Cowboys Romo Buries Broncos Elway Over First 100 Games

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had the audacity to compare Tony Romo to John Elway last week, and the TV genius class flayed him alive for it. Jerry has a delightful habit of putting his foot in his mouth, but the glee those guys get from ridiculing a 71-year-old man always strikes me as a bit unseemly.

Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a touchdown pass while being rushed by Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) in the third quarter of the game at AT

So in defense of a stammering septuagenarian, and in honor of Romo making his 100th start this Sunday at Philadelphia, let’s run the numbers on Romo vs. Elway through their first 100 games and see if Jerry truly deserves the mocking scorn of the TV experts.

Romo won’t have 100 starts until Sunday, but remember he supplanted Drew Bledsoe midway through the team’s Week 6 loss to the New York Giants in 2006; he threw 25 passes that day, so for all intents and purposes he’s played 100 games.

Elway played his 100th game in 1989 when he was 29 years old; Romo will be 33. By the time Elway made his 100th start, the Bronco’s had made the playoffs four times in his seven seasons, and had lost three Superbowls; Romo’s been to the playoffs three times in seven seasons and his teams have never advanced past the divisional round. Elway’s Broncos were 6-4 in the playoffs; Romo’s Cowboys have been 1-3.

So it would appear that Elway played on stronger all-around teams, because as you’re about to discover from the statistical comparison of their first 100 games in the league, Romo has been a far better quarterback from just about every objective measureable data point. Yes, even adjusting for the era.

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  • SmartThinking

    I’m struggling to figure out why this article matters? Is anyone taking notes on how many retired quarterbacks Romo has surpassed? I’m significantly more interested in how many present-day quarterbacks Romo can beat, starting with Nick Foles.

    • John

      If a statistical comparison between Romo and his contemporaries is what you want, check out the second graph again. And Romo can’t actually beat any present-day quarterbacks… He’s not even on the field at the same time as they are. Quarterbacks compete against defenses, and football teams win football games.

  • BradAustin

    Great article. It’s amazing so many discount just how outstanding Tony Romo’s statistical career has been. It takes a whole team to win a Super Bowl and some QB’s are far more fortunate than others in regards to the surrounding components they have/had to work with. Romo is a great QB. Those who remember the many frustrating years between Roger to Troy, and then Troy to Romo, certainly appreciate what he gives us.

  • ed

    The knowledgeof so many the media’s “experts” are like the Rio Grande. A mile wide and an inch deep. “Rio Grande expertise”.