John Elway: The Quarterback Version of Dick Butkus
In some ways, it feels like people have tried to invent reasons to explain why Elway was so good despite his merely solid numbers. I think the more intellectually honest explanation is to understand that the NFL is a team game, and the quarterback is only responsible for a portion of his team’s offensive production. Compared to the other star quarterbacks of his era, the evidence indicates that Elway had the least support from his teammates. In the ’80s, the only skill-position teammate of his to make the Pro Bowl was running back Sammy Winder.
I don't know about you, but I've spent about 2/3 of my life explaining to people what made John Elway so great, and that if he had been surrounded by the talent that Joe Montana and Dan Marino had, the Duke would have won six rings.
Next time you get into an argument about Elway's place in football history, just pull up this chunk of research, and you'll be covered.