Alex Tanney is Showing Up Mariota & Winston!

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Alex Tanney is making a case that he deserves a shot at being a starter in this league. If you ask me, the Titans using the 2nd overall pick on Marcus Mariota wasn’t necessary.

alex tanney

Alex Tanney: Remember that guy the Cowboys scouts found playing at Monmouth College (Illinois)? The one they snatched up when the Chiefs waived him injured upon the arrival of veteran Alex Smith? He is among the top QBs in the league so far this preseason. He has completed 88.3% of his passes for 143 yards (11.9 ypc, not all short check-downs like the others), one TD and zero turnovers for a passer rating of 144.1; throwing to camp hands. The funny part is, Marcus Mariota is sitting on a pick, a fumble, zero TDs and a 78.4 passer rating throwing to starters as the 2nd overall pick in the draft. Alex Tanney was an undrafted free agent from a DIII school. Just goes to show: It doesn’t matter where you draft them, QB, is by far the most missed on by scouts. Why is that? My guess is they get too caught up in athleticism, media hype, intangibles and where they went to school. Blasphemy. I have to give credit to the Cowboys scouts for seeing the type of QB Alex Tanney could be. Unfortunately, the powers that be, didn’t see the value and let the Browns poach him off of the practice squad; what the Cowboys have for depth now is a joke. This is why scouts should scout and coaches should coach.

alex tanneyI was fortunate enough to attend the Cowboys training camp in Oxnard while Alex Tanney was there. I was the one feeding Cas the info on him. In other words, I was her eyes in Oxnard. This prompted her to study him and he became her pet cat that year. I was quite fond of the kid myself. I studied him hard in person. Typically, she would be doing this follow up article because she did all of the previous ones. However, due to her busy schedule, she asked me to do this piece. I hope I am up to the task.

How exactly does Alex Tanney stack up?

  • Jaemis Winston, First overall pick: Winston has completed 17 of 32 passes (53.1%) for 221 yards (only 6.9 YPC), zero touchdowns, 1 interception, 1 fumble and has a passer rating of 62.4. Despite having 2 TDs with his legs, it’s obvious who the more efficient passer is. In my opinion, a team is in dire straights when their QB needs to rely on his legs first. Ask the Redskins how that worked out.,
  • Marcus Mariota, second overall pick: The Titans didn’t even give Alex Tanney a chance to show them what he could do before using the second overall pick to draft a QB. Mariota has completed 12 of 16 passes (75.0%) for 153 yards, zero TDs, 1 INT and 1 Fumble for a passer rating of 78.4. Mariota will end up having a better season than Winston, but Tanney is once again left in the cold because the Titans will automatically start Mariota as a result of his draft status.
  • Johnny Manziel: The Browns former GM, Michael Lombardi, is a former scout and saw something he liked in Alex Tanney. As a result, he poached him off of the Cowboys practice squad.  In fact, he kept him over the Cowboys #2 QB, Brandon Weeden. Lombardi said he really liked what he saw from Tanney in their practices, he just needed time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. The Owner hired a new GM and HC, before the other two even had a chance to rebuild the mistake on the lake. In an attempt to make a splash, put fans in the stands or whatever, they drafted Manziel. Once again, Tanney never got a fair chance. Manziel has completed 17 of 29 passes (58.6%), for 160 yards, 1 TD zero INTs, and 1 fumble for a passer rating of 85.2. He finished the 2014 NFL season with a passer rating of 42.0.
  • Brandon Weeden: I am convinced that Brandon Weeden is not the answer at QB: so were the Browns when they took a cap hit to cut him and kept Alex Tanney. He has had ample time to develop as an NFL QB and the results are poor. Over his career, Weeden has completed 462 of 825 passes (56.0%) for 5,419 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs and 9 fumbles for a passer rating of 72.5. I don’t think I need to convince anyone if Romo goes down the season is over.
  • Dustin Vaughn: I believe it’s time for the Vaughn experiment to be over. He just doesn’t have the mental toughness and instincts to be a solid NFL QB. He completed 19 of 34 passes (55.9%) for 190 yards, zero TDs and 2 INTs for a passer rating of 47.4. Enough is enough.

