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Tony Romo, How Does He Stack Up?

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The Dallas Cowboys have made a flurry of off season moves this year with hopes of changing not only the perception of the team, but also getting back to playing winning football. All of these aspirations are now in the hands of one person, and JJ is not who I am referencing! You got it, One Tony Romo is now in control of this franchise. Now I realize that there is only so much one man can do, but the problem is that Cowboy fans, in my opinion, are beginning to lose confidence in Mr. Romo.

Now I am a fan of Tony, but I'm growing tired of defending him, it is time for him to step up! There is one question however that keeps burning through my mind about him; Is Tony Romo's on the field performance equal to those of his peers (QBs with the same number of starts), and even his predecessors (former QBs at this point in their career's)? The reason I keep coming back to this question is simple. Do I and we know what we are talking about when we say things like "he is not a winner"? Because if he is on course with his peers, and predecessors, well then we need to just shut up! So let's do some digging and see if we can find something one way or the other to hang our hats on.

I am going to put up a table for you all to look at. This table will consist of several quarterbacks both current and former quarterbacks. I will be excluding the names of the players for now. If you would all look at the table, and answer the following question for me. In this list there are two Hall of Fame players, another three that will be, and four that are very strong players, one of these is Tony Romo, which one is he?

Which one is Tony Romo? Can you tell?
Player Win Loss Comp% Yards TD Int Rate
Player A 29 19 55.50% 10,342 71 55 75.6
Player B 34 12 62.10% 10,227 69 38 86
Player C 26 22 60.40% 12,287 85 58 85.5
Player D 14 24 58.60% 7,082 31 46 69.6
Player E 27 12 63.60% 10,562 81 46 94.7
Player F 26 15 63.30% 10,088 62 35 90.3
Player G 33 15 62.40% 10,549 77 35 93.3
Player H 29 11 62.90% 8,519 52 43 90.7
Player I 26 19 62.4% 10,412 70 51 82.7

Did anyone say Player "F"? It's ok if you did, but you would be very, very, very wrong! How about player "I"? Nope not him either! If you will look at the next table you will see which one was Tony!

QB Statistics over First 3 seasons started
Player Win Loss Comp% Yards TD Int Rate
Eli Manning 29 19 55.50% 10,342 71 55 75.6
Tom Brady 34 12 62.10% 10,227 69 38 86
Peyton Manning 26 22 60.40% 12,287 85 58 85.5
Troy Aikman 14 24 58.60% 7,082 31 46 69.6
Tony Romo 27 12 63.60% 10,562 81 46 94.7
Joe Montana 26 15 63.30% 10,088 62 35 90.3
Philip Rivers 33 15 62.40% 10,549 77 35 93.3
Ben Roethlisberger 29 11 62.90% 8,519 52 43 90.7
Brett Favre 26 19 62.4% 10,412 70 51 82.7

Now, so that we are all on the same page here, I am trying to say that Romo is going to be or is as good as players like Montana, and Manning, what I am saying is that you have got to look at everything before you follow some of the things that the media wants you to believe! In doing this research I found some pretty interesting things! First, with everyone of these guys I found that they all had very good sophomore seasons, as the starter. Their Junior campaign almost all had a slight drop in production. Secondly, there fourth year as the starter saw all of them have as good, and in some cases a record year. The naysayers will say that "you can manipulate numbers however you see fit" and to an extent they would be correct. These are the things we can actually see, however we cannot see the small things that they do to become the leaders we say they are.

The moral of this story is this; Players in this league are judged by wins and losses, no one more so than the QB position. Tony has not won a playoff game YET! So therefore he is a loser. This is the budding perception, and until this team wins a playoff game that tag will not be removed. At the same token though, he cannot do it alone. Be Careful for what you ask for! I hear all the time that this team needs to find Tony's replacement, why? You show me a better QB in the league! and do not come at me with that "but he has not won anything" crap! Eli Manning won a Super Bowl! Do you think he is better? I sure as hell don't! One lucky catch does not make you a leader and a winner in my book!



