Tag Archives: Tony Romo

Where does Tony Romo rank on list of the NFL’s greatest undrafted QBs?


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!

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


Five stats you may not know about the Denver-Dallas shootout

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Tony Romo (en) at a Dallas Cowboys (en) preseason.

Tony Romo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys combined for 99 points and over a 1,000 total net yards in Denver’s 51-48 win over Dallas on Sunday. Dallas QB Tony Romo broke the team record for most passing yards (506), and Romo and opposing QB Peyton Manning combined for 920 passing yards and nine passing TDs.

Here’s a look at a few more stats of interest that you may not know from yesterday’s shootout.

1. With their 51 points, the Broncos became the 203rd team to score 50-plus in a professional game since 1940. Their three-point victory tied for the smallest margin of victory for a team scoring 50 or more points. On December 22, 1963, Oakland defeated Houston 52-49; twenty years later, the Seahawks scored 51 in a 51-48 win over Kansas City on November 27, 1983.

2. The Cowboys became the ninth team in NFL history to score 45 or more points in a game and lose. The aforementioned Houston Oilers hold the record for most points scored in a loss with 49. The teams that scored the most points in a loss:
49: Houston (12/22/63)
48: Kansas City (11/27/83); Cleveland (11/28/2004); Dallas (10/6/2013)
47: Washington (10/17/83)
45: Denver (11/22/62); Miami (9/21/86); Cincinnati (9/16/2007); Green Bay (1/10/10)

3. Romo became the 15th QB to throw five or more TD passes in a game and lose. Three players have tossed six TD passes in a losing cause: Charley Johnson (St. Louis 11/2/69); Dan Marino (Miami 9/21/86) and Carson Palmer (Cincinnati 9/16/2007). Teams are 148-15 in games their QB has five or more TD passes, a .908 winning percentage.

4. Romo also became the seventh QB to pass for 500 or more yards in a losing cause. Dan Marino holds the record with 521 yards passing in the Dolphins’ October 23, 1988 loss to the New York Jets. Those QBs with 500 or more passing yards in a loss:
521: Dan Marino (Miami, 10/23/88)
520: Matthew Stafford (Detroit, 1/1/2012)
513: Phil Simms (NYGiants, 10/13/85)
510: Drew Brees (New Orleans, 11/19/2006)
509: Vince Ferragamo (LARams, 12/26/82)
506: Tony Romo (Dallas, 10/6/2013)
504: Elvis Grbac (Kansas City, 11/5/2000)

5. Yesterday’s game was the 11th game in history where opposing quarterbacks each passed for more than 400 yards (Romo had 506, Manning 414). It was also the second time it happened this season: Philip Rivers (419) and Michael Vick (428) each eclipsed the 400-yard mark in the Chargers-Eagles game on September 15. Here are the 11 games where both QBs had 400 or more yards passing:
1-2-1982: Dal Foust (San Diego, 433) and Don Strock (Miami, 403)
12-20-1982: Ken Anderson (Cincinnati, 416) and Dan Fouts (San Diego, 435)
9-21-1986: Dan Marino (Miami, 448) and Ken O’Brien (NYJets, 479)
9-13-1992: Jim Kelly (Buffalo, 403) and Steve Young (San Francisco, 403)
9-4-1994: Drew Bledsoe (New England, 421) and Dan Marino (Miami, 473)
9-19-2010: Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia, 426) and Matt Schaub (Houston, 497)
9-12-2011: Tom Brady (New England, 517) and Chad Henne (Miami, 416)
1-1-2012: Matt Flynn (Green Bay, 480) and Matthew Stafford (Detroit, 520)
12-23-2012: Drew Brees (New Orleans, 446) and Tony Romo (Dallas, 416)
9-15-2013: Philip Rivers (San Diego, 419) and Michael Vick (Philadelphia, 428)
10-6-2013: Peyton Manning (Denver, 414) and Tony Romo (Dallas, 506)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#26) Tony Romo’s great game in Dallas’ season opener was no surprise

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

English: Tony Romo - 2009 - Dallas Cowboys vs....

