I, like a lot of you, was outraged by Carolina Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton getting the Pro Bowl nod over the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo. But only initially. It is a travesty when you compare the numbers. Romo finished with 4,184 passing yards to Newton’s 4,051. That doesn’t seem like a huge difference until you take into the account Romo had far fewer interceptions (10 to Newton’s 17), and he threw 10 more touchdowns than Newton. All of this comes out to a 102.1 quarterback rating for Tony while Cam only produced an 84.5 rating. These numbers, when analyzed, show who the superior quarterback is between the two. So why did Newton get the nod over Romo?
Well for starters, Newton is a rookie. And traditionally rookies are not supposed to throw for 4,000-plus yards or rush for 700-plus yards and 14 touchdowns. The former Auburn stud also inherited a putrid offense and turned it around… as a rookie mind you. Sure, finishing 6 and 10 isn’t overwhelming, but compared to last year (2-14), it’s a breath of fresh air for Panther fans. Like him or not, that man is a specimen and Newton looks to be a force in the league for the foreseeable future. Maybe there was a reason he was the first-overall pick?
While Romo’s numbers were arguably the best of his career, his season was marred by flashes of inconsistency. His fumble and key interception in the New York Jets game started a perception of Romo as a choker. And despite a four game winning streak and quality play in December, in the public eye, Tony never fully overcame those first initial mistakes. The Cowboys missing the playoffs after having a division lead late into the regular season didn’t help his Pro Bowl case either.
In the end, it seems to me that going to the Pro Bowl isn’t the best thing for Romo anyway. He had a rough season, injury wise. The added time away from football activities isn’t necessarily bad and can only help him get back healthy and ready for next year. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see the need to send him over to the Pro Bowl and risk another setback. Sure, they seem to only play at half speed over there, but stranger things have happened. The team has young pieces in place that need to gel with Romo under center, so we have a shot at becoming a juggernaut once again. Losing him for any portion of the season, off-season included, will only hinder our chances of coming out on top again. Who do we have to lean on if Romo goes down? Stephen McGee? And do we really want to relive those Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner days? I for one don’t.