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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Bryan Martin

    March 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Brilliant my friend…. sheer brilliance. The argument is undying, people will never release their fixation on Romo’s inability to produce in his 3rd season. I’m with you, the numbers do the talking, and he’s not the only quarterback to go 3 seasons without a playoff victory in 3 seasons. Who else? See the great Peyton Manning, maybe everyone will calm down now…

  2. bags030404

    March 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for the kind words. I have been growing very tired of the whole Romo bashing! I did this article not so much to clear Tony of critizism but to make sure I was not looking thru rose colored glasses. I must say I had no idea of how good his numbers were compared to those Hall of Famers!

  3. anthony (cowboys fan stuck in phiily)

    March 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    you could not be anymore right about romo he is still growing in the nfl and i expect him to do great things in his career and will finally bring the lombardi trophy back to dallas …. wouldnt it be great if they made it in 2010 in their own stadium!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! although i wouldnt complain if it was this year. anyway i always tell the eagles fans that the c owboys will win ANOTHER superbowl before they do ha ha go boys’ in the next couple of years they will join stillers as the only six time champs

  4. anthony (cowboys fan stuck in phiily)

    March 18, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    oh my mistake the eagles never won a superbowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to bad.

  5. Craig Cotton

    March 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Very well written, Bryson. Good article. The numbers don’t lie, but he had other issues last year that don’t translate into numbers. He has to step up as a leader.

    He can’t sit on the bench and pout like a 4 yr old when things aren’t going his way. He has to get up and find solutions with his teammates. He will do this, or he will never be a truly elite QB in this league.

    Hopefully, with TO gone, he will step into that role.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  6. bags030404

    March 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks Anthony! I feel your pain with having to live in a city that despises the Cowboys, I live in Houston and although I have yet to figure out why, people here cannot stand the Boys.

  7. bags030404

    March 18, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Umm Bryson will love that you credited him with the story, but it was myself that did the piece!

  8. bags030404

    March 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    You know not everyone deals with defeat the same way! Just because the guy goes to the sidelines and looks at the photos, does not mean he is pouting! I will say this much for Romo, he takes every play personal! Maybe if the rest of the team did the same, you all would get off his back!

  9. BTreece

    March 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Come on Craig … his name is posted with the story.

    Bags … Romo does pout. Sometimes he sits and looks at the game photos, but sometimes you see him there pouting. Like when he was injured, he sat on the bench just chilling out all the time that a camera was anywhere near him while the team got handed their collective asses … he could have tried to help out there since it’s his team out there losing with a backup QB.

    He does take plays personally though, I can see that much. I actually believe it was pain meds making him act like he did after the Philly loss. Regardless of that though, Romo does need to step up and lead this team … quiet leaders don’t usually work well in football, especially not at the QB spot.

    What’s kind of cool though, is that even though both of you are right, Craig and Bags, Romo still has put the numbers he has so far.

  10. bags030404

    March 18, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    The problem I have is when the guy screams and yells on the field everyone says he is being a baby, but then we shuts up everyone screams for him to show emotion! Which way do you people want it. Secondly none of these guys give two craps about how close they are to a camera!

  11. BTreece

    March 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Well they should …

    You’re right, and that bugs the hell out of me too. Nobody ever complained about Aikman yelling and screaming after a bad play, and he would do it when he screwed up sometimes! It was always a good thing to see the leader, the general, the driver, el capitan standing up and telling everyone to get going.

    I like seeing Romo do it too.

  12. bags030404

    March 18, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    They have football to be concerned with! To hell with that camera!

  13. Craig Cotton

    March 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    My apologies, bags. I guess I just saw the B and assumed. All props go to you.

    Well put together.

    But, he does pout. I don’t expect him to jump around and yell like an idiot, but I do expect him to get his ass off the bench and talk to his team. That’s what a QB does. He leads. Whether that be by example or by talking, it has to be done.

    Again, he will never be an elite QB until he figures that out.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  14. 610bravo

    March 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Bags,

    I wish Troy walked into a Cowboys organization with theoffensive and defensive lines Romo had in his first three years. If he had, that horrible 1-15 season would have never happened and the numbers woud be very different. Sorry but I disagree with you thesis statement…it take more than numbers to prove you are a good qb. Win a playoff game…all I need is one to change my mind about him!

