Edmonton Eskimos

Matt Dunigan - Quarterback - 1983-87 - Louisiana State

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His first pass in the Canadian Football League was intercepted but that did not stop Matt Dunigan from going on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history and leave an indelible mark with fans of the Canadian game.

 

The Louisiana native joined the Edmonton Eskimos in 1983 and after a season as understudy behind Warren Moon, Dunigan was thrust into the starting role in 1984 and never looked back. He threw for 21 touchdowns his first season completing nearly 60% of his passes as starter and rushed for 9 more and over 700 yards.

 

It was a tall order for Dunigan to replace the Eskimo legend Moon and lead a team coming 1 year removed from a 5 in a row championship run. Dunigan would admit later that in learning the Canadian game he spent the first few years of his career playing by the seat of his pants. This improvisational ability proved productive and successful as Dunigan learned the nuances of Canadian Football.

 

The swashbucking quarterback played with reckless abandon and a confident attitude that endeared himself to teammates and fans. Blessed with a strong arm and good instincts as a runner the Louisiana Tech product had his finest season with Edmonton in 1986 with over 3,600 yards passing and 25 touchdowns.

 

In 1987 Dunigan would suffer from injuries that would limit his playing time and open the door for back-up Damon Allen to gain valuable experience. The Eskimos would advance to the Grey Cup in 1987 to face the Toronto Argonauts. Dunigan struggled and was replaced by Allen in the second half who would lead the Eskimos to a Grey Cup victory. It was Duniganís first Grey Cup as a player but it was Allen who had brought the team back in the game.

 

With his contract up and with Allen waiting in the wings Dunigan moved on to British Columbia in 1988 for the next chapter of his great career.

 

 

 

-- statistics --

 

 

Matt Dunigan        Louisiana Tech
    Passing        
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1983 Edm 26 14 239 53.8 4 2 54
1984 Edm 412 220 3,273 53.4 21 19 81
1985 Edm 405 242 3,410 59.8 19 22 89
1986 Edm 485 275 3,648 56.7 25 14 68
1987 Edm 326 175 2,823 53.7 21 19 89
1988 BC 471 268 3,776 56.9 26 22 76
1989 BC 597 331 4,509 55.4 27 20 83
1990 Tor 262 144 2,028 55.0 17 14 53
1991 Tor 196 121 2,011 61.7 16 10 87
1992 Wpg 411 205 2,857 49.9 17 15 60
1993 Wpg 600 334 4,682 55.7 36 18 75
1994 Wpg 431 252 3,965 58.5 31 16 88
1995 Bhm 643 362 4,911 56.3 34 16 71
1996 Ham 211 114 1,725 54.0 12 4 51
Total 13 5476 3057 43,857 55.8 306 211 89

 

    Rushing    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1983 Edm 4 23 5.8 20 0
1984 Edm 89 732 8.2 69 9
1985 Edm 113 737 6.5 69 9
1986 Edm 118 594 5.0 24 4
1987 Edm 51 287 5.6 33 4
1988 BC 97 501 5.2 31 6
1989 BC 70 397 5.7 21 10
1990 Tor 48 218 4.5 24 7
1991 Tor 34 190 5.6 14 2
1992 Wpg 42 238 5.7 24 3
1993 Wpg 84 517 6.2 37 11
1994 Wpg 42 226 5.4 28 4
1995 Bhm 38 213 5.6 29 7
1996 Ham 20 158 7.9 22 1
Total 13 850 5,031 5.9 69 77