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Tony Romo Career Start Percentage Compared To Other NFL QBs

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo Career Start Percentage Compared To Other NFL QBs 1

If you're looking for someone who is more opposed to the Dallas Cowboys drafting a quarterback with the 4th Overall Pick than me... you're going to be looking for a while.

I've written pretty extensively here at Inside The Star about my non-desire for a QB at #4. I made it pretty obvious with this post, but I took it a step further with a fun hypothetical regarding re-visiting the 2014 Draft Class. I am so against a quarterback that I even drew up a trade scenario that allowed us to move back and still not take one!

Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo Career Start Percentage Compared To Other NFL QBs 2

Do I believe that Tony Romo is going to play forever? Of course not. I don't even buy Jerry Jones' recent comments that he'll play the next 4-5 seasons. I'm not advocating a "win now" mode, I just don't see the point in taking a quarterback. It seems like a bit of a panic move after 2015. My argument really is a simple one. The 4th Overall Pick is our biggest offseason resource... why are we going to devote it to someone who, hopefully, will not play at all in 2016?

I finally found a reason why.

I've talked about on my weekly podcast, The RJ Ochoa Show, how I hate when people say, "Tony Romo hasn't played 16 games since 2012." That is true only in the most literal sense, because Romo played 15 games in both 2013 and 2014 (he actually played 17 counting the playoffs in 2014).

This subject matter had me curious, so I did a little research. How many "starting opportunities" has Tony really missed? And how many has he missed relative to other NFL quarterbacks with similar "potential starting" opportunities?

Understand that a "starting opportunity" is quantified as just that... an opportunity to start. So for a quarterback of Romo's caliber that's 16 games a season, more if he's in the Playoffs. For Peyton Manning last year that number was 19, and he missed 7 of them. Make sense? Good.

Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo Career Start Percentage Compared To Other NFL QBs

Here we have... our reason for considering a quarterback at the 4th Overall Pick.

There's no denying that Romo's collarbone is a bit fragile. The games that Tony missed in 2010 and 2015 alone allot for 14% of his overall potential starts (22 out of 160 games). Among a sample of ten different NFL quarterbacks Tony has, by far, the lowest percentage of "potential starts" reached.

Ben Roethlisberger is the only guy who is kind of close to Tony here, but numerically what aids him is that he hasn't missed large chunks of a season like Romo. Big Ben misses a handful of games pretty consistently, but that's it. Unfortunately that isn't the case for Tony Romo.

What's particularly alarming for me are the number of starts for Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco relative to Romo. Consider that all three of those quarterbacks first started in 2008. At that point Tony already had 28 starts under his belt (in 28 opportunities, mind you).

Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo Career Start Percentage Compared To Other NFL QBs 3

Due to the number of playoff games those quarterbacks have been in, their consistent health, and Romo's injuries... Tony now only has two more starts than both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Joe Flacco actually has started more games than Romo despite being 28 games in the hole when he started his career.

All three of them actually have more starts than Romo since 2008 (when all four were established starters). Cue the sadface.

Prior to this research I was adamantly against a quarterback with the 4th Overall Pick. Last week's NFL Combine went a long way for the defensive prospects in the draft, and the pro-QB hype seems to have reached its lowest point this offseason.

As much as I would love (believe me, I really would) to just ride that wave and begin daydreaming about Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack, or whoever... there is a very real truth to the notion that Tony Romo's injury history extends further into history than just 2015.

I firmly believe that we should not take a quarterback at #4, but where a door used to be shut completely and locked from the inside... there now sits a door with the smallest possible creak open to the possibility of a quarterback. Ugh.

What do you make of this data? Do you want a quarterback at #4 Overall? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Tony Romo Career Start Percentage Compared To Other NFL QBs" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

1 Comment
  • Randy Martin

    "My sources tell me" we will not be taking a QB. Well, truthfully, I have no sources but if they do go that route I'm going to be really mad and pouting a lot!

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Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Sean Martin



Despite Late Push in Year One, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See the Field in 2018? 1
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.

These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.

Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.

Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.

This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.

Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.

The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.

It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.

Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.

As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.

For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp

Sean Martin



Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.

From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.

Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.

They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.

Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie



Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.

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