RGIII VS Romo & How the NFL’s ‘Top 100’ is Fixed!

posted in: Dallas Cowboys | 31
Share Button

I recently did an article entitledThe NFL top 100 Is Fixed Against The Dallas Cowboys.” Only 3 Cowboys made the Top 100 list: DeMarcus Ware (12th), Dez Bryant (35th), and Jason Witten (41st). The most inflaming part of this list is the fact that Tony Romo was left out of the top 100 players completely. Why? I am going to question the methodology the NFL used to compile their rankings, and I will try to discover who actually does the ‘voting’.


TonyRomo1I am going to start with the quarterbacks since 14 of them made the Top 100. How did these 14 QB’s make the NFL’s Top 100 ? Was it success in the playoffs? Was it interception percentage? Was it the teams overall record for the season? Was it the quarterbacks passer rating? (Which is a scientific formula that shows the overall efficiency of a QB.) Was it how many times he lead his team from behind to win in the 4th quarter? Was it how mobile he is? Was it leadership? Was it his performance in big games? Or, was it a biased popularity contest? A fair and balanced evaluation of a quarterback must be based on his individual performance, but it must also take into account other factors like the skill of his WR’s, the effectiveness of his OL etc. This article is an attempt to illustrate that the NFL’s Top 100 is not based exclusively on player and coaches votes; it is a biased popularity contest.

The first question is: Who really does the voting? In a recent video on dallascowboys.com, when the topic of the top 100 was brought up, the Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo said that neither Demarcus Ware, Jason Witten or himself had ever been asked to participate in the voting. Hmm, that is 3 multiple Pro Bowl Players! Why were they not allowed or asked to vote? Maybe someone should take a poll and find out exactly which players actually got to vote? If it is truly based on players’ votes, then why have none of the Cowboys mentioned ever voted? I get the feeling it may really be based on votes the NFL obtains on the website I linked in my 1st article on this subject. From there, the opinionated analysts from the NFL Network may just compile the list themselves. Who receives the ballots? Is there any evidence that these player ballots even exist? Who counts them? Is it a neutral 3rd party agency or NFL.com staff? Why do so few of the players ever talk about voting or who they voted for?

To avoid writing a book instead of an article, I am going to break this issue down in to a few parts. An objective, non biased analysis of 15 quarterbacks is just too much for 1 story. The part that bothered me the most about leaving Tony Romo off the list, was that three rookies made it. Let’s start our analysis with them.

#15 Robert Griffin III

RGIII3Washington Redskins
Height: 6-2   Weight: 217   Age: 23
Born: 2/12/1990 Okinawa Japan
College: Baylor
Experience: 2nd season
High School: Copperas Cove HS [TX]

There is no doubt that RGIII is an excellent athlete, but is he the 15th best player in the entire NFL? To me that is a huge reach. It is impossible to ascertain that a player with only 1 season of NFL experience is that good. The league is loaded with future hall of fame players who have served their time on the grid iron. They have spent years in the league, earned multiple Pro Bowl appearances and shown consistency year after year. Granted, RGIII had a solid passer rating of 102.4, but does the fact that he only attempted 393 passes (26.2 per game) on the season have anything to do with that? What about having the #1 ranked rushing attack in the NFL? The Dallas Cowboys were 31st.

Tony Romo attempted 648 passes (40.5 per game) and still managed to maintain a completion percentage of 65.6. The amusing part is that Romo had the exact same completion percentage as RGII with almost twice as many attempts and a much less effective running game. It is obvious that the Washington Redskins had a much better offensive line than the Cowboys in 2012. Keep in mind that the Washington Redskins were running a ‘read-option’ offense. What does this mean? The most important thing is that defense are less likely to pin their ears back and blitz when facing even a semi-effective ‘read-option’ offense.

TonyRomo7This brings me to my next point. RGIII is known as an extremely mobile QB. He had more rushing yards and rushing TD’s in 2012 than DeMarco Murray. When I studied him on tape, the one thing I noticed was his tendancy to hold the football too long. In spite of his mobility, and the fact that he had over 300 less drop backs than Tony Romo, he took 30 sacks as compared to Romos’ 36. So my question becomes: who do you think has a quicker release and does a better job of extending plays? Don’t forget that RGIII had 12 fumbles to Tony Romos’ 6 despite the fact that he dropped back to pass far fewer times than Romo and got sacked almost as much as Romo.

