The Dallas Cowboys made the NFL playoffs and won their first playoff game this past season since 2009. Quarterback Tony Romo had one of his best seasons with 34 TD passes and led the league with a 113.2 QB Rating (QBR).
Romo was an undrafted player out of Eastern Illinois in 2004, but he has fashioned a solid NFL career after two years of sitting on the bench when he became a starter in 2006 and has now played in 151 regular season games.
But here’s the question: Is Romo the NFL’s greatest undrafted QB in the league’s history? Before you answer that, let me offer a look at some of those NFL QBs who were not drafted yet went on to have good, if not great, NFL careers. Here’s my list of the Top 10 Undrafted QBs in NFL History.
10. Jim Zorn. Zorn spent nine of his 11 years in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. He had 111 career TD passes and started 106 games in the league. He didn’t have the greatest QB Rating (67.3) and was only 44-62 as a starter. He did rush for over 1,500 yards in his career.
9. Bobby Hebert. A Pro Bowler in 1993, he spent seven years in New Orleans and four in Atlanta. Hebert had 135 career TD passes and a QBR of 78.0. Had a 56-44 record in his 100 starts.
8. Jon Kitna. Kitna played for four teams in a 16-year NFL career. He threw for 169 TDs with a 77.4 QBR. Was 50-74 as a starter. Was the 2003 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
7. Jake Delhomme. Had 126 career TD passes in 103 games. Led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl in the 2003 season and got the team into the NFC Championship Game two years later. Was 5-3 as a playoff starter and 56-40 in the regular season. Made one Pro Bowl.
6. Jeff Garcia. Garcia was a four-time Pro Bowler playing in 125 games and tossing 161 career TD passes. Played with five teams in an 11-year career. He had a very respectable 87.5 QBR. Was 58-58 as a starter and won a pair of playoff games. Had over 2,100 yards rushing in his career.
5. Jim Hart. Another four-time Pro Bowler, Hart had a 19-year NFL career, 18 of those seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was 87-88-5 as a starter and threw 209 TD passes in 201 games. Had a low QBR (66.6) but did throw for over 34,000 yards.
4. Tony Romo. He picked up his second playoff win last season and has a 75-48 record as the Dallas starter. Romo has thrown for over 33,000 yards and has 242 TD passes which rank 21st in NFL history. Another four-time Pro Bowler on our list. With a few more years and maybe a few more Cowboys playoff wins he will jump up the list.
3. Dave Krieg. Krieg spent 19 years in the league, playing 12 of those seasons in Seattle. He ranks 12th on the all-time list with 261 career TD passes. He had over 38,000 yards passing and a 98-77 record as a starter with five different teams. He was 3-4 as a starter in the playoffs and led the Seahawks to an AFC title game in 1984. He had an 81.5 QBR. He has a slight edge over Romo on my list, but I can see Romo jumping over Krieg in the very near future.
2. Warren Moon. The toughest decision of the bunch. Moon is a Hall of Famer, nine-time Pro Bowler and his 291 career TD passes rank 8th on the all-time list. He had a 102-101 record as a starter, and played 10 of his 17 years in the NFL with Houston. He passed for just under 50,000 yards in his career. Two downsides: A 3-7 playoff record and a 80.9 QBR. He could easily have been my number one choice, but instead I chose…
1. Kurt Warner. Three Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl title, a Super Bowl MVP, and a 9-4 record in the playoffs tipped the scales in Warner’s favor on my list. Warner was another four-time Pro Bowler and a two-time first team All-Pro. He passed for 208 career TDs and had a 66-49 record as a starter. He also had a 93.7 QBR, surpassed only by Romo’s QBR for undrafted QBs.
So… what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Hey, it’s just my opinion… I could be wrong!
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