So far the Dallas Cowboys 2013 season has been a roller coaster ride. If there is one part of this team that’s been consistent, it’s Tony Romo, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams. Who said triplets had to include a running back?
It seems like the more the talking heads of the media find reasons to bash Tony Romo, the more egg he adds to their faces. In only 100 NFL starts, Tony Romo has shattered every Dallas Cowboys record ever set except for total career passing yards. That record is currently held by Troy Aikman. The amazing part is: Romo has almost shattered that one with a lot less starts.
Tony Romo Franchise Records.
- Most touchdown passes by a Dallas QB
- Most touchdown passes in a season by a Dallas QB
- Most touchdown passes in a game by a Dallas QB
- Most yards in a season by a Dallas QB
- Most yards in a game by a Dallas QB
- Most yards in first 100 starts by a Dallas QB
- Highest completion percentage by a Dallas QB
- Lowest interception percentage by a Dallas QB
- Highest career passer rating by a Dallas QB
- Most 4th quarter comebacks by a Dallas QB
- Highest 4th quarter passer rating by a Dallas QB
- Most 300 yard games in a season by a Dallas QB
- Most 400 yard games in a season by a Dallas QB
- The only 500+ yard game by a Dallas QB
The intriguing thing about all of this is, Tony Romo isn’t happy with just breaking franchise records: he is now setting new NFL records. In the week 7 match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tony Romo set two all time NFL records. Surpassing the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Kurt Warner etc. Tony Romo now holds the records for most completions in 100 starts (2,276) and yards, (27,747).
192 touchdowns and a career passer rating of 96.1 are good for top 5 all time. While we are on the subject of all time: Tony Romo is one of five quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to throw for over 500 yards and five touchdowns in a single game.
Tony Romo has the highest fourth quarter passer rating of any NFL QB since 1991. Factor in a career completion percentage of 65.0, the only adjective that comes to mind is “Elite”.
Of course the talking heads of the media will have you believe that an “Elite” QB has to have won a championship. That may get swallowed by some, but the definition of elite is: ‘the choice or best of a group, class, or the like’.
The only accurate way to evaluate an NFL quarterback, is to compare his performance to the other members of that group. In other words: where does Tony Romo rank among the other members of the quarterback class/group? Gosh, is 4th all-time in overall QB efficiency high enough for you?
There are those who would have you believe that Eli Manning is “Elite” because he has 2 Super Bowl rings: where does he rank against other quarterbacks? Tied for 40th all time. Keep in mind: Eli Manning has more interceptions over the last 5 years than any other QB in the NFL.
Troy Aikman comes in at 44th with 3 rings, and Terry Bradshaw at 131st with 4. It is anathema to me that people want to label a QB based on the performance of an entire team. If you were a GM for an NFL team, would you refuse to sign Tom Brady if the Patriots hadn’t won any Super Bowls? Of course not, if you were in the market for a QB you would hire him based on his individual performance.
Before moving on: how many of Tony Romo’s teammates currently rank top 5 all time at their respective position? At the end of the day, Tony Romo is 4th all time and nothing the talking heads of the media can spew will change that. There are only more records to come, so get your pop corn out.
Is Dez Bryant really Tony Romos’ most reliable weapon?
It is a common belief that Dez Bryant is the best receiver on the Cowboys roster. Well, it depends on how you look at it. Does he lead the team in receptions and yards because he is in fact the most reliable receiver, or is it because the coaches are force feeding him the ball? Lets face it, at the end of the day, the guy with the most targets wins.
I was doing a little research for this article and ended up taking it in an entirely different direction than intended as a result of my findings. Week after week, Cole Beasley has managed to step up and make plays in clutch situations. Usually on 3rd down, and/or in the red zone. The same goes for Terrance Williams. Both players played a major role in the win over the Eagles.
My initial intent was to determine which of the two had the highest target to reception percentage. In the beginning I never figured Dez Bryant in to the equation: then I saw the numbers. Lets face it, the most important trait in a WR is reliability. Seriously: what good is a WR who doesn’t catch the ball on a large percentage of his targets? It may be impressive when he makes a big play, but how reliable is he overall? My findings were quite shocking to say the least.
Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams are without a doubt, much more reliable than Dez Bryant. Yup I said it. I know what your thinking: this woman is out of her damn mind! Dez Bryant is a beast. He is when he actually catches the ball. I will get down to the facts here shortly.
Everyone who has played some football at a level above high school or seen an NFL play book, knows that in many cases plays have a call number. It may be something like “Omaha scat left post 88, eat, man hook, down”. The number signifies who the play is intended to go to. In this case, Dez Bryant. Eat, Man Hook, Down is the TE’s assignment.
Once the ball is snapped, the QB surveys the field and the ball is supposed to go to the player who was singled out in the play. If it is too risky to go there, then the QB goes through his progression of reads to determine where to go with the football. Defensive coordinators use player numbers as well. When he calls in a defensive play, he may include something like “double 88” in the call: this means to double cover Bryant.
Why do they have call numbers in the plays? Because in most cases, the QB only has a few seconds to get rid of the football. He has to be able to anticipate where the receiver will be and put the ball there hoping he will get there.
I can’t say with a certainty that the Cowboys do this, but a lot of teams do. However, the numbers below lead me to believe that they do. They also lead me to believe that Bill Callahan is trying to force too many balls to Dez Bryant. Teams like to put on a show for the fans. This is how they sell jerseys and fill seats. The Fans want to see big plays by Dez Bryant.
Jeff K recently pointed out in one of his articles that while watching the game tape, he noticed a couple of the receivers were not running their routes hard, and in some cases not even finishing them as if they knew the ball wasn’t coming their way: so why bother? I have noticed the same thing.
There have been too many times when I saw Witten, Beasley or Williams wide open, and the ball was still thrown to a heavily covered Dez Bryant and ended up an incompletion. This will not do. Lets take a look at the numbers.
- Dez Bryant: 70 targets and 42 completions for a target to catch percentage of 60.0.
- Terrance Williams: 28 targets and 24 completions for a target to catch percentage of 85.7.
- Cole Beasley: 20 targets and 18 completions for a target to catch percentage of 90.
Are you getting my point? Not only are other teams trying to take Dez Bryant out of the game, he is the most inconsistent receiver of the three. The questions now become: why is the most consistent receiver of the bunch getting the least amount of targets, and why is the least consistent receiver of the group getting more than three times as many targets?
Football is a game of inches and percentages. It makes no sense what-so-ever to me for the majority of the passes to be low percentage throws. This type of play calling and the lack of a running game is why the Dallas Cowboys have so many 3 and outs. This is why the Cowboys have a history of struggling on third down, and this is why the Cowboys continue to lose by 7 points or less.
There has got to be a balance in the distribution of the football. One receiver getting targeted 22 more times than the other two combined is ludicrous to say the least. Especially when the most reliable receiver on the team is getting targeted the least.
I have to admit, I am eating a little crow. Terrance Williams has developed much faster than I thought he would. The new WR coach and Tony Romo have worked wonders with him. Cole Beasley has lived up to everything I predicted him to be. The bottom line is, the three most consistent players on this team of late, have been Tony Romo, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams. “The Triplets” reborn? Only time will tell, but Beasley and Williams continue to shine.
It’s time for the coaches to stop worrying about ratings and worry about gaining the necessary inches by utilizing the most reliable players. You will win a lot more games completing 90% of your passes than you will completing 60% of them. Not only that, it makes the defenses job a lot easier when they know where most of the passes are going.