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This Date In History: NFL Rules Changes Open The Door For Kurt Warner, Passing Game

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Over the past several years, the NFL has evolved into a quarterback's game. Almost gone are the days of building a team through defense and a running game. Teams now look for an elite signal caller who can move the ball down the field quickly and efficiently and put the ball in the endzone. Difference makers are quarterbacks. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers -- these are all guys who, if you were to remove them from their respective teams, they would leave their teams in shambles.

Probably not a single one of these teams would be even .500 without their quarterback. As Cardinals fans, we witnessed this firsthand. With Kurt Warner at the helm, two division championships, four playoff victories and a Super Bowl berth. Without him, a 5-11 season.

We can look at this date in 1933 as the catalyst for what has become a passing league.

It was February 25-26, 1933 when a rules change allowed an alteration to the rules governing the forward pass. 

Previous to that time, it was required to be five yards behind the line of scrimmage to make a forward pass. The change allowed a more wide-open style of football to occur.

No quarterback had thrown for over 1,000 yards in a season before then. That milestone was reached in 1936.

Six years later, in 1942, 2,000 yards passing was surpassed. It took until 1960 for a player to surpass 3,000 yards, but it was clear that the framework was set in place by that meeting in the Fort Pitt Hotel in Pittsburgh in 1933.