    I expect that Romo will improve his leadership skills this season since all of his distractions are gone from the locker room. I cannot wait until the season starts because whatever the outcome is, he will not be able to point fingers at his team mates.

  15. BTreece

    March 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Come on 610Bravo … If you want to stick by your statement then Romo already has won a playoff game. The loss to the Giants two years ago was to due to a dropped pass, bot a badly thrown pass.

    What you really want is something that no quarterback can deliver consistently. Dominating, blow-out performances, and that requires a team effort to do, which does not fall on the quarterbacks shoulders.

  16. bags030404

    March 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I give you credit for bringing a viable discredit option to the table! However if you ever looked at Troy’s numbers you would see that even when the Cowboys won the freaking super bowl in ’92, ’93, and ’95 his numbers are still less that of Romo! Those TEAMS were the greatest teams ever assembled, yet his play was not as good in any of those years as Romo’s 2008 year! So give credit to Troy for being a God and discredit Tony for not having the total Team package! Can you all please make up your minds as to how you wish to judge these guys! What I get out of everyone’s statements is that if you win a playoff game then you are a leader, if you do not then you are not! How the hell does that make sense?

  17. 610bravo

    March 19, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Bags and BT,

    I am not a pie in the sky Cowboys fan, but I am realistic about what we’ve got. I do not think that Troy was GOD, just a “demigod” (LOL) and by no means was he perfect. Those SB wins, and infact those seasons, were truly a team effort…..and Troy had HUGE EGOs to deal with too! As far as asking for SB ready teams every year…… Yeah, dang right I expect the ‘Boys to go to the SB every year…and then reality sets in about week three. (LOL)

    As I wrote before numbers are nice but multiple playoff wins, within the same season, would be nice. Again, I look forward to the upcoming season and expect that Romo will be happy and settled and…………..

  18. BTreece

    March 19, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    nice opening you left there with the trailing off “and……………”

    But tell you what, Romo isn’t perfect. He doesn’t consistently display leadership skills on the field. He can, and has many times, but for whatever reasons he has not been the quarterback that he can, and should, be.

    But “whatever reasons” have changed a lot this off-season. He’ll have different guys in his sights as he drops back to throw, he’ll have a different perspective on things after another year and a year in which he was criticized so much. We all know that had Aikman played for the Bears instead of the Cowboys, he might not have been as good, or let’s try the Bills since they did have the talent to go with him there. He might have flopped and been benched by week 3.

    So you’ve got to know and understand that every QB-WR combination means something, it’s a tangible thing that must be accounted for and when it changes? Different things will happen. But regardless of what does happen with his new team, and it is a new team that moves on without Owens, Johnson, and Williams, cannot logically be judged merely by playoff victories. In fact, he shouldn’t be judged by a team statistic at all.

    Judge his numbers, judge his performance, but don’t judge one guy by the actions of many. You can’t find a right answer that way. We will find the right answer this year though … it’s time he’ll be who he should be, and hopefully that is what I see in him, hopefully he’ll be what we need in Dallas.

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A Lot Had to Happen for Amari Cooper to Join the Cowboys

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper was a game changing player from the moment he showed up at The Star in Frisco, Texas. In the first game against the Tennessee Titans, you could just tell that this was a different kind of player. The Cowboys hadn't had a wide receiver with his mixture of size and skill.

Cooper to me showed off the brilliant route running of Cole Beasley, in a body similar to Dez Bryant. Oh, and with 4.4 speed.

Electric.

But Amari Cooper's presence with the Dallas Cowboys may not have happened in 2018 if any one of a number of dominoes didn't fall during the 2018 offseason and regular season.

Shunned by Sammy

Early in the free agency period, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys had brought in Sammy Watkins and made him a lucrative offer that would have paid him around $16 million per year, but as Patrik Walker from 247 Sports discussed, he ultimately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs for more guaranteed money.

I recall first the feeling of dread when I heard about the pursuit of Sammy Watkins, immediately followed by relief when I saw that he signed with the Chiefs. I was in the midst of a government mandated internet blackout.

Don't get me wrong, Sammy Watkins is a fine player, but he isn't a $16 million per year player. Aside from his athleticism and size he doesn't really bring much to the table. He was pretty much a younger, and similarly injury prone -- at their respective points in their careers -- as Dez Bryant.

