Cowboys Huddle-Up: Why Romo's Better Than Eli

IRVING - With the Cowboys-Giants game approaching, the old argument has popped back up all over social media: Romo or Eli? I even had a quick joust on Twitter with former Giant pass-rusher Michael Strahan on the subject. I'm sure you can all guess where he stands on the matter. And where I stand, in Friday Cowboys Huddle-Up, which includes the latest notes from the Valley Ranch practice field:



The Big Lead: Romo Vs. Eli

The debate featuring Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo vs. his NY counterpart Eli Manning draws Giants supporters to quickly point to one thing ... Super Bowls!

I understand why that's their go-to argument. After all, winning a championship is the ultimate goal for every player in the NFL. However, that argument has one big flaw ... Super Bowls are a team accomplishment, not an individual one. The fact that a player has a Super Bowl ring on the finger does not automatically make him better than any player who doesn't. By that standard, Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson are better QB's than Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton.

Further, I understand that the quarterback is the most important position on the team; however even the great ones can't do it by themselves. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, John Elway … They all had 52 other guys in that locker room who played a part in helping those teams accomplish the ultimate goal. As important as Super Bowls are for a TEAM, they are an inaccurate way to judge individual players. The only way to do that -- or, at least, a critically important way -- is look at their individual stats and accomplishments.

Now, let's look at how Tony Romo and Eli Manning stack up against each other and try to put this debate to rest once and for all ... or at least until Sunday night.

Tony Romo has never finished a season with a QB rating under 90.0. Eli Manning has finished with a QB rating under 90.0 eight times.
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Romo's lowest QB rating for a season is 90.5 and his highest is 102.5. Eli Manning's lowest QB rating for a season is 69.4 (not including his rookie season rating of 55.4) and his highest is 93.1.

Romo has never finished a season with a completion % under 60.0. Eli Manning has done so 6 times.

Romo's lowest completion % for a season is 61.3 and his highest is 69.5. Eli Manning's lowest completion % for a season is 52.8 (not including his rookie season completion % of 48.2) and his highest is 62.9.

Romo has never thrown 20+ INT's in a season. Eli has thrown 20+ INT's in a season 3 times.

Romo has thrown 10 INT's or less in a season 4 times. Eli has only thrown 10 INT's or less in a season twice.

Tony Romo has thrown 30+ TD's in a season 3 times. Eli has thrown 30+ TD's in a season once.

Every single one of those stats lean in Tony Romo's favor. Still, there is much more to these two players than the stats I just listed. Let's continue..

TONY ROMO SINCE 2006
Games: 116
Touchdowns: 219
TD's per game: 1.88
3+ TD games: 33
Interceptions: 106
INT's per game: 0.91
Multi INT games: 22
TD/INT Ratio: 2.06
Yards: 31,075
Yards per game: 267.8
Completion %: 64.8
Games with a 60+ completion %: 84
QB rating: 96.0
Games with a 100+ QB rating: 58
4th quarter comebacks: 22
Game winning drives: 26

ELI MANNING SINCE 2006
Games: 144
Touchdowns: 210
TD's per game: 1.45
3+ TD games: 28
Interceptions: 150
INT's per game: 1.07
Multi INT games: 41
TD/INT Ratio: 1.40
Yards: 31,865
Yards per game: 221.2
Completion %: 60.3
Games with a 60+ completion %: 66
QB rating: 84.2
Games with a 100+ QB rating: 36
4th quarter comebacks: 24
Game winning drives: 28

As you can see, Tony Romo leads Eli Manning in every category except for yards. In 28 fewer games than Eli, Romo has thrown 9 more TD's, 44 less interceptions and 790 less yards. Eli only has 2 more 4th quarter comebacks than Romo, averaging a 4th quarter comeback every 6 games while Romo averages 1 every 5 games.

The next argument that Eli supporters will bring up is this: "Just wait until December rolls around. That's when Tony Romo chokes and Eli is at his best." Well, by the numbers, not exactly ...

TONY ROMO DECEMBER/JANUARY STATS SINCE 2011
Touchdowns: 29
Interceptions: 8
Completion %: 66.2
QB Rating: 106.7

ELI MANNING DECEMBER/JANUARY STATS SINCE 2011
Touchdowns: 24
Interceptions: 20
Completion %: 57.4
QB Rating: 81.2

Once again, Tony Romo leads Eli in every category (I'm starting to notice a trend).
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The final argument that many Eli supporters will try to use is the whole "Eli's clutch - Romo's not." As I already mentioned above, Romo averages more 4th-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives than Eli, but here are some more stats for you, in case you still aren't convinced.