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fact that Tony Romo had three touchdowns, 307 yards passing and a Passer Rating of 129.5 in the Cowboys 24-17 season-opening win in 2012 over the New York Giants should not have come as a surprise to NFL enthusiasts and Dallas fans. In his previous five season-opening games, Romo had a Passer Rating over 100 in four of those five games with a high of 140.6 in 2009.

From 1960-2012, there were 149 times when a quarterback had a Passer Rating of 120 or more in his team’s first game of the season (minimum of 10 passes attempted to qualify). Teams won 128, lost 19, with two ties in those games (a .866 winning percentage).

Last season, seven QBs had a Passer Rating of 120 or more in the NFL’s opening week. They were:

Robert Griffin, III, Washington, 139.9 (vs. New Orleans)

Matt Ryan, Atlanta, 136.4 (vs. Kansas City)

Tony Romo, Dallas, 129.5 (vs. New York Giants)

Peyton Manning, Denver, 129.2 (vs. Pittsburgh)
Joe Flacco, Baltimore, 128.4 (vs. Cincinnati)
Alex Smith, San Francisco, 125.6 (vs. Green Bay)
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, 123.4 (vs. Buffalo)

Following are the NFL quarterbacks who have had the most season-opening games with a Passer Rating of 120 or higher (1960-2011). With his 129.5 Passer Rating in last year’s Opening Game contest, Romo became the 11th QB since 1960 to have three or more season-opening games with a 120 or higher Passer Rating.

Season-opening games with 120+ rating, quarterbacks

Four: Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino

Three: Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, Len Dawson, Jay Fiedler, Chad Pennington, Fran Tarkenton, Tony Romo

Four quarterbacks had a perfect Passer Rating of 158.3 in their team’s first game of the year. The last time it happened was in 2005 when Ben Roethlisberger had a 158.3 Passer Rating in Pittsburgh’s season-opening game against the Tennessee Titans. Roethlisberger was 9-for-11 for 218 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

Here are the quarterbacks that have had the highest Passer Rating on the NFL’s opening weekend since 1960:

Passer Rating, Quarterback, Season

158.3: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2005); Dick Shiner, Atlanta (1973); Daryle Lamonica, Oakland (1972); Len Dawson, Kansas City (1963)

157.6: Phil Simms, NY Giants (1984)

157.1: Dan Fouts, San Diego (1981)

156.6: Steve Bono, Seattle (1995)

153.3: Craig Morton, Dallas (1971)

152.1: John Brodie, San Francisco, 1965)

151.8: Don Meredith, Dallas (1968)

151.4: Eddie LeBaron, Dallas (1961)

151.1: Len Dawson, Kansas City (1966)

150.4: Dan Marino, Miami (1984)

Note: There have been five quarterbacks who had a Passer Rating of 0.0 in an opening game since 1960. They were: Al Dorow (in 1962 with Buffalo), Earl Morrall (in 1965 with the N.Y. Giants), James Harris (in 1975 with the L.A. Rams), Jim Plunkett (in 1977 with San Francisco) and Joe Ferguson (in 1978 with Buffalo). The last QB to have a Passer Rating under 20.0 in an opening game of the season happened in 2012: Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden, in his NFL debut with the Browns against Philadelphia, completed only 12 of 35 passes for 118 yards with four interceptions and no TDs. His Passer Rating for that game was 5.1.

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99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#23) Eli Manning reaches 200-TD milestone for QBs

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

Eli Manning during a 2007 training camp

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With his 13-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks in the third quarter of the Giants’ 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers on November 25, 2012, Eli Manning reached a couple of milestones in his career:

* Manning’s TD pass to Nicks gave him 200 for his career and moved him ahead of Phil Simms (199 TD passes) for most TD passes by a New York Giants QB.

* Manning became the 33rd QB in NFL history to reach the 200-TD mark.

In addition, Eli became the 19th QB in league history to throw 200 or more touchdown passes for one team, making the Giants the 15th franchise to have at least one QB with 200-plus TD passes.

