Summer Rewind – Tony Romo or Eli Manning?

July 6th, 2012 – Who Would You Rather Have?

Huffington Post

NFL.com – Amani Toomer: Tony Romo over Eli Manning is Just Numbers

In the dark times of summer when anything can become a football story, we have this gem. Ok, it’s really not much, but it’s something to read. Back in early July, former New York Giants WR, Amani Toomer, raised eyebrows when he said on SiriusXM NFL Radio he thought that Dallas Cowboys QB, Tony Romo, was the best QB in the NFC East. Anyone else says it and it’s pretty irrelevant, but Toomer, who played with Giants QB Eli Manning (the guy who won 2 of the last 5 Super Bowls) from 2004-2008 says it, and now we have a story. So let’s see, who would you take?

To be fair, we need to take into account what Toomer actually said…

“Tony Romo is probably — if you look at him statistically — he’s probably the best quarterback in the NFC East, I mean, you look at Eli Manning and what he does in the fourth quarter. But you talk about consistency — talk about 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. That guy can play.” Toomer also says, “For me, if I wanted a guy that is going to throw less interceptions, (be) more productive, higher completion percentage, I’m going to go with Tony Romo.”

A lot of people are making this out to be a major attack on Eli Manning, but when you really dive into what he is saying… he’s saying that statistically speaking, he likes Romo. There’s some truth to his claims.

Last season, Eli Manning passed for nearly 5,000 yards (4,933) with a 29-16 touchdown to interception ratio, but prior to that, his best season only yielded 4,021 passing yards with a 27-14 TD-INT ratio.

Tony Romo missed some time (not much, but still) and ended the season with 4,184 passing yards with a 31-10 TD-INT ratio. Romo also has 2 other seasons in his career where he passed for over 4,200 yards (2007, 2009).

More importantly though, statistically speaking, Romo has a better TD-INT ratio over his career. Romo has a 149-72 TD-INT ratio (about 2.08 TDs per INT). Manning has a career TD-INT ratio of 185-129 (about 1.43 TDs per INT). Career QB Ratings also point to Romo being a better player as his is a solid 96.9 and Manning’s is 82.1. Even if you look at just last year, Romo actually had a better QB Rating than the Super Bowl MVP (102.5 to 92.9).

So there is some truth to what Toomer is saying. The natural response to this claim, and why it’s a story in the first place, is to point to Eli’s two Super Bowl rings where he shined with the pressure on and outshone one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game in New England Patriots QB, Tom Brady. On top of that, Manning also led 7 comeback/4th Quarter victories this past season on his way to his second Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP. So… who would you want?

Starting with Romo, I honestly didn’t understand the backlash Toomer received for the comments. After looking at what Toomer said, I kinda agree with him. Statistically speaking, Romo is a heck of a QB. He makes mistakes when the game is on the line, but when it comes down to giving you a good TD-INT ratio at the end of the season, he’s your man. I have always thought that he was capable of wiggling his way into some of the top QBs who win the bigger games, but I always thought that there was something about the team around him that held him back. Winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, but no player can win it by himself. If guys like Barry Sanders and Dan Marino couldn’t, that demonstrates to me how one great player can’t do it without help. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing Romo to either of those Hall of Famers, but what I am saying, is that I have always felt that the Cowboys didn’t have the chemistry (they did have Terrell Owens for awhile there), the strong secondary play, or the pure defensive presence that they have needed to support Romo’s statistical production. So, when I see Toomer say something like this, I see where he is coming from. Romo isn’t nearly as bad as what many make him out to believe, in my opinion.

Manning is a whole different kind of beast. I personally think Manning is on his way up statistically. After all, this past season almost put him over the 5,000 passing yard threshold. Even without those stats though, Manning still manages the stress and pressure better than most NFL QBs. He throws some picks, as all QBs do, but when the game’s on the line, he can play. To be fair in this comparison to Romo, Manning does have the pleasure of playing with one of the most formidable and intimidating defensive lines in the NFL. A defensive line that can easily influence the outcome of a game because of how they bombard the opposing QB. Dallas has DeMarcus Ware, who is a freak of nature, but they simply don’t have the depth of New York. That’s no knock on Manning, that’s just an observation on how Manning can put up stats that may be lesser at times than Romo, yet Manning still has the opportunity to win the game at the end on his way to 2 Super Bowls.

With all of that said, if i need to pick which one is the best, I’m taking Manning at this point because I value his ability to win games, no matter what the stats look like. I still think that Romo is as good, if not better when you look at the stats and I do think Romo is a capable QB who can lead the Cowboys deep into the playoffs if he gets a little more help. However, I’m going to judge a quarterback on his ability to lead his team to victory whether he looks flashy doing it, or not. Bringing Mr. Toomer back into this — him saying that Romo looks better on the stat sheet really isn’t as ridiculous as many seem to be making it. In my opinion, it’s a comment that has been blown out of proportion.

Mark Schlereth Reacting to Toomer’s Comments – Uploaded by ESPN

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