In 2018, Watkins only played in 10 games for the Chiefs and barely passed the 500 yard mark while catching only three touchdowns. Now, he's not the top priority in the Chiefs passing game, but he's not a player that can be relied upon to lead an offense.

Had the Cowboys signed Watkins last offseason, it's highly unlikely that they would have traded a 2019 first round draft pick to add another wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

Dez Bryant Goes Bye-Bye

The next thing that happened that may not have, was the release of long-time Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant had been with the team since 2010, when the team made him their first round pick that season. After post really good numbers from 2012-2014, Dez had a drop off in production, mostly due to injuries in the 2015-2017 seasons.

Dez Bryant, a fan favorite, was a player that relied upon his superior athletic ability, physicality, toughness, and ability to get passes in the air that made him special. Injuries to his legs and feet started to rob him of his athletic ability. Combine that with the fact that he and Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott could never really get on the same page when it came to fade routes, traditional or of the back shoulder variety.

Had the Cowboys not made the decision to move on from Bryant, the Cowboys offense would have probably been better the first seven games of the season. They may not have necessitated allocating a first round pick to acquire Cooper and it's possible he gets traded somewhere else or stays in Oakland altogether.

Poor Starts to the Season

The Oakland Raiders went into the 2018 season having made a lot of noise by signing Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth and trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. After a 1-5 start to their season, the fire sale continued as they put Amari Cooper on the trade block.

The Dallas Cowboys started the season 3-4, but looked much worse on offense than what we could have anticipated. We knew they would take a bit of a step back in the passing game as they were trying to work in new faces, but it was bad for the first seven, and really eight weeks of the season.

The Cowboys went into the season with a plan to use their wide receiver group as a committee to try and fill their needs with several players of varying skill sets. Sounds good in theory, but in practice it was a debacle. Receivers not named Cole Beasley, struggled to get open and the offense was listless through the first two months of the season.

Had either team been better than they were to start the season, the chance of a trade taking place would have been small. Teams like to think they can get by with what they have. Had the Cowboys been 4-3 instead of 3-4, they may have thought they could get by with Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, and Michael Gallup as their lead receivers.

Trade Compensation

It was rumored that prior to the Dallas Cowboys sending their 2019 first round pick to the Oakland Raiders that the Philadelphia Eagles offered a second. The Raiders, who were looking to stock pile picks to rebuild, held out for the first they desired for their former 2x Pro Bowler.

Had the Raiders took the Eagles offer as the best offer on the table at the time, the Cowboys would have missed out on Cooper and likely missed out on the division and the playoffs in 2018. On the flip side, we know how much the Cowboys value their draft picks. We've seen them pass on game changing player who would have cost much less because they value their draft picks and believe in their ability to find difference makers in any round.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Dallas Cowboys were really fortunate to end up with Amari Cooper. If any of the above things goes differently, it's extremely unlikely that he's wearing a Cowboys uniform in 2018 at all. Now, coming off a 1,000 yard season -- in only 15 games -- and a Pro Bowl appearance, Cooper is set to get paid some big money by the Dallas Cowboys front office. As they get ready to pay Cooper upwards of $16 million a year or more, they should have only one thought on their mind for the good fortune that brought Cooper to Dallas;

Thankfulness. 



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NFL Honors: Leighton Vander Esch Receives 0 Votes for DROY

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Leighton Vander Esch

The Dallas Cowboys front office hit the ball out of the park when they drafted Boise State Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch back in April, 2018. Since then, Vander Esch has earned the starting role that previously belonged to Sean Lee, earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and made the second-team All-Pro. Even for a first round draft pick, the rookie exceeded expectations.

For many, he was a clear candidate for the NFL Honors' Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. However, the voters didn't see him as such.

Around The NFL on Twitter

Defensive Rookie of the Year voting: Darius Leonard - 29 Derwin James - 20 Bradley Chubb -- 1

Three rookies received votes for the award, but the Wolf Hunter wasn't among them. Instead, Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard and Los Angeles Chargers S Derwin James walked away with the vast majority of the votes. For the Denver Broncos, LB Bradley Chubb received only one vote.

