May 21, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) laughs with receiver Dez Bryant (88) and tight end Jason Witten (82) during organized team activities at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Romo is better than you think.
I had this strong idea in my head for about a week now. The more I fed this idea, the more it became a fact. Let me say this sincerely: Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and Ravens’ Joe Flacco.
While we’re at it, throw in the rest of the quarterbacks in the AFC North too.
I am reaching, you think. On the surface it sounds ludicrous that any team would take Romo over two quarterbacks drafted in the first round and are owners of three Super Bowl wins.
The NFL is a team sport. Folks, this is the popularity draw (and success) of this league. My headline is not saying that the Dallas Cowboys are a better team than teams in the AFC North. I’m saying that if I were to start a franchise tomorrow, I would take Tony Romo over any quarterback in the AFC North.
Joe Flacco Against Tony Romo
Joe Flacco is an above quarterback manager. The lure of Joe is that when he can cut his mistakes, his team can carry the load for him — a luxury Tony Romo has not had. Over the years, Tony has seen leads he published crumble because the defense took naps inside the two-minute warning.
Joe Flacco is an above quarterback manager. Does that bug you? Flacco’s highest single-season passer rating (93.6) is close to Romo’s lowest (90.5). Outside of Flacco’s 93.6 rating, he has registered four seasons in the 80 plus area.
Tony Romo has never finished a season below a 90 rating.
- Romo is number 5 in All-Time Career Passer Rating: 95.6
- Romo is number 6 in All-Time Yards Per Attempt: 7.9
May 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is interviewed after organized team activities at the Under Armour Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Romo has thrown more than 4,000 yards four different times (only Cowboys’ quarterback to do so).
Joe Flacco? In each of his five seasons he has never produced a single 4,000 yard season.
Comfortable a little, Joe?
Your organization drafts players not only around you, but actually in front of you. The Ravens front line has always been strong. Add running back Ray Rice to the picture too; he deserves some love. The little man eats yards like Pac-Man in the 80’s. Must be nice to have someone like that in the backfield 24/7.
Every time Romo snaps the ball I feel like he is handing the ball to himself. He might as well be registered as a quarterback and running back considering how much he has to run around in the backfield.
General Manger Ozzie Newsome has done a terrific job with The Baltimore Ravens. He is known for his consistent and smart draft picks, particularly in the later rounds, and is well-respected as a GM in the league. It is no mistake he has two rings.
Somebody want to send Jerry Jones a link to Newsome’s LinkedIn page?
The last word: Tony Romo would succeed with the Ravens as the starting quarterback while Joe Flacco would fail with the Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys rely too much on Romo as their star; their quarterback; their game manager.
Joe “Cool” would fail with these responsibilities. There is no way Joe Flacco would be calm and cool with the pressures of wearing the “Star.” Add the duty of running around in the backfield is not an option.
Apparently that’s Tony Romo’s job.
Ben Roethlisberger Against Tony Romo
This match up is much closer. Though, to me, Ben Roethlisberger is a bit overrated. Like Flacco, Big Ben has had the fortune of playing for head strong head coaches. Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin are top-notch, upper level, football minds. The two have patrolled the sidelines since 1992.
During that span, the Cowboys cycled through a coaching carousel with names like Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Wade Phillips, and now Jason Garrett. These names aren’t exactly Canton, Ohio names.
Why would I take Romo over Roethlisberger? Athletic ability. In Ben’s 127 total games, he has surrendered an astounding 344 sacks! They call him Big Ben for a reason: he loves to take hugs. At this rate, Ben could become the most sacked QB in NFL history. (Brett Farve is number one with 525.)
May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) participates in organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
In Tony’s 121 total games, he has surrendered 178 sacks. Got legs? Tony obviously does. Roethlisberger would have no success as a Cowboy. Not with this offensive line.
There is structure in the AFC North. Pride. Talent. There are people in those organizations who are team conscious, not money conscious (See: Jerry Jones).
The Cowboys lack structure. Pride and talent fail at their best if there is no structure to support these elements.
Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the rock that caused the ripple in Pittsburgh; he is just an echo of the wave.
Tony Romo has thrown less interceptions (91 to 108), has taken less sacks, has a higher completion percentage, owns a higher touchdown percentage, and has a higher passer rating (95.6 to 92.7).
Romo has thrown up these numbers with mediocre teams, while Big Ben has had the benefit of playing with better players, coaches, and decisions makers.
So let me ask you, if you were starting a team tomorrow, would you still take Roethlisberger over Romo?
Me? Nope. I’d take the undrafted free agent over the first rounder.
The Last Call
I am not a Tony Romo apologist. I checked out last December. In fact, if you recall, I was calling for a Romo cancellation.
But you got to remind yourself of what you have before you lose it. Remind yourself of Quincy Carter, Vinny Testerverde, and Chad Hutchinson. I won’t fill the heart with a number nine jersey anymore — I’ve gone down that road already. The best I can do is root for The Cowboys, who apparently, need Romo more than he needs them.
And the truth is, Romo is better than most of us realize.
- Got an opinion? Think I’m bonkers? Great! If you can convince me that Ben or Joe can quarterback better than Romo, I’m open ears. Until then, good night and good luck.