Understanding Jaworski's Ranking of Dallas Cowboys' Quarterback Tony Romo

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Unless I’m watching David Letterman, I don’t pay attention to lists. I try not to publish articles involving lists of top moments or top players.  I even managed to ignore NFL Network’s recent Top 100 players list. If we’re going to be honest, lists are just an interesting way to fill airtime. With that said — or written — there are two NFL analysts that have earned my respect especially when it comes to quarterback evaluations. The two people I trust are Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden.

When I learned that Ron Jaworski was creating a ranking list of NFL quarterbacks, I paid attention. I found myself interested in where Ron Jaworski was going to rank our quarterback, Tony Romo. If there is one thing that divides Cowboy Nation, it’s Tony Romo. Members of Cowboy Nation tend to either love him or hate him. For the record, I don’t hate Tony Romo.

Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) watches a play while on the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I’m in Tony Romo’s corner because of a few things. I remember life after the great Troy Aikman. After Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Drew Henson, Vinny Testaverde, Chad Hutchinson and Anthony Wright, I love the stability we have at the quarterback position. When Romo is debated, I have taken the advice of former head coach Bill Parcells. Parcells, in regards to Romo, cautioned reporters by saying, “Look fellas, let’s not put him in Canton just yet.”

Without considering the quality of the team or the coaching staff around Romo, Romo has been impressive as a quarterback. Romo has pocket presence and awareness. He has displayed the ability to extend plays by moving away from pressure. He has also proven to be elusive. Would I prefer that he tuck the ball under his arm, run for three yards and slide? Yes. Unfortunately, that’s not Romo. When Romo scrambles, it’s generally boom or bust and admit it, you love it.

The last thing I want to mention about Romo is his accuracy. I have witnessed Romo hit receivers in stride repeatedly. It doesn’t matter if the receiver is running a quick slant, a go route, across the middle or back shoulder, Romo makes it look easy. Just take a look at his completion percentage, it screams accuracy.

Rank

Player

Team

Completions

Attempts

Percentage

1

Matt Ryan

Atlanta

422

615

68.6

1

Peyton Manning

Denver

400

583

68.6

2

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay

371

552

67.2

3

Tony Romo

Dallas

425

648

65.6

3

Robert Griffin III

Washington

258

393

65.6

 

Romo tied for third amongst quarterbacks when ranked by completion percentage, yet had the highest number of passing attempts. If you are replaying the interception Romo threw during last seasons’ finale, look at Romo’s touchdown pass to Dez Bryant against the Cleveland Browns to wash that out. On that play, it was 2nd and 19, on the Browns 28 yard line and Romo dropped it in the bucket.  (Cowboy Nation — If you find a better video of this play on you-tube, please let me know).

Unfortunately, too many will stay focused on Romo’s 19 interceptions, which tied him for most in the league with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Romo had 648 passing attempts to Brees’ 670 attempts but Brees doesn’t have an interception aura like Romo does. It’s not like Romo is as bad as New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez who threw 13 touchdowns, 18 interceptions on 453 attempts.

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