Houston Matters

As CJ Stroud prepares to make his debut, we remember a Houston quarterback who helped pave his way

Author John Eisenberg chronicles Warren Moon’s impact on the NFL, among other ground-breaking Black quarterbacks.


As quarterback CJ Stroud prepares to make his debut for the Houston Texans this weekend, predecessors, like the Oilers’ Warren Moon, helped pave the way for Black quarterbacks like him in the NFL.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="https://embed.hpm.io/461529/461531" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

The Houston Texans are preparing for their season opener against the Ravens in Baltimore Sunday. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, drafted second overall this year, is expected to get the start for the Texans.

Stroud is not the first African American quarterback to play in Houston, of course. And these days, Black quarterbacks are fairly common in the NFL. But that wasn't always the case. A new book showcases Warren Moon of the Oilers, among others, who paved the way for Black quarterbacks in the league over the years.

In the audio above, we talk with John Eisenberg, author of Rocket Men: The Black Quarterbacks Who Revolutionized Pro Football.

He tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen why, while the majority of NFL players are Black — and have been for decades — the first time two Black men quarterbacked the teams in the Super Bowl was just this year when Patrick Mahomes faced off against Houston native Jalen Hurts.

They also discuss Moon’s role in helping change a racist narrative about the potential of Black QBs and whether such stereotypes, institutional racism, or denial still exist in the league today.

When Jalen Hurts of Channelview and his Philadelphia Eagles faced off in Super Bowl LVII against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, it was the first time in NFL history two Black quarterbacks faced off in the game’s biggest game.
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

More Information