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Joshua Treadwell McCown (born July 4, 1979 in ) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Sam Houston State.

McCown has also been a member of the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. He is the older brother of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown and younger brother of former Texas A&M quarterback Randy McCown.

Early years

McCown attended Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Texas. As a senior, he was the East Texas Player of the Year, District 17-4A offensive player of the Year, and an all-state honorable mention. He completed 153 out of 231 passes (66.23 completion percentage) for 30 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also played basketball, and won an All-District second team honors as a senior.

College career

McCown played three collegiate seasons at Southern Methodist Universitymarker, passing for 4,022 yards and 24 touchdowns, but also threw 34 interceptions. McCown left the SMU program to prove that he could lead an aerial attack and did so, surpassing his three-year SMU TD total in just one season at Sam Houston State, passing for 3,481 yards and 32 touchdowns (and only 12 interceptions) as a senior. His passing yardage total was the best in Sam Houston history and ranks him eighth all-time in career passing yards. Following his senior season, he was one of 16 players considered for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top performer in NCAA Division 1-AA football.

Professional career

Arizona Cardinals

McCown shot up the draft charts after an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine, which saw him post a 4.57 40-yard dash, a 10-foot long jump, and a 38 1/2-inch vertical jump. After being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft, future Cardinals coach Dennis Green said of McCown, "I think he's going to be a great one, when I buy into a quarterback, I really do." McCown played as a quarterback for the Cardinals from 2002 until 2005. In his first season at Arizona, he played in two games, debuting against the Kansas City Chiefs when he entered to the game for starter Jake Plummer. In 2003 played in eight games with three starts Completed 95 of 166 passes with 57.2 for 1,018 yards with five TDs and six INTs and also rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a TD on 28 carries. His best season for the Cardinals was in 2004 when he played in 14 games and passed for 2,511 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 112 yards and two TDs on 36 attempts. In his career he has rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit for a victory on four occasions, all of them in 2004, one of which caused Minnesota Vikings' radio announcer Paul Allen to go into cardiac arrest. He connected on a career-high 76.9 percent of his passes, 20 of 26 at Atlanta. He started for the Cardinals at the first regular season game outside United Statesmarker, played at Estadio Aztecamarker in October 2, 2005 against the San Francisco 49ers, but McCown relinquished the starting role to Kurt Warner in 2005.

Detroit Lions

In the 2006 off-season, McCown was released by the Cardinals and became a free agent. He signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions on March 16, 2006. He was the backup quarterback to Jon Kitna, and was occasionally used in as the Z (slot receiver), passing Corey Bradford and Mike Williams on the depth chart as the third WR. McCown caught 2 passes for 15 yards when playing wide receiver in 2006 making his career total 3 catches for 10 yards against the New England Patriots. After the Lions drafted Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton in the 2007 NFL Draft, McCown was traded along with wide receiver Mike Williams to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick, A.J. Davis.

Oakland Raiders

McCown's first regular season start for the Raiders was the 2007 season opener against his former team, the Lions. He was impressive, completing 30 of 40 passes for 313 yards with two touchdowns in a 36-21 loss to the Lions. Unfortunately, he also threw two interceptions and fumbled late in the game to end the Raiders' attempt at a comeback. McCown had played through the second half of the game against the Lions with a right foot injury. McCown has struggled this season with injuries, and in 13 games McCown has only played in 7, losing 5 games and winning 2. In the 7 games that McCown played in, he completed 85 of 143 passes for 901 yards with 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Raiders prior to the start of the 2007 season, and was used as a back-up quarterback to Josh McCown when McCown was active. But when McCown was unable to play, Culpepper was the starting quarterback for the Raiders, playing in 7 games, winning 3 games, and losing 4 games. Daunte Culpepper was questionable for the Raiders game against the Denver Broncos on December 2 after missing practice on November 30 with sore quadriceps. However, Josh McCown's status was listed as probable and ended up being the starting quarterback against the Broncos. Along with running back Justin Fargas, Josh McCown led the Raiders to a 34-20 victory over the Denver Broncos, improving the Raiders record to 4 and 8. The next week, Josh McCown left the game against the Green Bay Packers with an injury and the Raiders lost, eliminating them from playoff contention.

Miami Dolphins

On February 29, 2008, McCown signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. Prior to training camp in July, McCown needed six stitches in his throwing hand's index finger. He suffered the injury holding firewood as his brother Luke chopped it.

Coming into the preseason, McCown was listed in the Dolphin's depth chart as their starting quarterback over John Beck. Following the signing of free agent quarterback Chad Pennington, McCown failed to appear in the team's final three preseason games. He was traded to the Carolina Panthers on August 29.

Carolina Panthers

On August 29, 2008, the Carolina Panthers acquired McCown from the Dolphins for a 7th round pick (#237 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft. The move came a day after Panthers quarterback Matt Moore suffered a leg injury. . He made his debut as a Panthers player when he entered the field against the Atlanta Falcons only for the end-game kneeldowns that drained the last 73 seconds from the clock . He had the same role against Kansas City Chiefs.

Career statistics

Regular season
    Passing   Rushing
Season Team League GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
2002 Arizona NFL 2 7 18 38.9 66 0 2 1 20 0
2003 Arizona NFL 8 95 166 57.2 1018 5 6 28 158 1
2004 Arizona NFL 14 233 408 57.1 2511 11 10 36 112 2
2005 Arizona NFL 9 163 270 60.4 1838 9 11 29 139 0
2006 Detroit NFL 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007 Oakland NFL 9 111 190 58.4 1151 10 11 29 143 0
2008 Carolina NFL 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 -3 0
Regular season totals 46 609 1052 57.9 6582 35 40 127 569 3


He is married with his wife Natalie. The couple has four children: two daughters; Bridget and Aubrey and two sons, Owen and Aiden


  1. Mason's Minutes: A QB's new home
  2. Cramming for the
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