POLL: Tom Brady voted 2nd-greatest NFL player of all-time; Manning 3rd

If you want to start a debate with someone real fast, go up to another NFL fan and ask them who the greatest player of all-time is. If you ask 10 different people, there's a good chance that you might get 10 different answers. If you're at a bar, there's a good chance a fight might start.

Some people might say Jerry Rice because he set NFL records that have proven almost impossible to break, even in our pass-happy era.

Other people might say Jim Brown, who's currently ninth on the NFL's all-time rushing list, despite the fact that he only played nine seasons and despite the fact that in four of those seasons, each NFL team only played 12 regular-season games.

The Harris Poll decided to get to the bottom of this debate, so the company polled 2,368 US adults to find out who America thinks is the greatest NFL player of all-time. In the poll, respondents were asked to answer the following question: "Thinking about football players over time, please indicate which you think is the greatest football player of all time."

After all the results were tallied, Joe Montana came out on top. It's easy to see why fans would vote Montana, as he went a perfect 4-0 in Super Bowls and was named Super Bowl MVP three times.

Just behind Montana was Tom Brady, who was voted as the second-best player of all-time. Patriots fans will be glad to hear that America feels that Brady is better than Peyton Manning, who was voted the third-best player ever.

Of course, America might not feel that way in five years. The last time Harris polled the country on the subject of greatest football player was in 2009, and Brett Favre was voted No. 1. Favre didn't even make the top-five this year. Neither did Rice, who was voted No. 5 in 2009.

Top-five players of all-time (via The Harris Poll)

1. Joe Montana (No. 3 in 2009)
2. Tom Brady (Unranked in 2009)
3. Peyton Manning (Unranked in 2009)
4. Walter Payton (No. 4 in 2009)
5. Jim Brown (No. 2 in 2009)

Are these two of the three greatest players of all-time? (USATSI)
Are these two of the three greatest players of all-time? (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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