Another one of the most common criticisms of Tony Romo is that he can’t play under pressure or win in big games. Let’s take a look at the facts here. RGIII only attempted 197 passes when behind in games. Tony Romo threw 422 passes when behind in games (more than RGIII threw in the entire season). When behind 9-16 points, Griffin threw 70 passes and completed 41 (58.6%) for a passer rating of 82.9. When Tony Romo was behind 9-16 points, he threw 137 passes and completed 94 (68.6%) for a passer rating of 101.9. What I found interesting is that Romo threw almost twice as many passes in clutch situations, and he completed more passes than RGIII even attempted with a substantially higher QB rating.

People like to say that Tony Romo can’t finish games. Let’s look at their performance in the 4th quarter. Romo threw 187 passes in the 4th quarter; he completed 122 of them (65.2%) for a passer rating of 101.2 , 1,448 yards (almost 1/2 of RGIII’s total yards on the entire season) and 12 TD’s. RGIII threw 128 passes in the 4th quarter; he completed 79 of them (61.7%) for a passer rating of 84.8, 841 yards and only 4 TD’s. In every important category of QB evaluation, even with a lot more attempts and a higher margin for error, Tony Romo out-performed RGIII (and he did it while running for his life).

RGIII4The other knock on Tony Romo is based around the final game of the 2012 season against the Washington Redskins. Let’s take a look at exactly how much RGIII really contributed to that game: he completed 9 of 18 passes (50%) for 100 yards, zero TD’s and a passer rating of 66.9. Remember: RGIII was facing a severely depleted Cowboys defense that was forced to start and play several guys who were sitting on the couch at the beginning of the season. RGII was a non-factor in that game – the Washington Redskins RB, Alfred Morris, rushed for 200 yards and 3 TD’s! Why does RGIII get the credit for beating the Dallas Cowboys? Morris produced 3 of the TD’s and twice as many yards as the QB!

People seem to forget that the Redskins finished 20th in the NFL in passing. The Cowboys finished 3rd. I guess 20th in passing represents the 5th best QB in the NFL? Anathema.

The biggest criticism of Tony Romo is that he can’t win in the post season. Well gosh, in the 2012 playoffs, RGIII completed 10 of 19 passes (52.6%) for 84 yards (4.4 yards an attempt), 2 TD’s and one interception for a passer rating of 77.5. Alfred Morris had 80 yards on 16 carries for an average of 5.0 yards per carry. The bottom line is, they lost. This means RGIII is now 0-1 in the post season. Ben Roethlisberger (who was ranked 61st in the Top 100) led his team to a Super Bowl as a rookie. Are you getting my point?

Parcells and RomoAmong post season teams: the Washington Redskins ranked #1 against the pass (156 yds per game) and 4th in total defense. Obviously you can’t blame the defense for the loss. If it had been Tony Romo who lost in the playoffs it would have been national news that he choked. What does RGIII get? Recognized as the 5th best QB in the NFL and the 15th best player in the entire NFL. Again I say anathema.

If you go back to the beginning of this article and look at the methodology to evaluate a QB objectively without any bias. Primarily all of the areas that Tony Romo has been knocked on, he has out performed RGIII or RGIII wasn’t held to the same standards. So when I tell you the NFL top 100 is nothing more than a popularity contest, the facts support that conclusion.

 Follow YDCFF on Twitter here and Facebook Here.

Share Button

  • cjwright

    I never pay attention to these kind of rankings, but is the point to rank the 100 best players (an assessment of the careers) or the hundred best single-season season performances (assessment of just 16 games)?

    • cjwright well  it’s supposed to be the 100 best that season, but if the same standards were held for all players, then Brees wouldn’t have been among the top 5 QB’s. he had the same amount of picks as Romo and lost more games.

