Is Tony Romo Really the 15th Best Quarterback In The NFL?

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I was watching one of my favorite shows yesterday, on ESPN Sportscenter. Ron Jaworski was putting his ranking on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Out of 32 quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL), Ron Jaworski placed Tony Romo at the number 15 spot. I had to hit the record button so I could replay the segment back a few times to make sure I understood his reasoning.

jawsThe main thing Ron pointed out was the Washington Redskins game: Tony Romo was intercepted with just over three minutes left in the game. In addition to the two interceptions that he threw during the early part of the game. I took that comment with a grain of salt. I had to agree that last interception hit like a ton of bricks. However, it was not as if Tony Romo threw the pass directly into the numbers of Rob Jackson. No one mentions the crappy “roughing the passer” call inside the 5 yard-line when the Dallas Cowboys defense kept the Redskins out of the end zone. Thus giving them three more downs inside the five with a little over a minute left in the game. Ron Jaworski did praise Tony Romo for his near flawless play against the New Orleans Saints. Ron said he loves the talent Tony Romo has, but his inconsistent play makes him only the 15th ranked quarterback in the NFL. This statement stuck with me the rest of the night:

Tony Romo is ranked number 15 out of 32 quarterbacks in the NFL according to Ron Jaworski.

Who in the world is THIS guy ranking quarterbacks? So off I went to do my research on Mr. Ronald Vincent “Jaws” Jaworski.

Jaworski RamsDrafted in the second round (Pick 37) of the 1973 NFL draft, Ron Jaworski played for four teams in his NFL career: the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, and Kansas City Chiefs. While with the Rams, Ron Jaworski was the third string quarterback; he only started three games. Traded to the Eagles in 1977, Ron became their immediate starter. When you look at Ron Jaworski’s stats while he was a part of the Philadelphia Eagles, you have to shake your head. For the 10 years he was in Philadelphia, the Eagles only amassed 4 winning seasons, all in a row (1978-81). Ron did manage to get the Eagles to the Superbowl (SB XV) against the Oakland Raiders. The Eagles lost 27-10. Ron Jaworskis’ playoff record with the Eagles stands at 4-4. As a starter with the Eagles, Ron finished with a record of 69-67-1.

After Philadelphia, Jaworski signed with the Miami Dolphins as a back-up to their franchise quarterback Dan Marino. Ron saw absolutely no action during the 1987 season and very limited action in 1988. He moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989. Placed into a three quarterback-mixing carousel with Steve DeBerg and Steve Pelluer, Ron Jaworski retired after the 1989 season. When asked to return to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1991 due to the loss of Randall Cunningham, Ron turned them down.

jaworskiDuring Ron Jaworski’s 17 year NFL career, his stats are middle of the pack. Since he spent the most time with the Philadelphia Eagles, I will just use the stats from those 10 years: 4 seasons with over 3,000 yards passing (1980-81, 1983, 1985); one NFC East Title (1980); one NFC Conference Championship (1980); one Superbowl appearance (1980); four trips to the playoffs (1978-81); a 3-4 playoff record; a 69-67-1 record as a starter; and a quarterback rating of 74.0 (72.8 over his career). So I wonder, how is he an authority on quarterbacks in the NFL today? I understand Ron is the resident quarterback at ESPN (like they will ask Trent Dilfer, HA). I will say I cannot knock Jaws because he does his homework. It is not always correct but he does his homework. I just think Tony Romo is getting a very bum deal on his ratings chart.

tony-romoDallas Cowboys fans know Tony Romo would put on a show if he had the proper time to throw the ball down field. Behind this very questionable offensive line, let’s look at a few of his stats: 2nd in pass completions (425); 3rd in passing attempts (648); 3rd in yards (4,903); 3rd in yards per game (306.4); 6th in touchdowns (28); and tied for 1st in interceptions (19) with Drew Brees.

With these stats, Ron Jaworski and other analysts refuse to say Tony Romo is an elite quarterback. The stats show Tony is in the top 10 in all the major quarterback categories for 2012; remember that 2012 was one of his worst seasons of late. As far as career goes:Romo is 5th all time in career passer rating at 95.6. (Jaworski comes in at 116th (72.8) and has  a post season PR of 63.4!) Tony Romo is up there with Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and a few others who have won a super bowl.

breesOh I forgot. His playoff record is not so hot. Has anyone checked out Peyton Manning’s playoff record? Peyton is 9-11 overall in the playoffs (3-6 before the Superbowl year/2-5 after). The interesting part is: he has zero wins in 8 of his appearances. (Romo only has 3 appearances and has a win). How about Drew Brees’ playoff record? Drew is 5-3 overall (1-2 Before the Superbowl year/ 1-2 after)? Matt Ryan just received his first playoff victory this past season. His playoff record is now 1-4 but people place him ahead of Tony Romo. I just do not understand. Maybe I am missing something. Let’s see…. Do they take the offensive lines and running game into consideration before rating the quarterback? I don’t think so. Do they take into consideration the strength of the team’s defense to hold off the opposing offense? I do not think so.