norv turner I recently did a scouting report on Jameil Showers, despite how much I like the kid, he is not as NFL ready as Alex Tanney. Let’s be real, he hasn’t even played 4 quarters of NFL football. Tanney not only got some good coaching from Wade Wilson in Dallas, he got to spend some time under the tutelage of the great Norv Turner in Cleveland, who has a solid reputation for developing good QBs ( Troy Aikman can attest to that) and he is already familiar with the Cowboys offense. He has excellent arm strength/accuracy, good anticipation, excellent pocket awareness and the football IQ required to lead an offense. We all know the season is over if Romo goes down. It is my contention that the Dallas Cowboys should do whatever is necessary to bring Alex Tanney back to Dallas. I would be writing a  book if I was to show his stats compared to many current starters in the league, but you can go look for yourself at how few are boasting a passer rating of 144.1. That is unheard of from an undrafted kid out of a DIII school. (especially throwing to the camp hands). Again, props to the Cowboys scouts. Actually, he reminds me a lot of another undrafted small school kid named Tony Romo. The only difference is, Tony Romo got a fair chance with one team to develop and compete for a starting job. My gut tells me that is all Alex Tanney needs.

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  • Thank You Al. You were definitely up to the task. Nice article.

    • Al

      you’re welcome.

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      I’d rather have Davis though, he more like Romo than Tanney is. I think Tanney has the stronger arm between him and Davis though.

      • Tanney has that wow factor about him. I don’t stand on the table for a player and end up wrong. He will be great if given the chance.

  • californy

    Sometimes it takes time for qb to get it going, all Tanney need is an opportunity to show it and for someone to take a chance on him

  • californy

    I cant help but notice the play of Scott Tolzien. Tolzien was a running qb in college, and he been a career back up in his NFL career. Tolzien seem to have things together this year, he is strongly situated as GB back up QB, and he has command of that offense

    Tolzien would of been a great qb had we picked up when we had an opportunity years ago. The issue of not having a real back up qb in Dallas would of ended had we taken and develop Tolzien when we did.

    Through two games, Tolzien has completed 21-of-35 passes for 209 yards,
    two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tolzien, who had a passer rating of
    112.0 last preseason, currently has a rating of 96.0.

    • Al

      I am not a big fan of his: he lacks the cerebral part of the game.

  • californy

    I agree with your assessment of Dustin Vaughn. I never understood the hype of this player, one thing I notice is he seem to short arm his passes when he is rolling outside of the pocket.

    • he just doesn’t have what it takes to survive at the NFL level.

  • Lionone1

    Winston is better than Tanney. I hope he gets a chance to prove himself but it isn’t going to be on the Titans, Cowboys, Bucs, Browns. He has to fall into a fortunate situation and those are hard to come by.

    • Al

      The Cowboys could easily acquire him if they wanted to. Winston is all media hype and will fail in the NFL.

      • I don’t like Winston either. JJ has the resources to get Tanney back

      • Lionone1

        It’s very rare that a first round hype quarterback gets my attention. Winston’s got that little bit of crazy in his eyes that i love. Plus the Bucs got my boy Donovan Smith to help him out. Doug Martin as well.

    • There is no reason why he couldn’t be the heir to Romo’s starting job.

    • If JJ doesn’t at least try, I will run Tanney articles every week and show the world what an imbecile he really is with crap like weeden and vaughn on the team.

      • Bill Pratt

        Based on Tanney’s performance with Dallas it was surprising to see him traded to Cleveland. Had they known Romo would be injured a week later they wouldn’t have had to bring in a retired QB — and who knows what might have evolved. Then Cleveland succumbs to media hype and Johnny Football takes center stage. Tanney goes to Tampa while they are drooling over Winston. Not sure which looks less likely to succeed – Johnny Football or Winston. Neither has stood out so far. Meanwhile Tanney just puts the ball where you want it – while yet another media hype (Mariotta) is getting “The King’s Clothes” coverage in spite of having half Tanney’s QB Rating. He didn’t play for any of the big time football schools. He just plays better than the ones who did. The question is simply whether anyone has the brains and the balls to snap to the reality of this diamond in the rough.

        • he wasn’t traded, they let the Browns poach him for free off of the practice squad.

        • It breaks my heart to see such wasted talent. JJ needs to stop trying to
          sell jerseys and think about the big picture. Mark my words, If
          Parcells wasn’t the HC with enough $%&^* to stand up to Jerry, Romo
          would be in the same boat.