      • johnx55

        Cas, another good article .. Training camp Yipee lol .. This is the first year I won’t be out there 🙁 .. I used to live in Irvine California, so it was an easy trip for me .. this year I doubt I will make it out there .. Will you be out there scouting? .. Hope we have a productive camp with no injuries!!! .. I remember seeing Tony out there in Oxnard practicing when Bledsoe was our starter and you just couldn’t help but say to yourself wow who is that over there throwing .. funny how you could just tell he was going to be a good one .. Happy camping lol

        • johnx55 Thanks John. We managed the impossible and got press passes for Oxnard, but I have to work and can’t go. We have a few people from YDCFF going so we will have some good pics, video and coverage here on the site.

  • Californy

    Cas you pay to much to time to ranking, for me it not important.  Sorry only read half your article.  The QB ranking for me is nothing more of a popularity contest and it bundle with how the team does overall.  Look at Kapernick number 1849 for 7 games started if you project that out he come in at number 8-9 this year at 4226.  Kapernick pass attemps  are about what RG3 throws also.  He also has a high completion ratio but most QB do running the West Coast offence.  Tony for me is making to many high risk passes and it hurting the Cowboys.
    In SF system it not the QB job to win the game it the team job to do that.  There job is to put the offence in a position to score.  In Dallas system it Tony Romo or bust.  Yup Romo is way more under pressure here than any QB in the NFL.  It unfair how Tony being judge but that how sport talks go.  I dont buy into the talk that why I seldom read Sport article with any form of passion because for me it all speculative anyway.
    BTW Nice article Cowgirl.

    • Californy the whole purpose of the article was to prove that ranking is false lol. Maybe you should have read more than half of it.

      • Californy

        I said this Cowgirl I didnt have to read the article to get it, that why I dont pay attention to ranking.  BTW I like this article you come along way as a writer.  You are best in player evaluation, I look more forward to these types of articles from you

    • cjwright

      Californy Man californy, you make me chuckle. You basically said, “I stopped reading your evidence that the Top 100 is a popularity contest, but, hey, read my evidence that the Top 100 is a popularity contest.”  There is a joke in there about kindergarten I know it. Where is Seth or Erasmus when you need them?

      • Californy

        I dont need to read these article That my point I dont follow ranking it has no purpose other than being a popularity contest.  I am here to get down to the releveant information and skim over the trash talk.

  • Californy

    BTW Washington has a great QB coach in Shanaghan and his brother is on his way to the same success,  He understand the need of having a balance game and it show in every place he ever coach at.  If JG would of had RG3 in Dallas last year he would of failed.  I credit the HC on his ability to maximize the player athletic ability on the football field.  JG is still trying to make Romo into something he is not and that a pocket QB.

    • Californy JG has no clue how to scheme to the strengths of his QB. The Redskins had to use a college style offense because RGIII would fail in an NFL style offense.

      • Californy

        RG3 is a QB in transition if healthy he will be a good pro QB. Kapernick is in the same boat.  They are special cases because they have 2 great QB coaches as their HC.  JG is nothing more than a clip board carring coach.  In fact I dont even see him even good as a position coach.

  • Californy

    Washington QB will not be the runner as we know him today, he is a player in transition who would develope into more of a NFL QB.  The same will happen to Kapernick in SF, but for right now both coaches are plug into the QB athletic ability to do the job.  Also Washington has a great QB In Cousin, In one game I think he top Romo career high number last year, look for Cousin to have a great season until RG3 is ready to go.

    • Californy  If they keep using RGIII like a RB instead of a QB, he will have a very short career.

      • Californy

        Shanaghan is a sharp coach he will develope him correctly.  I have yet to see him failed at developing a decent QB.  In fac the  HC has a keen eye for finding late round RB in the draft.  Last year it was Alfred Morris and the year prior Helu.  Shanaghan even made Grossman look good.  I wished we had some good Coaches who can develope player in one year.

  • cowboys_24_7_365

    This was one of your best Cas… love it! Keep writing… I’ll keep reading!

