Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tony Romo's First Five Years Bode Well For Cowboys Future: Better Stats Than Drew Brees

Entering his fifth season as an NFL starting quarterback, Tony Romo knows all about the ups and downs of the position.

If America's Team is really the Dallas Cowboys, then Tony Romo should be America's favorite quarterback. However, whenever most football fans make a list of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, names such as Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger, and Rodgers are mentioned.

Romo is usually stuck somewhere in the second tier of top quarterbacks, along with Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, and Matt Ryan.  Much of that has to do with lack of team results (only one playoff win since becoming the starter) and a perception that when the going gets tough, Romo can't stand up to the pressure.

Much of that reputation most likely stems from Romo's fumble of a snap for the game-winning field goal in the 2006 season, his first as a starter.  What would have been a 10-yard game-winning field goal became a career-defining moment for a young qb.  Dallas should have won that playoff game, and who knows how the Cowboys would have fared the past four years if they had.

Romo became more well-known for his off-the-field activities than anything he did behind center.  High-profile romances that resulted in him becoming a tabloid cover boy rankled fans that wanted Romo to be a star ON the field.

So with all that in mind, let's look at some statistical comparisons

In 67 games as the Cowboys quarterback, here are Romo's stats:

  • 64.1% completion percentage
  • 16, 650 yards
  • 118 TDs vs 62 INTs
  • QB rating of 95.5
Let's compare this with the first five years of starts of one of those top-tier quarterbacks mentioned earlier: Drew Brees

In his first 75 games as a starter (all but one season with the Chargers), Brees' stats were thus:
  • 62.6% completion percentage
  • 16,766 yards
  • 106 TDs vs 64 INTs
  • QB rating of 71.9
That bodes well for Romo's future.  He's also dealt with contentious teammates (Terrell Owens and Roy Williams, anyone?) and a meddling owner who thinks he's as good of a GM as the professional football guys.  If he has finally found that maturity he lacked in his earlier years, he might finally ascend to that top tier of NFL quarterbacks and lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

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