9 Is Between 8 and 12

I had a recent conversation with my good friend of mine, named Steve. We were discussing quarterbacks and happened upon the subject of Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo. He proceeded to ask me what my professional scouting opinion was of Romo. Steve was of the opinion that Romo was one of the best quarterback’s in the NFL and possibly one of the best quarterbacks the Dallas Cowboys have ever had.

Slow down, Homie! Slow down!

A quarterback is quantified by numerous measurables, such as height, agility, arm strength, intelligence, pocket presence and many other tangibles. I have graded many quarterbacks over the years and tend to initially give more weight to intelligence over physical ability in the beginning. While Romo may have physical ability, I do not think his processing (intelligence) of the game is ahead of his physical ability.

I said to Steve, “A good quarterback is not always based on physical ability, but his ability to manage the game and move the ball down field.”

I like to use the 2000-2001 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens QB Trent Dilfer, to illustrate my point. Before his time with the Ravens, Dilfer was an average “run-of-the-mill” quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who during the 2000 regular season, averaged 21 pass attempts per game, and had a passer rating of 76.2 for the regular season, which is fairly average. However, during the post season including Super Bowl XXXV, Dilfer averaged 18 pass attempts per game. While the Ravens had the no. 2 ranked defense in the NFL during the 2000 regular season, the decrease in pass attempts goes to show that Dilfer was not asked to win games, but rather asked not to lose them.

Since about mid-way through the 2006 season, Romo has been the full-time starter of the Dallas Cowboys and has exactly ZERO playoff wins and obviously zero Super Bowl appearances. During his two playoff loses following the 2006 and 2007 regular seasons, Romo averaged 33 pass attempts per game. So it would seem those who have looked for Romo to win games for his team, from a scouting perspective, he may not have the ability to do so. Romo is an above average quarterback, from an ability standpoint, with solid weapons around him often helping him to look better than he really is. It does not take a genius with ability to play the position of quarterback, but sometimes a genius of just managing the game and doing what is asked of him from the coaches, and that is where intelligence helps measure a player.

Troy Aikman is a three-time Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl selection. Roger Staubach is a two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl selection. Tony Romo is a zero-time Super Champion and two-time Pro Bowl selection. By the way, did mention Aikman and Staubach are BOTH in the NFL Hall of Fame? I think Romo still has a lot of road to travel before comparing his career to that of Aikman or Staubach.

Steve, my man, the next time you start speaking about Romo in the same breath as Staubach and Aikman, just make sure you make note the closest thing Romo is to those guys is that Aikman’s jersey was no. 8, Staubach’s jersey was no. 12, and the closest thing Romo is in comparison to either one of those guys is that he is between those two jersey numbers with jersey no. 9.


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