Being taught football is a team sport as a young child, it amazes me how people judge the success or lack thereof of an entire team just on the quarterback. Well, I learn something new every day. I guess the saying is true, when a team wins, the quarterback receives too much of the credit, but if they lose they take all the blame.

romo sack5So I will say, in the world according to Ron Jaworski, it is Tony Romo’s fault the Dallas Cowboys rank 31st in the NFL in total rushing. The Cowboys scored only 8 rushing touchdowns in 2012 because of Tony Romo. Last but not least, Tony Romo needs to learn to stay in the pocket more because 36 sacks in a season is unacceptable! Take those sacks like a man and stand your ground. All of that running around avoiding those 300 plus pound defensive linemen every game is unnecessary. Lets not forget the 72 knockdowns. Tony Romo also needs to stop running his routes wrong and committing false starts on 3rd and short. Most importantly: Tony Romo needs to stop giving up so many big plays on defense. I mean hey, if he didn’t allow 25 points a game, the Cowboys just might make the playoffs. After all, the rookie Russel Wilson only allowed 15.3 points per game.

Tony RomoOne of these days, people will stop judging Tony Romo by the Star he wears on his helmet. They will take a look at the entire picture that is the Dallas Cowboys. They will see the type of offensive line Tony depends on to protect him. The way he has to scramble to stay on his feet while looking down field for the open man. The fact the running game in Dallas in very inconsistent does not help Tony Romo in any way. I would like Ron Jaworski or any other analyst to imagine Tom Brady in this Dallas Cowboys offense. How well do you think Tom would do? I don’t think any one of them would answer that question honestly.

What do you guys think? Where does Tony Romo rate against other NFL QB’s?

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  • cjwright

    I still think Tony Romo is underrated, and he will stay that way until he has playoff success, but having closely reviewed the first 4 or 5 losses from last season, Romo is deserving of more of the blame than I would have previously ascribed to him. That being said, I still believe Romo can win a Super Bowl in Dallas.

    • cjwright until he has an OL and running game equal to that of Aikman, no one can assign any blame. This team would be 1-15 again with him at the helm. It wasn’t until Jimmy put an OL in front of him and gave him Emmitt that the Cowboys started to win games.

      • cjwright

        CowgirlCas22 cjwright I agree that you can not assign blame for the season or even a game (although some have no problem blaming Garrett exclusively for some losses), but I think you can look at individual plays and assign blame. For instance, when a guard wiffs on a block and Romo get flattened from behind, you can blame the guard. And when you review some of the Cowboys losses from 2012 and look at the pivotal plays, many of them were turnovers, and many of the interceptions can be blamed on Tony Romo for making bad reads or poor throws, just like with all QB’s and just like many of the turnovers can be blamed on WR’s for tipping passes or running the run route.

  • Erasmus

    Great post Kevin. I recently traveled to Mexico to drink cactus-tea and participate in a ceremony that allowed us to see glimpses of the future. I saw visions of Tony Romo hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Tony Romo will lead the Cowboys back to the Promised Land.

    • Balou71

      Thanks a bunch! I am to please. LOL.. Jaws just rubs me the wrong way. He based Romo’s entire ranking on the Redskins game…. really..

      • Balou71 jaws is just jealous, they all are!  That’s why they single him out

  • Californy

    I dont buy into fantasy football, Stats dont belong to the QB they belong to the team.  This ranking to me show more of how the team is doing than the player, so I feel 15 is a fair ranking for Tony since this team is 8-8 the last several years and drafted at 18 in this year draft.  Tony stats show a QB with a top 10 ranking, 4th in passing but on a team with ranking of 26 in the red zone, add 4 to 26 and divide by 2 equal to 15.

  • Defense 28

    Romo isn’t the 15th rated qb in the league asking jaws is like asking theismann. this is like the people who vote for the nfl’s top 100, it’s crazy to put these 1st year guys ahead of him give them a few years 1 year makes nobody great it’s that simple.

    • Defense 28 I have an article coming up that will touch on some of these 1st year guys. I will also be touching on how these so-called analysts pad the facts. They distort the facts to make their poster boys look good.

      • Balou71

        Can’t wait to see that article Cas!!!

    • cjwright

      Defense 28 My favourite Joe Theismann moment is still an NFL Films interview when he goes to great lengths to explain why Emmitt will never break Payton’s record.

      • shocktroop2531

        cjwright Defense 28   I would love to see that if you now where to get your hands on that interview.

        • cjwright

          shocktroop2531 cjwright Defense 28 Man, I had it on VHS. It was a Greatest RB’s of All-Time episode.
          I wonder if I could find it. Give me a few days. It is classic.

  • Californy

    I dont buy into ranking of player, the ranking of player is all subjective and most peeople can not draw any conclusion form these ranking so they become even less important  other than just the poularity of it.  I always like bringing up stats all the time when I blog on football site but number dont tell you all the story.  Number are miss leading at time because number dont give you all the factors on how team achieve these number.
    I use the 1994 Stats of the Cowboys a lot when Aikman threw 13 TD to 12 Interception and he still became the NFC Probowl player, that despite having 8 Cowboys pro Bowl player on the offensive side of the ball. The Pro Bowl is nothing more than a popuality contest just like these ranking of players.

    • Californy

      People-  Popularity

  • Californy

    I rather be the most hated team in the NFL and have most of the post season honor.  For many Populaity is important but for me having the SB Victory speak beyond what popuality will ever offer

  • boysdeporvida

    There is no doubt that Romo can win a SB in Dallas, The question is will the majority of the team stay healthy and play well enough to make a difference?