Few names trigger the type of reaction when you say them in the middle of a group of sports fans like that of Tony Romo.
For whatever reason, the guys is a walking controversy. A large part of it is his position as Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Beyond that, he’s just a guy with which there is no middle ground. You love him or hate him. He’s good or he’s not. Quite simply, his name is a pile of fresh-cut firewood covered in gas, waiting to be ignited.
Jerry Jones tossed a lit match on that pile of wood last week when he signed Romo to a six-year, $108 million contract with $55 million worth of guaranteed cash.
The internet blew up and the battle was on. People came forward (myself included) to chastise the Cowboys. Others came to Romo and Jerry Jones’ defense, claiming that you have to pay your quarterback if you have a good one.
I don’t disagree with that notion, however, I strongly feel that Dallas overpaid Romo. I’m not going to sit here and spill my cuts about the disdain I have for Jerry Jones and how he operates. Instead, I’m going to toss out a few facts for you to think about as Tony Romo rests his head on a giant pile of money that you can’t begin to fathom.
– Tony Romo has started 99 games for the Cowboys. He’s thrown 91 interception in those starts. His 177 touchdown passes give him less than a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Nine quarterbacks were better than 2:1 in 2012. Five of those were better than 3:1. None were named Tony Romo.
– Romo has topped 30 touchdown passes twice during his 7 seasons as a starter. Same as Phillip Rivers — also a seven-year starter. Rivers has thrown 12 more touchdowns, one more interception and has two more playoff wins than Romo during those seven years.
– Drew Brees attempted 22 more passes than Romo in 2012 while throwing 15 more touchdowns and the same number of interceptions. Josh Freeman threw 90 less passes and only one less touchdown than Romo.
– In 2008, Aaron Rodgers’ first full year as a starter, his numbers (28 TDs, 13 INTs, 93.8 QBR) were equal to or better than Tony Romo’s 2012 stats( 28 TDs, 19 INTs, 90.5 QBR).
My point here is, YES, you need a quarterback. Yes, when you get a good one, you should pay him, not only for what he’s done but for what you think he can do. If Tony Romo’s first seven years are any indication of what his next seven will be like, I can only conclude that Jerry Jones must have Romo on lockdown in a high-stakes fantasy football keeper league that doesn’t penalize your quarterback for throwing interceptions.
I don’t care what position he plays or who at his position got paid what and when. No matter how you cut it, Tony Romo was overpaid by the Dallas Cowboys — one of a handful of professional sports franchises that would have gone out of business long ago in the real world where your survival is based on success and failure.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON APRIL 1, 2013