Grading The Dallas Cowboys: Quarterbacks

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Kyle Orton

We do not know when his injury occurred for certain, but we do know this, Tony Romo’s last drive, while obviously in pain, was the kind of athlete overcoming injury stories that could have gone down in the annals of Cowboys History as an all time test of guts and determination. In 2013 Tony Romo swept the NFC East teams he faced, and I continue to believe that if he had not been lost to that herniated disc in his back for the finale we would have won. That is how much faith I have in Tony Romo despite the continued belief by some that he is a choker.

I’ve often wondered why Matt Ryan isn’t labeled the same way Tony Romo is, given the fact he has won the exact same number of post season games, but lost 1 more than Tony has? On top of this Matt Ryan was the overall 3rd pick of his Draft while Tony was undrafted. You’d think the scrutiny would be greater on a 1st round pick, but it isn’t. The scrutiny is greater in Dallas than anywhere else in the NFL. Tony Romo’s grade for 2013, when taking into account his stats, guts, record, and leadership is an A-. I would have given him a full A or even an A+ if the wins and losses were weighted heavy on wins. The Cowboys were not 8-8 due to his lack of effort or performance. The blame and grades will fall harder on other areas later in this series.

Next up is Kyle Orton. Can I just tell you that I really like Orton? I think we have one of the best backup QBs in the NFL and I really believed he was going to lead us to victory over the Eagles. Alas, his last pass was picked off and the season came to a screeching halt after a very promising beginning. I do not fault Orton for the loss, but it is impossible not to know he played a role in it.

He has been the good soldier ever since he arrived here last year to replace Jon Kitna. Orton has been a starter in this league and could still start for some teams. You have to give him some credit for not being a distraction. On top of this, for 2 years as the Cowboys have gone with only two QBs he has been the guy running the Scout teams. Indeed he is a good solider. We needed him to be a good leader in the absence of the recognized leader. He had a great game except for 2 throws.

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