So we are all getting pretty wrapped up in the NFL Preseason, who can blame us? It’s hold of #1 sport in America is not debatable. There are always new players and storylines every year concerning who will be good and bad and which teams stand a chance of going all the way. One story that is pretty darn consistent, however, is Tony Romo’s. Being the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is a pretty stressful job. The fraternity of which is peppered with elite names and the franchise is one of the most successful in professional sports. Fans and analysts alike give Romo a lot of crap due to his ability in the postseason to win games, which is nonexistent if you listen to the masses.
But watching some of these preseason shows have me thinking about it. Is Romo really that bad? Sure, his mistakes are highlighted and people (especially diehard Hawks fans) give him a really hard time. A closer look at his stats, though, show a different picture. He assumed the starting job full-time in 2007. Since then, he has played all 16 games four times in six seasons, one time playing 13 games, and one time playing six games. In the seasons he has started all 16 games, he averages 64.9% passing with 4,445 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. MVP numbers? No. But that’s pretty darn respectable. I bet a lot of you would be surprised to know that Tony threw 4,903 yards.
Not totally convinced? Understandable. How about these statistics? While he is only 1-3 in the playoffs, he has averaged a touchdown per game, 0.25 interceptions per game, and 208 ypg in those four games. Compare those with twice Super Bowl champion Eli Manning’s numbers who has averaged 1.45 TDPG, .74 INTPG, and 228 YPG in 11 games. Eli has the edge in touchdowns and yards, while Tony has the edge in interceptions albeit in a smaller sample size.
And just throwing this in really quick: Romo has 18 4th Quarter Comebacks and 19 game winning drives since 2006. That is third behind Eli and Peyton respectively. Pretty impressive.
Another thing that plagues Tony is a lack of a team around him. While he had Dez Bryant last year and Jason Witten as a check down, the rest of his supporting cast has been fairly lackluster. Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, and Marion Barber have been his runningbacks from 2007 to present. Never have they run for over 1,000 and only Barber ran for over ten touchdowns (10 in 2007). We all know how the Terrell Owens project went, and Miles Austin has been having nagging injury issues. On the other side of the ball, Dallas has only fielded a top-fifteen defense once (2009).
On the sideline, Tony has had three head coaches in the last seven years (Parcells, Phillips, and Garrett). Garrett has since had his playcalling abilities taken away from him so he might have to adjust again.
It takes a whole team to compete for championships. Dallas has been a team built around Tony Romo, but after a deeper analysis it looks that it was a team designed to rely on Tony Romo. We all know he is a streaky player, sure. The stats show that more often than not he is performing for the Cowboys. Perhaps it’s time for Jerry and the rest of the ‘Boys to step up.