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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!

Player News

Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space

Sean Martin



Travis Frederick

Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.

Jane Slater on Twitter

C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed

Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.

Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.

Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.

With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Cowboys Place 2nd Round RFA Tender on DL David Irving

Jess Haynie



David Irving

One of the more anticipated Cowboys free agency moves has finally happened. Defensive lineman David Irving has been given the 2nd-round Restricted Free Agent tender, which would result in a $2.91 million contract for 2018.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: the Cowboys have used a 2nd round tender on DT David Irving. The cost is $2.91 million.

If another team offers Irving a contract, that would have to send their 2018 second-round draft pick to the Cowboys.

There was no doubt that Dallas would extend an RFA tender to Irving, one of the bright young stars on their defense. The question was at what amount; they could have gone with the $4.1 million tender which raises the compensation to a first-round draft pick.

With a difference of only about $1 million, some might argue that the Cowboys went lower to entice other teams to try to sign Irving. Perhaps they don't foresee giving him a big long-term deal next year, so want to get something for him now.

It's a logical argument, and one that means there may be more to this story before the offseason ends. For now, though, David Irving's closer to remaining a Cowboy than he was yesterday.

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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick Has Requested Release

Jess Haynie



Is Orlando Scandrick In The Cowboys' 2017 Plans?

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested to be released by the Dallas Cowboys, according to a report from ESPN's Todd Archer. The veteran has been with the team since 2008, when he was drafted in the fifth round.

Archer's report can be found here:

Todd Archer on Twitter

Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested his release from the team, according to a source. Scandrick hopes to get into the free-agent market when it opens Wednesday. Cowboys seem to have moved on at corner with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis,...

The end of Scandrick's run in Dallas comes as no surprise. He had fallen behind the youth movement at cornerback with Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown all arriving in the last two seasons. Now with talk that Byron Jones may move back to CB, there's just not place for Orlando.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, releasing Scandrick doesn't provide any great salary cap relief.

If Dallas cuts Scandrick outright, they will get back about $1.4 million from his $5.3-million cap hit in 2018. If they make him a June-1st cut, the cap relief increases to $3 million and pushes $1.6 million of dead money into 2019.

If not for all their younger options, the Cowboys might have elected to stick with Orlando for one more season. But given what they already have at corner, Dallas was likely planning to release him even before this request.

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