I have to admit: I was struggling with a topic to write about for this week, since many Cowboys writers are either talking about the upcoming draft or the coaching changes. Then, I read Tonni Shook’s article about Tony Romo, which garnered over 50 comments and I knew I had found my next topic. For some reason, people still blame Tony for the disappointing 2011 season. I know I’m not the only person that’s shocked by this; Tony may have lost the Detroit and Jets game, but it was most definitely the defense and/or O-line that gave away the Patriots game, Arizona game, both Eagles games, and both Giants games. Not to mention the man had his best statistical season ever. Before I go off on my soap box, let me show everybody who we had under center during BT (Before Tony): The Dark Ages In Dallas Cowboys Quarterbacks after Troy retired.
While Randall Cunningham was a 4x Pro Bowl and All-Pro Selection and won the Pro Football Writer’s Association MVP in 1990, his career was basically over by the time he signed with the Cowboys in 2000. He threw for 849 yards with 6 TDs and 4 INTs, but only went 1-2 as a starter.
The Cowboys gave Anthony Wright his first career start in 2000, and he finished the season 22-53 with 237 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs. Based on those gaudy numbers, they brought him back in 2001 and he bulked up to 48-98 for 529 yards, 5 TDs and 5 INTs. Believe it or not, he does have a Super Bowl Ring following Super Bowl XLII.
Clint Stoerner received a grand total of two starts in his two years with the Cowboys, but he did play 6 games for a grand statistical total of 29-54 for 367 yards, 4 TDs, and 5 INTs. Don’t worry-he’s currently a free agent!
One of the great draft busts ever, Ryan Leaf appeared in four games (three starts) in 2001, throwing from 494 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INTs. I can’t wait for his 3 (three!) upcoming autobiographical books.
Finally we get a playoff appearance, as Quincy Carter spent three years with the team, and lead them to the playoffs under Parcells in 2003. He finished his Cowboys career with 507-902 for 5839 yards, 29 TDs and 36 INTs. He did, however, become just the second Cowboys rookie to win NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Stanford graduate and MLB player, Chad Hutchinson played 2 years with the teams, starting nine games. His final teams stats are 128-252 for 1563 yards, 7 TDs, 8 INTs, and 8 fumbles. For those interested, his comparable baseball stats are 0-0, with 2 Ks and an ERA of 24.75.
Another baseball player, Drew Henson only started one game for the Cowboys-Thanksgiving 2004. His final team statistics are 10-18, for 78 yards and 1 TD, 1 INT, and 1 fumble. Hey, at least he’s consistent.
The team picked up Vinny Testaverde for a one-year contract under Parcells in 2004. He played in all 16 games, and threw for 297-495, for 3532 yards and 17 TDs and 20 INTs. He did win the Heisman and compete in two Pro Bowls.
Another journeyman QB, Drew Bledsoe was the last man to throw for the team before Tony took over the starting job. In his two years with the Cowboys, he threw for 390-669 for 4803 yards, 30 TDs, and 25 INTs.
Brad Johnson, Stephen McGee, and Jon Kitna also started games in the past six years, but it has been Tony’s starting job. The next time someone complains about Tony, please ask them if they would prefer any of his predecessors. By the way, did you know that Tony, Troy, Bledsoe, Carter, White, Staubach, and Craig Morton are the only Cowboys QBs to start every game in a season?