TONY ROMO IN 4TH QUARTER SINCE 2011
4th quarter comebacks: 13
Game Winning Drives: 16
4th quarter TD's: 36
4th quarter TD's within 7 points: 21
4th quarter INT's: 11
4th quarter INT's within 7 points: 9
4th quarter completion %: 65.9
4th quarter completion % within 7 points: 65.1
4th quarter QB rating: 104.8
4th quarter QB rating within 7 points: 99.4

ELI MANNING IN 4TH QUARTER SINCE 2011
4th quarter comebacks: 12
Game Winning Drives: 14
4th quarter TD's: 33
4th quarter TD's within 7 points: 13
4th quarter INT's: 22
4th quarter INT's within 7 points: 9
4th quarter completion %: 58.2
4th quarter completion % within 7 points: 59.6
4th quarter QB rating: 82.5
4th quarter QB rating within 7 points: 84.8

Yet again, Romo's stats are better than Eli's in every category. At this point, when you point out the above, the Eli supporters are likely calling you names or bringing up Super Bowl rings (again). They may also mention Eli's clutchness in the playoffs and Super Bowl. Don't get me wrong, Eli has had some very impressive performances in the playoffs, but much of that is due to the fact that his defensive line was dominating the opponents. Eli's D-line shut down Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in two NFC championship games and Tom Brady in the Super Bowl twice. The Giants defense held the 2007 Patriots to 14 points. In case you don't remember, that Patriots team had one of the best offense's in NFL history. Last I checked, Eli doesn't play defense. When you turn the tables and look at Romo in the playoffs, his defense has been the opposite. They wasn't able to stop opposing offenses and Romo's offensive line wasn't been able to keep him on his feet. Just go back and watch the Cowboys/Vikings game in the 2009 playoffs.

The point is, Eli is, statistically, an average QB who -- to his great and undeniable credit -- stepped up and took advantage of his defense dominating Hall-of-Fame QB's in the playoffs. Romo is, by the regular-season numbers, a borderline-elite QB who's had to carry his team without the same kind of help that Eli has had throughout his career. Stats don't lie. You can deny them all you want, but that doesn't change a thing.

When you look at the plethora of facts I listed above, one thing is clear.. Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Eli Manning. There's another fact for ya.

Friday's Sideline Report

Rolando McClain is back and is practicing today, his groin being "much healthier,'' according to coach Jason Garrett. ... Fish reports that Troy Aikman and Drew Pearson are at practice today -- "NFL royalty,'' as he puts it ... Romo, DeMarco and Tyron are all back at work for a second straight day, with Anthony Spencer taking off Friday as is customary. ... Dallas will waive linebacker Korey Toomer to bring back end Lavar Edwards.

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Onside kicks

The Cowboys don't see JJP moving up and down the line much on film, but he did it some in last week's Philly game and they expect to see him test Parnell at right tackle early in this game ... The latest on Romo's milestones ... some of them Roger-like. ... Fish and Broaddus continue to push the idea that Doug Free is not going to miss the four weeks with that foot injury that Dr. Jerry thinks he'll miss ... The "biggest mistake of my life,'' says Joseph Randle, who tries to put the underwear and the cologne behind him. ... Defendant Jerry Jones has himself a dismissed lawsuit. Want to be a Cowboys Insider with Premium coverage? Click here ... Hear "Fish on The Fan'' with live updates throughout the day from inside the team on The Cowboys Station, 105.3 The Fan. ... The NFL has been briefed about Ebola. That includes the Cowboys and Giants, of course, with them an immediate concern in DFW because of the three confirmed Ebola cases here. “The biggest thing is so they are educated and understand where it is,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said. “It’s just education.”

Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast

KD Drummond sits down with co-hosts Keith Mullins, Patrik Walker and Mike Fisher to discuss several facets of the Cowboys hot start and whether it's sustainable. Is Garrett employing the Long Con? Did jettisoning Ware kickstart this lean, mean defense? How did they outmuscle Seattle, and will it continue? Why doesn't KD have a Whataburger? Why is 1/4th of the team participating in Romo Wednesday?

We've got it all covered in our Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast! - The Evolution of Dallas.

Mark Lane's 'Cowboys 100'


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They're here! Check out our patented facts and figures ahead of this NFC East showdown. Has Tom Coughlin ever gone 3-3? How many times has Dallas improved to 6-1? What have the Cowboys done coming off of West Coast road trips? We've got that and more - - so get set and read up! "Cowboys 100'' -- Facts and Figures for Dallas-vs.-New York -- right here.

The Final Word

"No, we're not smelling the roses.'' - Dez Bryant.


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