Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Earl Morrall dies at age 79

By Ian O'Brien,

Earl Morrall, former quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, has passed away at age 79. He started nine games for the Dolphins in their perfect 1972 season.

According to ESPN, Morrall's health had been deteriorating for some time. His son, Matthew, said the cause of death was complications from Parkinson's disease.

Morrall filled in for Bob Griese, who had been the Dolphins' starting quarterback in the 1972 season. Griese broke his ankle, and Morrall filled in for the final nine games of the regular season.

Griese returned for the AFC Championship, and Morrall was not hesitant to return to the bench. This earned the praise of head coach Don Shula. The Dolphins finished 17-0 after winning the Super Bowl, making them the only perfect team in NFL history.

Morrall played 21 NFL seasons and threw 161 touchdown passes throughout his career. In addition to being a backup for the 1972 Dolphins, Morrall was a backup to Johnny Unitas on the Baltimore Colts as reported by the New York Times.

The Colts won the Super Bowl in the 1970 season, and Morrall won an MVP award while filling in for the injured Unitas in 1968.

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