Defending Tony Romo

Let me start off by saying that I'm not even the biggest Tony Romo fan. I like him in fantasy (let me rephrase, I DID like him- especially because I drafted him), but I'm talking about reality. In my limited experience, I see a lot of Tony Romo hate. Trolling through facebook and talking with all my friends, I haven't found a single person yet to defend Tony Romo. In fact, in an annual poll, NFL players voted Romo the second most overrated player in the game. This hatred has just got to stop.

Before I go further, we need to properly establish where Romo is rated because I think this is the key misconception going on right now. Earlier in the year, John Clayton ranked quarterbacks and ranked Romo 8th overall. Now we here at GOI may have been a a tad higher on him. I ranked him 7th (but I hated on Big Ben (9) too much and I now put him above Romo). TBO ranked him 5th and Cubsfan ranked him 6th. So the overall consensus is that Romo (when healthy) is a lower half top 10 player.

And this is what I believe is the correct range for Romo. No higher. No lower.

I believe the reason people think Romo is "overrated" is because of the national attention the Dallas Cowboys get. The 'Boys get the label of "America's team". While I don't personally think they are, I do believe that they have the biggest fan base outside of their own state. They're like the New York Yankees of football, everyone seems to love to jump on their bandwagon. And it's because of this that they get a lot of national exposure; why ESPN loves to talk about Dallas and does so often.

This creates a public persona that the Cowboys are better than they are and a persona that Tony Romo is better than he actually is. I believe it is because of this unwarranted hype that people don't like Romo and think he's overrated.

So let me address many of the criticisms I've heard to prove to you Romo isn't overrated

Tony Romo hasn't won a Superbowl

You know who else hasn't won a Superbowl? Dan Marino. Please, argue to me why Dan Marino is not one of the three greatest quarterbacks of all time. You know who have won Superbowls? Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Please make the argument to me that both Dilfer and Johnson are better than Dan Marino on the mere fact that they have a ring and Marino does not.

The point is is that championships absolutely do not equate to how good you are as a quarterback. It helps prove your point if you have won a ring, but the mere absence of one is absolutely not a measure of a quarterbacks talent just as the mere presence of one isn't a measure either.

The fact that Romo has not won a ring means NOTHING. This is not even a valid argument, you're just wrong if you use this. I've heard the argument (from a Giants fan) that Eli Manning was a better quarterback than Romo for this reason. You're telling me a QB with a crappier completion percentage, TD/INT ratio, and passer rating is BETTER than Tony Romo just because he has a ring on his finger? No, you're just flat out wrong.

Tony Romo chokes in meaningful games

This argument actually does have some merit and is probably the best argument to not like Tony Romo. During Romo's four career as a starter, he has the lowest completion percentage, TD/INT ratio, passer rating, and YPA through the month of December out of any other month he's played in. December is also the only month Romo has a losing record in. This argument clearly has some merit.

However, Romo changed this last year. Out of Romo's last five games, he went 3-2 winning his last three games (against tough opponents like New Orleans and Philly no less) with a 4.0 TD/INT ratio and a passer rating north of 100. Admittedly Romo was awful in big games throughout his first three seasons. But he took a huge step forward last year in showing that he can step up in big games.

And by the way, I think Romo is the 8th best quarterback (when healthy). I don't put him top five. Very few do. I'm a Tony Romo supporter and I think he's barely top ten. And do you know why I don't put him top 5, because he hasn't shown to be clutch.

Guys like Tom Brady are elite because when the game is on the line, they put their team on their backs and win the game. For the longest time Peyton Manning was criticized for not even being able to make it to a Superbowl because he couldn't be clutch in big games yet people still consistently ranked him top 3 between 2001 and 2006. Brett Favre is a no-brainer, clear cut hall of famer who LOVES to throw interceptions when his team needs him the most.

There are way more guys than not who are not clutch so Romo shouldn't get any special treatment because he hasn't done it. Because guess what, most quarterbacks can't or haven't proven to do it.

Tony Romo doesn't have the intangibles and leadership to be good

First of all, how do you know this? How do you know Tony Romo isn't a strong leader in the locker room and on the field? By their very definition these are unquantifiable things. Why are you correct in saying Romo doesn't have leadership skills when I say that he does? This is just a conclusion without any evidence to back up- thus making it a flat out bad argument.

But even if you can prove any merit to this argument, I will counter with this: has any quarterback proven to have good leadership skills when they are passing to T.O.? Through Romo's first three years as a Cowboys starter, he was throwing balls to Terrell Owens. T.O. really does stand for "Team Obliterater" (copyright Skip Bayless) and should not be a fault to Romo because he's hasn't been able to destroy a black hole. If you're going to criticize Romo for lack of leadership because he couldn't "handle his offense", then you're just looking for an excuse not to like him and your opinion really shouldn't be counted to begin with. He's my quarterback!

Oh, and by the way, the year after Owens left, Romo had a career year and the Cowboys won 11 games and made the playoffs and won a playoff game.

Now let's take a look at Romo's numbers so I can show you what a good quarterback he is. Among active quarterbacks he's:
- 2nd in passer rating
- 30th in pass attempts per game
- 1st in passing yards per game
- 1st in passing TD%
- 4th in completion percentage
- 1st in yards per pass attempt
- 1st in net yards per pass attempt

In fact, it's these "intangibles" you haters love to crow about that takes Romo out of the top 5.

There you have it, Tony Romo is not overrated. He's rated just fine. He's "worse" than P Manning, Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Rivers, and Rodgers and better than every other quarterback in the league. So for all you haters, shut it.

On a final note, someone posted on facebook that Matt Ryan was better than Tony Romo. Not only can you apply every single criticism said about Romo to Matt Ryan but Matt Ryan has awful numbers as well. This is also not even an argument. Matt Ryan is just an average quarterback. Sorry Atlanta.

4 comments:

Dmitry said...

very good

now write me an article stating why tom brady is a better QB than peyton manning. i will give you a head start, he is not

Sexy Rexy said...

boom already done

http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2009/12/tom-brady-v-peyton-manning.html

Cubsfan4evr said...

I agree people seem to think he is overrated, but no one every says he is THAT good. He is an above average quarterback and very good, but not elite. I even heard some so called "experts" in the media say that Dallas should go with a young QB in a week or two when they realize there out of it because their not sold on Tony Romo. I thought that was ridicules, because as we see in Chicago, it is hard to find a good QB and I would rather have a healthy Romo over Cutler to win now!

Sexy Rexy said...

If you're not gonna win any games, might as well go with the young guy to see what you got and pray you have a Tom Brady. I mean why not? Especially for the Cowboys who are only gonna win like 2 more games tops for the rest of the year.

I was all for the 3rd stringer starting instead of Shawn Hill in Detroit for that exact same reason