We all remember the botched snap in the 2007 playoff game against the Seahawks. Sadly, most NFL fans have branded Tony Romo as a loser ever since. Mostly because the cowboys were just 2-4 in their six playoff games with Romo as the starting quarterback. Was he injury prone? Yes. Did he win a Super Bowl? No. Was he a hall of fame caliber QB? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
The un-drafted QB out of Eastern Illinois took over the starting job for Dallas in 2006 at age 26. He started 10 games that season, going 6-4 and leading the Cowboys to the playoffs. During that stretch he completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,903 yards and 19 TDs. But then came the botched snap versus Seattle. The Cowboys were set to tie the game 21-21. All they needed was an extra point. Then Romo blew it. He bobbled the snap, lost the ball, and then tried to scramble into the end zone. Seattle stopped him short of the goal line to win the game and Romo became one of the most polarizing players in the league.
The next eight seasons, Romo established himself as a top flight QB in the NFL. His career record as a starter was 78-49. If the Cowboys would’ve surrounded him with a better roster, the argument could be made that Romo would have had a shot to win the big one. But Jerry Jones could never put all the pieces together.
How does Tony Romo stack up against hall of fame quarter backs statistically? His passer rating was 97.1. Good enough for 4th all time ahead of hall of famers Young, Warner, Montana, Marino, Favre, and Kelly.
If I told you Romo completed the same percentage of passes as Peyton Manning, would you believe me? Well he did. Romo is tied for 5th with Manning on the all time list with a 65.3 completion percentage. Ahead of every current HOF QB except Kurt Warner.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Romo only had six seasons where he started 15+ games (The Cowboys finished .500 or better each of those seasons). Because of that, he doesn’t have the Touchdowns or yards totals that other hall of fame QBs had. The Cowboys quarterback finished with 248 Touchdowns. That’s good for 21st all time. Romo had more TDs than Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Terry Bradshaw, and Kurt Warner. He also compiled 34,241 passing yards to finish 29th all time. Ahead of Steve Young and Troy Aikman.
Statistically, Romo could be considered the best Cowboy QB ever. Troy Aikman had 3,000 yards or more only 5 times in his career. Romo eclipsed that number 7 times. The difference? Aikman has three Super Bowl rings and Romo has zero. Between 2006 and 2013, Romo had 34 game winning drives.
Was he a good quarterback? Absolutely. Was he a great quarterback? Statistically speaking, yes. Should he be in Canton in five years? We will have to wait and see.