Cowboys Tony Romo ranks among league’s elite

Aug 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to the sidelines against the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to the sidelines against the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite the recent injuries and lack of overall playoff success, it’s hard to argue that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is not one of the NFL’s best.

One exercise that never seems to get old for those of us on the outside looking in is the desire to put players in some sort of order based on their abilities.

Truthfully, it’s an extremely futile thing to attempt.  How to even measure such things is quite arbitrary.  Does that stop any of us from making these types of lists?

Of course not.

It certainly did not stop Miami Dolphins beat writer Omar Kelly.  Recently he compiled a list of the thirty-two best starting quarterbacks in the league which you can check out here.

Now, before you click on that link, do me a favor.

If you know someone is going to be ranking NFL quarterbacks, where do you automatically think you’re going to start looking for Dallas Cowboys gunslinger Tony Romo?

In my opinion, I skim through it until I reach the top ten.  Anything less for Romo is outright ridiculous and automatically nullifies the worthiness of the article.

I’ll pay attention as I’m breezing through it however to see where certain guys are.

You know you’re reading a legit piece of work when guys like Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford and the usually bad teams front men (Jacksonville, Cleveland, St. Louis) populate the bottom third.

The middle section almost certainly has to include guys like Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Lions main man Matthew Stafford and Giants leader Eli Manning.

Beyond that though, I feel like it gets awfully discretionary.

Before we get to Romo, I’d like to address Omar Kelly’s attempt and make some changes to how he sees things.

I think he has a good list for the most part, however I would certainly say Bradford (21) and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (24) are too high.

I would also say Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill (18), as well as those just outside the top ten, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton (12) are a little overrated.

On the flip side, I would say Cutler and Stafford are a little low, as is Oakland’s Derek Carr.  I would also say that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco got a lower than expected ranking which is a little unfair given the team he was surrounded with in 2015.

Otherwise, leading up to the top ten, it’s a generally better than average attempt at an almost impossible exercise.

That leads us to Romo.

As I stated before, Tony Romo definitely belongs in any top ten category.  At this stage of his career, the last thing left to cement his status as an all-time great is a couple of deep playoff runs and a Super Bowl ring.

More recently, Romo has proven to belong in the upper echelon.  The Cowboys are 16-5 in his last 21 starts and just 1-11 without him.  He’s also just one year removed from leading the league in completion percentage (69.9%), yards per attempt (8.5) and passer rating (113.2).

Removing last season’s injury-plagued campaign, Romo has increased his number of touchdowns each year since 2012 while dropping the number of interceptions thrown in that same time span.

It doesn’t get much more elite than that.

So, when making the list of best overall quarterbacks I feel like the top three are solidified with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New England’s Tom Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

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After that, I think Romo is in the conversation, along with Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.  However you rank them is solely based on personal preference in regards to style, youth or overall body of work.

Arizona’s Carson Palmer, San Diego’s Philip Rivers and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton would round out my top ten.

Given the chance to rank Tony Romo, where would you put the Cowboys leader?