So…before we begin let me just say that yes….I AM A COWBOYS FAN! For better of for worse that is my team and I’m sticking with them. However, unlike most fans of a particular team, in a particular sport, I have this uncanny ability to remain objective. Above all else…when trying to validate your opinion, engage in an intelligent debate, or just communicate a different perspective about anything, you must always seek to remain objective. I preface all of that because what I am about to propose is something that may case you, if you are a sport fan, to stop reading this post and move on to the more exciting agenda items of your day. Like it or not…Tony Romo is better than you think. In fact, I believe that he should be considered a Top 5 quarterback in Today’s NFL.
Yeah I said and yes I am in my right mind. Recently, Will Brinson- a NFL writer for cbssports.com, published an article where he ranked all of the current starting NFL quarterbacks 1-32. On his list, he had Tony Romo checking in at #8; ahead of everyone except Rodgers, Brady, P. Manning, Brees (those guys being in the “elite” section) and E. Manning, Ryan, and Roethlisberger. If you are running a little slow this morning, that also means that Romo was placed above the the current Superbowl champion, Joe Flacco… Cam Newton, Matt Stafford and all of the current youth explosion guys: Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Colin Kapernick and RGIII. Crazy you say…not so fast my friend.
The eye test instantly will cause you to focus on the Brett Favre streak that is in Romo. You will undoubtedly conclude in your mind’s eye that his inability to deliver consistent post season success in Dallas or his perceived lack of mental fortitude in crucial games in the regular season action should have him lower on this list of quarterbacks. However, what if what you were seeing, is not congruent with what should be reality? Let me explain.
According to ESPN, Romo was number 10 in Passer Rating. But since 2006, when he took over as the starting quarterback, Romo has never finshed out of the top 10 in any season except for 2010 where he was injured and didn’t qualify statistically to be listed. Romo finsihed 3rd with the number of pass attempts and was top 5 in completeition percentage, top 5 in total yards, , 3rd in yards per game, and 6th in Touchdowns; and before you say anything, he was tied for the most interceptions thrown last year with Drew Brees (19), but only two quarterbacks with over 500 passing attempts finished the year with single digit interceptions (Rodgers and Brady, both with 8). Just by looking at the numbers, you could easily suggest that Romo is definitely worthy of his slot at #8 in this ranking; and even though numbers never lie, they also don’t always tell the full story.
Here is the part of the argument that very few people ever talk about when trying to truly determine how bad Tony Romo is….he plays for the COWBOYS. Take Romo’s numbers and put that production on a different team. Let’s use the Houston Texans for example. Matt Schaub and Romo had similar looking numbers last season. Romo threw for almost 1000 yards more and almost 60 more yards a game, but overall they had similar seasons statistically. However, when you look closer, don’t even ask yourself how much better Romo would have been if he were on a team with an above average offensive line (last year Pro Football Focus had the Texans OLine as the 11th best compared to the Cowboys who were ranked 25th) or a consistent running game that was easily top 3 in the league, ask yourself what would have become of Matt Schaub’s numbers if he were the QB in Dallas… and that’s my point about Romo needed to be considered in the elite conversation.
I’m not suggesting that he is ELITE…although based on his numbers since 2006, you can’t truly suggest that he isn’t. You would either have to completely shrink your ELITE list with Romo on the front porch trying to get in, or you would have to at least let him in the house and maybe sleeping on a cot instead of occupying one of the bedrooms. Because of the crappy defense of the Cowboys over the years and the make shift offensive line that they have had in their most recent memory, there aren’t many QBs that you can definitively say would have been able to reproduce or even come close to the numbers they are currently putting up. In fact here is the short list of guys who could probably still produce at the level they are now if they played on the Cowboys:
Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton…. and maybe Big Ben. No one else would have the time or the ability to maneuver in the pocket that would break down in less than two seconds to be able to make something happen. Conversely, put Romo on your favorite team and while yo still may not win the Superbowl….you wouldn’t be doing any worse than what you are dealing with now; and i didn’t even go into the coaching or play calling that devastatingly impacts Romo in Dallas. So while we still have a little ways to go before the start of football season, just know that when you start trashing Romo…put your favorite QB on the Cowboys and ask yourself…how would my QB have handled that situation?
Football fans…am I wrong? Prove It!
As always, Caesar