This is actually surprising to me. Leighton Vander Esch's season was pretty impressive. His performance on the field week in and week out was dominating. How can you make the second-team All-Pro and get no votes while Bradley Chubb gets one?

Now granted, the competition this year for this award in particular was loaded with notable nominees. After all, Darius Leonard led the NFL in tackles, had seven sacks and forced four fumbles. Being completely honest and unbiased here, I would've voted for Leonard as well. Derwin James managed to translate what he did in college to the field and played many different positions. He even lined up in various spots as a linebacker. For the Chargers, he did it all.

Even still, there's a big argument to make for Vander Esch and I'm surprised no voter did so. His direct competition for the award was undoubtedly Darius Leonard. Although the Colt had the most tackles and the better stats, that's also because he played way more snaps than Vander Esch did. Per Pro Football Reference, Leonard participated in 956 defensive snaps (91.31% of his team's total defensive snaps) while Vander Esch only played in 784 (76.56%). Despite having 172 snaps less to his name, Vander Esch trailed Leonard by only nine solo tackles.

At the end of the day, what matters is that the Dallas Cowboys have one hell of a football player at strong linebacker. Oh, and another great LB to play beside him named Jaylon Smith. Vander Esch may have lost the battle against Leonard for DROY, but it'll be fun to see how both players continue to grow and do great things for their respective football teams.

Tell me what you think about "NFL Honors: Leighton Vander Esch Receives 0 Votes for DROY" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Top Free Agent of 2019 Offseason

John Williams

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DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

We currently sit at 42 days away from the beginning of league wide Free Agency for the NFL. It's one of several opportunities that the Dallas Cowboys will have to upgrade a roster that looks ready to contend for their sixth Lombardi Trophy in 2019. Yesterday, Pro Football Focus released their top 50 free agents for the 2019 offseason and Dallas Cowboys Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence ranks as the guy at the top of the free agent class for this coming offseason. Cowboys Nation shouldn't be surprised by this development.

DeMarcus Lawrence is elite.

Here's what Pro Football Focus had to say on Lawrence:

"The Cowboys asked him to prove it, and Lawrence did just that. His 89.5 overall grade this season ranked seventh among all edge defenders in the NFL. Soon to turn 27, Lawrence is the rare elite edge defender hitting free agency in his prime."

Michael Renner - Pro Football Focus

Player grades are a subjective analysis, but it gives a barometer for how Lawrence is regarded league-wide. Not only is Lawrence viewed as an excellent player by Cowboys analysts, national media respects his game as well.

Lawrence finished the 2018 season with 10.5 sacks, marking the second time in a row that he had more than 10 sacks. In three of his last four seasons, Lawrence has had more than eight sacks for the Dallas Cowboys. He's one of the best, if not the best 4-3 defensive ends in the NFL.

Lawrence forced two fumbles, had his first career interception this season, recovered a fumble, and forced 15 tackles for loss. He finished with 44 stops on the season, which Pro Football Focus defines as "tackles that constitute a "loss" for the offense." Those 44 stops tied him for fourth in the NFL.

DeMarcus Lawrence isn't just an elite pass rusher, he's an elite run defender as well. The way he sets the edge for the Dallas Cowboys defense makes life easier for their two dynamic linebackers in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.

Lawrence is in line to see a very rich contract this offseason that could pay him up to $20 million per year over the next four to five years, and he deserves every penny. He's a leader on the team and brings an energy and intensity throughout the week that galvanizes the rest of the defensive line group to play with high energy and effort.

If the Cowboys front office is unable to get a deal done with Lawrence prior to the deadline to assign the franchise tag on March 5th, then the Cowboys will likely assign their elite pass rusher the franchise tag for a second year in a row. The tag would be a place holder, which will prevent Lawrence from hitting free agency and creating a bidding war for his services, until the two sides could reach an agreement.

In the modern NFL where almost every team is throwing the ball 60-70% of the time, having a pass rusher like DeMarcus Lawrence is a must for a defense. We've seen with past Cowboys teams what the lack of a pass rush can do for your team. It's deflating. The Cowboys will do everything they can to get Lawrence locked up for the rest of his prime.

The only question is, how much will he cost?



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