Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tony Romo: Why America's Best Friend Is No Top Five Quarterback Yet

by Matt Miselis (Columnist)

My past two articles have been about Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers, where I have talked about their success and my reasoning for them being considered an elite quarterback in the National Football League.
This time, Tony Romo is on the list; however, I do not feel he is a Top Five quarterback.

Tony Romo has been one of the more talked about stories in the NFL.
Being undrafted, he found a way to make the roster with the Cowboys, and held his own during his time in 2005.
Romo got his chance in 2006 for the Cowboys, and did perform higher then expected.
He passed for 2,903 yards, 19 TD, and 13 interceptions. They weren't the greatest numbers; however, it got the job done, as the Cowboys made the playoffs that year.
In 2007, the standards were higher, yet Romo still led the Cowboys to the playoffs by throwing 4,211 yards, 36 TDs, and 19 INTs.
After that performance, the expectations were high in Dallas heading into the playoffs. They failed to capitalize, however, and were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Giants at home.
As the 2008 season came around, the pressure began to be forced on Romo. After two straight seasons of failing to win a playoff game, greatness needed to happen in the final year of Dallas' home.
Romo did miss three games during the season with injury, yet he still passed for 3,448 yards and 26 TD passes. There was more controversy found in Dallas then hoped, however.
The fall out of Terrell Owens led to a split in the offense. Roy E. Williams did not live up to his level as he did in Detroit, and to top it off, the Cowboys did not make the playoffs.
In his career thus far, Romo has thrown for 10,562 yards, 81 touchdowns, and 46 interceptions.
He also has a career passer rating of 94.7.
These stats are solid; he has shown that a good work ethic can get you somewhere, and he has found success in Dallas.
He is statistically in the Top 10 of quarterbacks, but is he a Top Five quarterback?
Should Romo be talked about as an elite top five quarterback with the body of work he has?
Right now, he does not fit the category.
What needs to be talked about is the first thing is his playoff success.
Romo has led the Cowboys to the playoffs twice, once on the road against the Seahawks, the other at home against the New York football Giants.
The first game was lost on the botched snap by Romo, a moment that stuck with him throughout the off season.
The second game was lost against the Giants, where a lot of frustration was brought out from the fans after the defeat.
In 2008, Tony Romo could not lead the Cowboys over the Ravens or the Eagles in the final two weeks of the season and failed to make the playoffs.
As a quarterback, what he already has against him is no success in the playoffs, the most importantly element that is usually used to judge whether the quarterback is elite or not.
When talking about quarterbacks such as Philip Rivers, many people believe one more season of consistency and dominance is needed to be a Top Five quarterback.
Well, it should be the same thing for Romo. He hasn't put up the best stats we have seen a quarterback in a Cowboys uniform.
Can he put up another season of stats that he has played up to over the season?
It is going to be tough to do it without Terrell Owens, who was the most productive receiver on the team.
Rivers did put up these stats without the greatest receivers on the offense, while Romo has had an advantage to that.
Can he perform well without the troubled receiver alongside him in the offense?
The NFC East will be a challenge once again.
The Giants return their full defense healthy. The Eagles upgraded at offense, while the Redskins stabilized the defensive line.
The Cowboys lost Owens, and did not make an upgrade that would replace his stats.
Will Williams rise to the occasion, will Witten continue to play his potential?
It could be possible that Tony Romo can become a Top Five quarterback in a few seasons, but it's not time to put him in the same category of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.