Arizona Cardinals Team Guide
Welcome to our page of all things Arizona Cardinals!
With the Cardinals currently in a playoff drought, we’re hopeful that the fans will soon see things turn around.
On this page you’ll find everything that will assist NFL fans and bettors that are seeking information such as important stats, history, current records, details about the franchise and even some fun trivia pertaining to the Arizona Cardinals Football Team.
Arizona Cardinals Overview and Key Information
The Arizona Cardinals haven’t always had it easy in the NFL. A huge issue for this franchise for much of its existence has been getting the quarterback position right, while the coaching also hasn’t been where fans would like it to be.
That’s equated to a very small amount of postseason success, with the Cardinals reaching the Super Bowl one time and winning two NFL titles when they were the Chicago Cardinals.
The Cardinals have bounced around a bit throughout their history in the NFL, also landing in cities such as Phoenix and St. Louis before settling into Arizona in 1994.
With Arizona being their current location, here’s a quick breakdown of the franchise’s vital information.
- NFC West
- Current Team Location
- Phoenix, Arizona
- State Farm Stadium
- Head Coach
- Kliff Kingsbury
- Michael Bidwill
- Team Value (Forbes 2018)
- $2.2 billion (23rd)
Arizona Cardinals Team History
Along with the Chicago Bears, the Arizona Cardinals are the oldest NFL franchise. They were a charter member of the NFL in 1920, but the team was technically formed back in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club. Taking into consideration the 1898 date, the Cardinals are the oldest continuously run professional football team in the US.
As a member of the NFL, the team was initially known as the Chicago Cardinals. Over the years, their residence has changed, and each move was accompanied by a name change.
The evolution of the Cardinals within the NFL is in six parts.
- 1920-1943: Chicago Cardinals
- 1944: Card-Pitt (a wartime merger with the Pittsburgh Steelers roster)
- 1945-1959: Chicago Cardinals
- 1960-1987: Louis Cardinals
- 1988-1993: Phoenix Cardinals
- 1994-Present: Arizona Cardinals
Since 1932, the team has been owned by the Bidwill family and has had nine different home stadiums throughout the years.
Super Bowl Appearances and Playoff History
On the field, the Cardinals have struggled for nearly the entire century.
The team has only made ten playoff appearances. While the 1925 and 1947 Chicago Cardinals won NFL Championships, the team has never won a Super Bowl and has made just one Super Bowl appearance, coming in 2008 in Super Bowl XLIII.
That title game had Arizona taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game where the Cardinals either led or were within striking distance throughout. Late-game heroics by Ben Roethlisberger gave the Steelers a 27-23 win, but Arizona nearly pulled off a historic upset out of the NFC’s wild card slot.
This was Arizona’s most recent successful era of football, but the franchise has enjoyed a high level of success at four different points in the team’s history. The Chicago Cardinals won two titles and reached three NFL championship games from 1925-1948.
While the team endured quite the drought after that first flirtation with success, they roared back to life in the 1970s. Then the St. Louis Cardinals, the team won back-to-back NFC East titles under the guidance of head coach Don Coryell and lost in the second round of the playoffs both times.
That era extended one more season with a solid 10-4 record in 1976, but the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs in a competitive season for the NFC.
The all too familiar struggles returned, as the franchise relocated to Phoenix and finally to Arizona before cracking the playoffs again. A new era ignited their fanbase in 2008.
Kurt Warner’s arrival spearheaded a strong stretch for the Cardinals, who also benefited from the sharp offensive mind of head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Warner helped get the Cardinals to their lone Super Bowl appearance in 2008 and returned to lead Arizona back to the playoffs the very next year in what would be his swan song.
Arizona produced one more strong run when Bruce Arians took over the team in 2013. Under Arians’ watch, the Cardinals finished 7-8-1 or better every single year and won 10+ games three different times. The Cardinals also went to the playoffs twice and advanced to the NFC title game in 2015.
While the Cardinals have had a trying history of failures, the franchise has been relatively competitive in recent memory. Since 2008, the Cardinals have won 10+ games or made the playoffs five times.
- Super Bowl Appearances (NFC Conference Championships): 2008
- Super Bowl Championships: 0
- NFL Championships: 1925, 1947
- NFC Conference Championships: 2008
- NFC East Division Championships (1970-2001): 1975, 1974
- NFC West Division Championship (through 2001): 2015, 2009, 2008
- Playoff Appearances: 1947, 1948, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015
Home Stadium – State Farm Stadium
- Inaugurated: 2006
- Capacity: 63,400
- Grass or Turf: Grass
Over the nearly 100 years of Cardinals football, the team has resided in nine different venues, starting with Normal Park, Comiskey Park, and Wrigley Field in Chicago. In 1959, they also played four games at Chicago’s Soldier Field and two at Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Stadium before heading to Missouri.
St. Louis and Phoenix
In St. Louis, Sportsman’s Park and Busch Memorial Stadium were used from 1960-1965 and 1966-1987 respectively.
Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, just outside of Phoenix, was the first Arizona-based locale for 18 seasons from 1988-2005 until the new University of Phoenix stadium was opened in 2006.
The University of Phoenix Stadium, now known as State Farm Stadium, is known for its retractable roof as well as a retractable natural grass field.
An opening on one side of the stadium allows the playing field to move to the exterior, exposing it to natural light. Inside, the stadium can still be used for other events like concerts or motorsports without any damage to the grass.
- Stadium Address: University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, AZ 85305
- Mailing Address: Arizona Cardinals, PO Box 888, Phoenix, AZ 95001-0888
- Phone: 602-379-0101
Arizona Cardinals Head Coaches
Since 1920, 42 Cardinals head coaches have come and gone. Ken Whisenhunt is the longest tenured over the years, and he only kept the position for six seasons from 2007-2012.
The first to be named a “Coach of the Year” was Jimmy Conzelman in 1947. Conzelman had split tenures, originally with the Chicago Cardinals from 1940-42. In his second go-round from 1946-48, he led the team to their second and last NFL Championship in ’47, and his three-year record was 26-9-0 (.743) and 1-1 in postseason.
In recent years, Bruce Arians has recorded the most wins for any Cardinals coach with his 49-30-1 (.619) record. Arians coached from 2013 through 2017, guiding the Arizona team to two playoff appearances in 2014 and 2015.
Starting with the 2019 season, Kliff Kingsbury has taken the helm as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Here’s a quick look back at the best head coaches in Cardinals history.
It’s only fitting to give Whisenhunt the first mention when it comes to Cardinals head coaches, as he’s the first and only coach to ever get this franchise to a Super Bowl. A very successful offensive mind, Whisenhunt helped Arizona light up defenses for six seasons and produced four seasons of 8-8 or better.
Arguably the best offensive mind the Cardinals have ever had, Arians may have stayed with the team longer if he hadn’t opted for retirement. Arians was innovative offensively and helped put a solid product on the field while in Arizona. His run with the Cards produced three straight 10-win seasons to start his time there, while none of his teams ever finished worse than 7-8-1.
Ryan was an iconic figure in pro football, first impressing with numerous teams as a brilliant defensive coordinator before dominating the league as the leader of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cardinals were never able to replicate that success in Ryan’s two years on the job, but he did produce an 8-8 season in his debut and was one of the bigger names to ever roam the franchise’s sidelines.
The Cardinals delivered an exciting brand of football under Coryell in the ‘70s. A dominant college football mind, Coryell made the NFL leap in 1973 and quickly turned the Cardinals into a winner. He’d ultimately enjoy even more success with the San Diego Chargers, but Coryell briefly resurrected the Cards with 10+ wins in three of his five years in St. Louis.
One of two Cardinals coaches to actually land the franchise an NFL title, Conzelman delivered the second one in 1947. He was also responsible for easily Arizona’s best era of football, as they won 26 games during his second stint with the team. That includes back-to-back championship game appearances and a winning record in four consecutive seasons.
The first Cardinals head coach to put the franchise on the map was Norman Barry, who helped the Cards to one of their best finishes ever. That would be an 11-2-1 run in 1925, where the Chicago Cardinals were named NFL champions.
Arizona Cardinals’ Last Five Seasons
Arizona Cardinals’ All-Time Career Leaders
|Passing Yards||Jim Hart||34,639||1966-83|
|Passing Touchdowns||Jim Hart||209||1966-83|
|Rushing Yards||Ottis Anderson||7,999||1979-86|
|Rushing Touchdowns||Ottis Anderson||46||1979-86|
|Receiving Yards||Larry Fitzgerald||16,279||2004-|
|Receiving Touchdowns||Larry Fitzgerald||116||2004-|
|Sacks||Freddie Joe Nunn||66.5||1985-93|
The Cardinals don’t have a rich history of players with eye-popping stats if you pull back and look from a broader perspective. They do have several accomplished quarterbacks that enjoyed highly successful brief stints with the franchise, however, and the same can be said about some talented skill position players.
The only legendary player that stands out is Larry Fitzgerald, who leads the way with all of Arizona’s receiving records. Fitzgerald is the name that pops off the page the most here, but he’s not the only big name you think of when you’re talking about the Cardinals.
Here are a few iconic Cardinals players few will forget.
The first is certainly Fitz, who Arizona made their top draft choice with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Fitzgerald’s presence was immediately made known in his rookie season when he scored eight touchdowns.
From there, the former Pittsburgh standout turned into a reception and scoring machine, recording 100+ catches or 10+ touchdowns in four of his first six seasons. Fitzgerald’s elite consistency helped Arizona get back into the playoffs in 2008 and contributed to the receiver breaking numerous records.
Fitzgerald not only holds all of the major pass-catching records for his own franchise but is high in the rankings for various NFL records as well. Fitzgerald has proven to be an ageless wonder, as he has always been able to get open and sports extremely reliable hands. His dedication to his craft helped the Cardinals reach — and nearly win — their lone Super Bowl appearance.
