Earl Morrall, Miami Dolphins Legend, Passes Away at 79

Former Miami Dolphin great Earl Morrall has passed away, sources close to the Morrall family has told New Times.

Morall, 79, had been in ill health for some time and was in hospice care in his Fort Lauderdale home.

As Bob Griese's backup with the Miami Dolphins, Morrall became the leader of the historic 1972 Perfect Season team after Griese went down with an injury.

Morrall started 11 out of 17 games that season and led the undefeated Dolphins all the way to their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

A recovered Griese was then reinstated as the starter for the Super Bowl and led the team to its win over the Washington Redskins, completing the 17-0 record that still stands alone today.

Before famously replacing one Hall of Fame QB and leading the team to success, Morrall replaced another Hall of Famer when, in 1968, he came in for the injured Johnny Unitas and led the Baltimore Colts to a 13-1 record. Morrall would end up the league's MVP that season.

After helping the Dolphins make history in '72, Morrall would stay with the team until his retirement in 1977. At the time, he was the oldest quarterback to start and win an NFL game -- a record that stood for nearly 20 years.

Morrall played in 255 games, completing 1,379 passes for 20,809 yards and 161 touchdowns, and posted a career 74.1 quarterback rating in a career that spanned 21 years.

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