Throughout the history of the game, the quarterback position has earned its right as the most important position in the game. You know that leader under center, the main man that will carry his team on his back in crunch time in order to get his team to the promise land.
That guy that will make big time passes in big time games in the spotlight of the greatest stage. Sounds like I’m talking about Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Roger Staubach, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr, all prominent names that have won Super Bowls as starting quarterbacks.
But we also have a list of quarterbacks that statistically earned them a right into the Hall of Fame without a Super Bowl ring. Quarterbacks such as Dan Marino, Archie Manning, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly and Dan Fouts. Then we have the recent Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. All four have been labeled elite quarterbacks simply for performing at a high level in the postseason. We also have quarterbacks that have yet to make it to the big dance that are either statistically as good as or better than the recent Super Bowl winners. And the one quarterback that stands out most in the crowd is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Romo statistically has proven to be one of the better quarterbacks in the game, but trying to grab the hardware that Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman made famous in Dallas has been a difficult journey for the 10 year pro. In the critical moments Romo has had his flaws from the muffed snap loss to Seattle in the 06 playoffs, losing to the Giants the following season in the divisional round, and then after finally leading his team to their first playoff win since 96 by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in the 09 wild card round, Romo and the Cowboys ended up getting slaughtered by the Vikings in the divisional round.
Make no mistake; quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys comes at a high price to pay when not leading “America’s Team’ to the Super Bowl. But a former player thinks otherwise. Like former Giants receiver Amani Toomer, once one of Eli Manning’s prime targets who recently stated that Tony Romo is a better quarterback than two time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning.
“I love Eli, and I respect the hell out of him as a person,” Toomer said on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM. “But I have to do my job, and I have to look at him beyond what the perception is because the perception doesn’t always go hand in hand with the reality.”
“I was all set — Romo’s no good, he’s a fourth-quarter choker — and then I started doing my job,” Toomer said. “I started looking at the numbers. I started looking at the statistics. I started looking at the quarterback rating. And I was shocked. I was shocked at how good Tony Romo’s statistics really were. This guy is really impressive.
When going over the NFC East, Tim Ryan, Toomer’s co-host, picked Eli as the best quarterback in the division and expects the defending champions to win the division again. But Toomer, after gathering all of his information about Romo had this to say.
“Tony Romo, statistically, he’s the better quarterback.”
I’m a believer of the simple fact that the stats don’t lie. But when I compare two athletes at a certain position, I look at the (Player Sport) and the (Pure Athlete). Example: Emmitt Smith is the all-time leading rusher with 3 Super Bowl rings, a league MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Emmitt sacrificed his body for the team, and is clearly the hardest working running back ever to step foot on a football field. Barry Sanders on the other hand was by far a better pure athlete with more skill better than anybody that’s ever played the position. I look at the difference between Tony Romo and Eli Manning in the same aspect. Romo is a better athlete, but in my opinion, Eli is a better football player and player of the quarterback position.
Championships aren’t made for everyone. It depends on having the right supporting cast, a group of men that put it all together as a team in the critical parts of the regular season and playoffs. Not to take anything away from players that have won titles because the ones that have, played a key role in their title run like Eli’s clutch performances.
If only Super Bowl winning quarterbacks should be labeled the best, then we wouldn’t have Archie Manning, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and Warren Moon in the Hall of Fame. So maybe Amani has a point on his opinion of Tony Romo?