        • Jimmy Marshall

          He wasn’t traded, He was poached off the practice squad

    • What Jerry needs to understand is, Cowboys Nation Loves Alex Tanney and they always have. The Tanney articles top the charts for views on this site even this long after he left. people want him back.

  • Johnathan Nguyen

    Thx Al, after all these years, he’s still my pet cat along with Kellen Moore 🙂 We are doomed if Romo goes down any ways and hope we will never ever see Weeden out there. Good God, that guy is painful to watch.

  • Monmouth is actually a college and not a university, and it’s a D3 school, not D2. Doesn’t make Tanney any less talented, though!

    • Al

      Thank You for the info. I was not the one originally covering him. I will make the necessary corrections.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    Guys like Tanney and Showers will rarely get a shot, because of the fact that the NFL has made it where now a QB has to start their rookie season which it shouldn’t be. Not to mention they only get the chance to show up against talent that won’t even make the teams. And when they play well, it’s like oh, they played against lesser talent. We know that Weeden sucks and Vaughn might be even worse than Weeden, there is no reason to keep seeing those two stink it up. Move on.

  • Mark Bradley

    IF you are looking for a great example of a D3 QB that has made a difference in the NFL — Look for Ken Anderson who played for Augustana. I’m looking forward to Alex Tanney getting an opportunity as an NFL starter!

    • I will definitely check him out

      • Mark Bradley
        • thank you

          • Mark Bradley

            Just goes to show that a D3 QB can make a difference in the NFL.

            Ken Anderson –
            College:Augustana NFL draft:1971 / Round: 3 / Pick: 67
            Cincinnati Bengals (1971–1986)
            Career highlights and awards4× Pro Bowl selection (1975, 1976, 1981, 1982)
            1× First-team All-Pro selection (1981)
            2× Second-team All-Pro selection (1974, 1975)
            1981 NFL MVP
            1981 PFWA NFL MVP
            1981 NEA NFL MVP
            1981 NFL Offensive Player of the Year
            1981 Bert Bell Award
            1981 NFL Comeback Player of the Year
            Led NFL in passing yards in 1974 with 2,667
            Led NFL in passing yards in 1975 with 3,169

          • Thanks for sharing.

        • Wow. I can’t believe I never heard of him.

  • Jimmy Marshall

    Always liked Tanney, was surprised Cowboys didn’t protect him on their 53 that year

  • Bill Pratt

    Concluded a back and forth dialogue with David Climer of “The Tennessean” attempting to evoke a fact-based analysis explaining how Tanney gets cut in spite of a preseason best Rating. The first response was “He played against third-teamers who will never play in the NFL”. There was no comment about whether the piss poor pass protection he got was from third-teamers. There was no comment about the fact three passes were dropped, one was a pass interference that Ray Charles could have seen, and there was no comment about all but one of his throws was spot on. Nor was there any comment on what level of “teamers” were faced by Mariota, Mettenberger, or Whitehurst. For sure there was no comment upon the degree of off-target throws made by the other three, or the better pass protection they got when completions were made to WIDE open receivers. Nor was there any comment about Tanney’s first TD pass into a WELL COVERED tight end. There was no comment about the fact Tanney got the least amount of practice reps. Some offense was taken to a comment about Mariota being given the “King’s Clothes” adoration for a 2/3 performance. In short the dismissiveness afforded Tanney by game commentators was replicated in the responses I received. Obviously I am not privy to game film, practice observation, etc. But all I was attempting to do was elicit some sort of reconciliation that overrode the statistics showing Tanney’s rating at 125.6; Mariota’s at 102.9; Mettenberger’s at 101.7; and Whitehurst’s at 54.6. My suggestion for an article beaking it down was not well received. It was akin to the Marlin Briscoe Denver rejection in the face of superior performance in the days when Black guys with obvious quarterback talent got the blind-eye treatment. Perhaps playing for a college football factory and sporting a Heisman counts for more than performance. You would think after Romo the Cowboys would snap to the fact hype is worth zip when the rubber meets the road. Too bad. They missed a chance to correct their mistake in letting Cleveland get him. Now they have Dustin Vaughn sporting a 54.5 Rating (to Tanney’s 125.6). Go figure.

    Buffalo seems to have looked to performance in signing Tanney to their practice squad.