningest quarterbacks of all-time. He spent the majority of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, spending his last few seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. Here’s what Montana was able to accomplish during his illustrious career. 

  • Win-loss record of 117-47
  • Completed 63.2% of his passes
  • 40,551 passing yards
  • 273 touchdowns 
  • 139 interceptions 
  • Four Super Bowl championships 
  • Eight Pro Bowl selections
  • Two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner
  • Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Montana was the Tom Brady of his era, winning more championships than any other quarterback had previously won. While he had some great 49ers teams — he threw to arguably one of the best wide receivers of all time in Jerry Rice — they couldn’t have won without Montana’s stellar play at quarterback. 

Dan Marino career overview 

Few quarterbacks in history possessed the sheer talent of Marino. In an era before passing was as big a part of the game as it is now, Marino threw the ball as effortlessly and efficiently as just about anyone. He spent his entire career with the Miami Dolphins and remains the franchise’s greatest player of all time. Here’s what he was able to achieve during his career: 

  • Win-loss record of 147-93
  • Completed 59.4% of his passes
  • 61,361 passing yards
  • 420 touchdowns
  • 252 interceptions
  • Nine Pro Bowl selections
  • One Most Valuable Player Award
  • Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Marino went down as one of the NFL’s all-time best pure passers. While he never won a Super Bowl, he was a part of some great Dolphins teams in the ’80s who won the AFC championship. He continued to keep the Dolphins near the top of the heap as playoff contenders into the ’90s, though he never was able to get them over the final hurdle. 

The one thing Jimmy Garoppolo, Joe Montana, and Dan Marino have in common

A reporter asked Jimmy Garoppolo what he had in common with former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana. Garoppolo’s response was both succinct and humble: 

“We are both Italian. So, we have that in common. But, I think it might be a little early. We’ve got a good thing going right now. We’ve just got to keep working hard and keep improving every week and keep this thing going in the right direction.”

Marino is also Italian, meaning all three share the same heritage. 

It begs the question: will Garoppolo be the next great Italian-American quarterback? To start, he’ll need to finish up the great season he’s having this year and possibly go to a Pro Bowl or two. Montana won multiple championships and while Marino didn’t win any, he at least had his team in contention almost every season. 

If Garoppolo can turn the 49ers into perennial contenders again, he may be able to be mentioned in the same breath as Montana and Marino.