Despite his post seasons successes and durability, the Dallas Cowboys would be foolish to consider a swap of NFC East quarterbacks.
Tis the season for digging deep in the pockets to come up with fun football related topics to discuss while we patiently wait for real action to commence on the field.
This weekend, ESPN NFL Nation recently posed this question relative to the NFC East.
Which teams would trade their QB straight up for Eli Manning?
Both the Eagles and Redskins reporters said that they would trade their starter for Manning straight up. The Eagles writer, however, balked at the thought of trading newly acquired second overall selection Carson Wentz for the two-time Super Bowl winner.
And what of the Cowboys reporter Todd Archer and his response?
We’ll get to that in a moment but before we do, I wanted to weigh in on this topic since it seemed to be the perfect type of incendiary discussion that is ripe for this time of year.
Anytime I think of a conversation such as this, I feel the obligatory need to dissect every possible aspect of the question.
The first thing that I automatically think of is age.
While Tony Romo is chronologically older by approximately eight months, he is younger from a football perspective. Both guys came into the league for the 2004 NFL season, however Romo did not start playing in games until midway through the 2006 season.
I’ll consider the age thing a wash.
As for durability, there is no question here. Eli Manning is a robot. He has not missed a game in eleven seasons. The adage of the best ability is availability is in full effect here.
Meanwhile, Romo has 24 games over the last six seasons suffering a collarbone injury three separate times to the same side as well as two back surgeries.
For someone with the ability to extend plays such as Romo (a trait we’ll discuss shortly), it seems that Manning is somehow better at self-preservation. Because of that, you’d be hard pressed to not give Manning the nod here.
Next up, playoff success. This is a sneaky topic in my opinion.
On one hand, Manning has a head-to-head win over Romo in the playoffs as well as two Super Bowl rings to Romo’s zero. Manning even won the MVP for Super Bowl XLVI.
On the other hand, a lot of that post season success should be given to the defenses that Manning has had behind him. In the eight games that the Giants have won in the playoffs with Manning at quarterback, his defense has never allowed more than 20 points.
Romo has seen his playoff defenses give up 20+ points in all but one game. That’s pretty substantial when you consider that they have an equal pass completion percentage, however Romo has a better passer rating and touchdown to interception ratio than Manning in the postseason.
As if the defensive issue wasn’t enough, there is also this that happened in Manning’s favor.
For these reasons, I have no qualms minimizing Eli’s playoff accomplishments but still giving him his due and the edge in this realm as well.
Beyond that, any other possible topic you want to bring up is going to in the favor of Romo.
Let’s look at the biggest sin of a quarterback. The interception. Romo’s highest interception total for one season was 19. Manning has led the league three times in having the most balls picked off, posting years with 20, 25 and 27 interceptions.
How about passer rating? Manning’s best season resulted in a passer rating of 93.6 and that was just last year. Romo has had seven years with a better passer rating, even leading the league in this category in 2014.
There is also the ability to make plays when everything around him goes bad. Besides sheer luck the biggest reason there was a “Helmet Catch,” was that officials missed at least two holding calls which allowed Manning to escape and make the throw.
Last week, when I ranked the Cowboys offense heads up versus the rest of the NFC East, I gave the overall nod to Romo with Manning clearly being second. It’s very close, but at the end of that day, I’m sticking with my position.
As for Todd Archer, his reply was much more simple. He said:
"“I can answer this in one word: no.”"
Cowboys fans, what would you say?