  • JamesThomasGolladay

    im in love with your football smarts young lady

  • Californy

    I be honest I am no Tim Teboe fan but I feel he been critize more than he deserve.  He had a great College Career with 88 td to 15 interception.  Tim Teboe hold the NFL recoird in the play off with an average of 30 yards per reception in a game, and that was against the NFL best defence also.  My point if he can do it once he has the ability to do it agian. He is reunited with the coach that drafted him in Josh McDaniel, he a brilliant OC and know how to scheme an offense.  I dont buy the Bias against unorthodox throwing QB.  Outside of SF, Seattle and Washington, these 3 QB would of bomb else where at Kapernick, Wilson and RG3.  What the big deal what offense they run as long as the player is effective in it.  I applaud those 3 team I mention because they look out side the box in developing the QB.  Most NFL Coordinator are to stupid to make these need changes to make their QB succeed

    • Californy watch how short those QB’s careers will be in the NFL

  • Californy

    KC is the next  team that is going to run the Pistol they have Terry Alt their the developer of the pistol Offense from Nevada Reno.  Jamaal Charles has a potential of having a big year with this formation and better player around him.  I applaud what Andy Reid is doing their in KC

  • Californy

    It bias to me, I would love to have a player like Teboe who was a decent college student to teach, the problem is most of these OC dont teach anymore. Your player From Boise in the same book, he will bust out uinless he is given an opportunity to show what he can do, at Kellen Moore

  • vcc1965

    Cowgirl,  nice to finally find someone who gets it !!!    I agree completely.  Romo throws for 4903 yards and 28 td’s and RGIII throws for 1700 yards less and 8 td’s less but  Romo still  isnt in the top 100 ???   That is a joke,  I watched that show and couldnt believe some of even the non qb’s that were ahead of Romo on that list.  I really believe that whoever voted did not  watch all the cowboys games like the rest of us ( I live in NH but i get the nfl Sunday  ticket so i can watch all the boys games). There is no way they realize how bad the offensive line was last year and has been for a while, constant broken plays and no rushing attack just as you said.  Dont even get me started with the Defense. Can you say DECIMATED ?.  If it wasnt for Romo and Dez, the boys wouldnt even have had a chance to make the playoffs in that last game.  Give Romo a good  o line and running game and a defense that can actually stop the other team when it counts and I will show you a Romo who can win in the playoffs. ( see Joe Flacco who i think isnt as good as Romo but had a great defense and a very good o line and ray rice and look what happened), Being in NH  I get to watch Tom Brady play every week and if he had the cowboys o line he would be out for the season every year.    Romo is like a magician to be able to make some of the miraculous plays he does when the line breaks down or the receiver runs the wrong route.  The only thing that does really hurt Romo  in a lot people’s eyes and even drives me a little crazy is not just his int total but the timing of when he throws them, I think some of the bad int’s are because he is often  put in a situation at a time late in the game where he has to try to force things because they are behind. The only other thing is that the nfl network called it the top 100 players of 2013 so you really cant bring what other players have done in the past into it too much, other than that you are right on the money.  Great job.

  • Erasmus

    I still think that the Redskins overpaid for RK4 or whatever his name is. Like all offensive attacks that are new, his rookie season will be hard to duplicate now that defenses know what to expect.

    • Erasmus I still contend that Kellen Moore was the best QB in that draft.

  • ChrisG7

    I’m not sure how Newton ranked after his rookie season but i see the same thing happening to RGIII next year. Hes going to hit that sophomore bump, now that teams know exactly how to prepare for him and not to mention hes going to be fragile. Anything having to do with top players in any sport tends to be purely a popularity contest of who has the best highlight reel and everybody loves to hate on the Cowboys. Its frustrating seeing other QB’s getting rated that high or i mean voted that high. But Romo will prove the voters wrong this season. Healthy offensive weapons, a defense that will create (hopefully) turnovers will give Romo more opportunities to show his value.

    • ChrisG7   excellent points Chris: It  would be nice to see your great football mind in print instead of comments!

      • ChrisG7

        I know I know! I’m working on an article, I miss it! Stupid work. But I’m promoting the site right now at work 😉

  • Defense 28

    great article cowgirl that’s why I laugh all these experts saying these first year qbs are great, time will tell we’ll see what they do now that the league has more tape of them and can prepare for them better