Cowboys Romo Buries Broncos Elway Over First 100 Games

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Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) points as he directs his team in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT

The numbers for their respective defenses over their first 100 games support this conclusion. Elway played with four Top-10 scoring defenses his first seven years. Denver’s average defensive ranking during the time was 11th.

Romo, however, has only played with one Top-10 scoring defense (in 2009, the year of his lone playoff win), and the average ranking over seven seasons has been 21st in the league. In six of Elway’s seven seasons he had a Top-15 scoring defense; Romo’s had a Top-15 defense only twice.

Yet over their first 100 games, Romo has just six fewer wins than Elway. Who of the two is the real difference maker?

Here is the statistical breakdown from the first 100 games, courtesy of Pro Football Reference:

 

Wins

Losses

Comp

Att

Cmp%

Yards

TDs

INTs

Rating

Yds/Att

ELWAY

64*

35

1665

3070

54.2%

21195

120

114

72.8

6.90

ROMO

58

42

2250

3458

65.1%

27430

191

94

96.4

7.90

*Elway had one tie

The numbers are striking. Hard to believe Elway was the consensus No. 1 pick of the draft, and Romo was the small-school free agent nobody. Elway threw a touchdown every 25.6 attempts; Romo has averaged a TD every 18.1 attempts. Romo throws 2.03 TDs for every interception; Elway’s ratio was closer to 1:1.

Some might argue the evolution of the NFL to a passing league and the sophistication of today’s offensive schemes account for the disparity in these numbers, and surely that’s part of it. But how much? It’s simple enough to compare the numbers and adjust for era.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo

  • 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”.