A lock for Canton upon his retirement, Fitzgerald has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls and has topped 1,000+ receiving yards nine times in his illustrious career.
Larry Wilson holds the record for most interceptions by a Cardinals player, while Patrick Peterson is possibly the most talented cornerback to ever play for the franchise. Yet it’s pretty arguable the one defensive back you think of when it comes to this franchise is Williams.
Drafted by the Cardinals in round three of the 1991 NFL Draft, Williams was a 15-game starter as a rookie and intercepted six passes in his first season. He was known as a ball hawk for most of his career with the Cards, especially the 1994 season that saw him reel in nine balls.
Williams ranks second on the team’s interception list (46) and is one of the few players to play in Phoenix and in Arizona. Williams spent his prime years with the Cardinals, where they unfortunately endured some of their roughest times. It wasn’t due to Williams, of course, as Williams’ 2014 Hall of Fame induction can attest to.
While Williams could never lead the Cardinals to a title, he at least played a helping hand in sparking a small turn-around when the Cards made the playoffs in 1998 after a 15-year postseason drought.
Ottis “O.J.” Anderson was a first-round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1979 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. He was the first Miami player to rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,266) in the school’s history. During his first-ever NFL appearance, Anderson rushed for 193, just one yard less than the record for an NFL debut game.
The NFL voted Ottis as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1979, and ten years later, he was the league’s Comeback Player of the Year. The running back spent eight seasons with the Cardinals (1979-1986) and was named to the Pro Bowl for his first two seasons and First-Team All-Pro his first year as well. Anderson retired after seven seasons with the NY Giants and is still the career rushing leader for the Cardinals.
Just as Ottis Anderson is the Cardinals all-time rushing leader, Jim Hart is the career passing leader. Hart was on the Cardinals roster for 18 out of 19 years of his career from 1966-83. The quarterback wasn’t selected in the 1966 draft out of Southern Illinois but was signed after a tryout with the Cardinals.
Hart was the starter for the Cardinals’ back-to-back division titles in 1974 and 1975. Starting in ’74, he played in four consecutive Pro Bowls and was named UPI NFC Offensive Player of the Year that same season. In 1975, he earned the “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year award given to the NFL player who stands out for serving team, community, and country. Hart played the ’84 season with the Redskins before retiring and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf has the on-the-field experience to back up his current sportscasting career. The career Cardinal played in 1971 through 1983 after being picked in the second round of the ’71 draft out of the University of Michigan. Dan was a consensus All-American in 1970, and in addition to his Pro Football Hall of Fame membership, he’s also in the College Football Hall of Fame.
The offensive tackle was a six-time Pro Bowl player and five-time First-Team All-Pro. He was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team. In 2006, Dierdorf was honored as one of the eight charter inductees into the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor. The Pro Football Hall of Fame also presented him with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in ’08 for his media contribution to pro football.
For his entire 14-year NFL career (1969-1982), Roger Wehrli wore the St. Louis Cardinals uniform. He was the 1969 first-round draft pick for the Cardinals out of the University of Missouri. He was a two-time All-Big 8 player and the Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year his senior year as well as a consensus All-American in 1968.
The cornerback was chosen for seven Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro five times including consecutive seasons from 1974-77. Wehrli was named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. He was also inducted into the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Charley Trippi’s long list of awards and achievements started before his NFL career with the Chicago Cardinals. Trippi played for the Bulldogs at the University of Georgia on a scholarship. He was First-Team ALL-SEC in 1945 and ’46. In 1946, he was a unanimous All-American, the SEC Player of the Year, and Maxwell Award recipient, as well as being a driving force in the Bulldogs’ 9-0 defeat of UCLA in the 1943 Rose Bowl.
Trippi was pursued by Major League Baseball as well as NFL teams. He was the Cardinals’ first selection in round one as “future pick” in the 1945 NFL Draft. His first season with the Chicago Cardinals was 1947, and he was in the halfback position for four years before switching to quarterback. Trippi was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and 1948 All-Pro.
During his rookie year, he helped the Cardinals win their second and last NFL Championship. Trippi was on the roster through the 1955 season and is part of the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor. He’s also a College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Arizona Cardinals Trivia
Arizona started their first season in the NFL in 1922, two years after breaking ground as the Chicago Cardinals in the APFA.
Jim Lawrence was the team’s first-ever draft choice in 1936 out of TCU.
The franchise’s first game in 1920 was a 0-0 tie with the Chicago Tigers.
Ernie Nevers became the first Cardinals player elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. The iconic fullback had a well-rounded skillset and still holds the record for points scored by a player in a single game (40).
As of 2019, the Arizona Cardinals are one of 12 NFL franchises that have never won a Super Bowl.
The Cardinals retired the #40 jersey of former safety Pat Tillman, who was killed serving in the military overseas.
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