Here’s a rundown of the teams with one (or more) QBs with 200-plus TD passes with their franchise:

3: San Francisco (Joe Montana, 244; Steve Young, 221; John Brodie, 214)

2: Indianapolis (Peyton Manning, 399; Johnny Unitas, 287)
2: San Diego (Dan Fouts, 254; John Hadl, 201)

1: Arizona (Jim Hart, 209)
1: Buffalo (Jim Kelly, 237)
1: Denver (John Elway, 300)
1: Green Bay (Brett Favre, 442)
1: Kansas City (Len Dawson, 237)
1: Miami (Dan Marino, 420)
1: Minnesota (Fran Tarkenton, 239)
1: New England (Tom Brady, 334)
1: New Orleans (Drew Brees, 232)
1: New York Giants (Eli Manning, 211)
1: Philadelphia (Donovan McNabb, 216)
1: Pittsburgh: (Terry Bradshaw, 212)

There are 14 QBs who have thrown for 200-plus TDs in their career, but do not have 200 or more with one team. Those QBs are: Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde, Sonny Jurgensen, Drew Bledsoe, Dave Krieg, Boomer Esiason, Y.A. Tittle, George Blanda, Kerry Collins, Kurt Warner, Randall Cunningham, Jim Everett, Roman Gabriel and Matt Hasselbeck.

It’s also interesting to note that four current quarterbacks are approaching the 200-TD mark for their teams and will likely change the landscape of the list above in various ways. For example:

* Dallas’ Tony Romo last season surpassed Troy Aikman for most TD passes in Cowboys’ history. Romo now sits atop the Cowboys’ list with 177 TD passes. Will Romo be in Dallas long enough to become the first Cowboys’ QB to throw 200 TD passes?

* The Packers Aaron Rodgers during the 2012 season passed Bart Starr (152) for second on the team’s list for most TD passes with the franchise. He now has 171 TD passes and could become the Pack’s second 200-TD QB in this upcoming season.

* Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers missed three games in 2012 but was still able last year to up his career TD pass total with the team to 191. He will likely join Terry Bradshaw as Pittsburgh’s 200-TD quarterbacks sometime in the first half of the 2013 season.

* San Diego’s Philip Rivers has 189 career TD passes with the Chargers. He will probably join Fouts and Hadl with 200 when he reaches that mark early this season. That will make the San Diego franchise only the second in league history to have three QBs with 200-plus TD passes.

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99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#22) Your QB throws five interceptions in a game! No problem, right?

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

English: Tony Romo - 2009 - Dallas Cowboys vs....

Tony Romo  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If your quarterback throws five interceptions, it’s impossible to win that game, right? In fact, if you look at the numbers, an NFL team that has had a quarterback throw five interceptions in a game had won eight times, tied twice and lost 144 times (from 1966 to 2011). That’s a winning percentage of .058. Maybe not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons made the “not impossible, but highly unlikely” a definite “yes” on November 18 last season when they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-19 despite Ryan throwing five interceptions in the contest.

(Two other QBs threw five interceptions in a game last season: Tony Romo did it on October 1 and Drew Brees did on November 29. Their teams lost both of those games.)

Ryan’s first pass of the game was intercepted as were two more of his first quarter passes. The Falcons recovered from a 13-0 first quarter deficit to win their ninth game of the season.

Ryan became the first QB since Tony Romo in 2007 (and only the second QB in the last 23 years) to have five interceptions in his team’s victory.

In addition to Ryan’s game this past season, here are the eight other quarterbacks whose teams won when they tossed five interceptions in a game:

Oct. 8, 2007: Tony Romo, Dallas, in a win over Buffalo

Dec. 9, 1990: Mark Rypien, Washington, in a win over Chicago

Oct. 26, 1987: Wade Wilson, Minnesota, in a win over Denver

Dec. 24, 1985: John Elway, Denver, in a win over Kansas City

Sept. 14, 1980: Dan Fouts, San Diego, in a win over Oakland

Sept. 7, 1980: Joe Ferguson, Buffalo, in a win over Miami

Nov. 29, 1970: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore, in a win over Chicago

Sept. 24, 1967: Bart Starr, Green Bay, in a win over Chicago

Following are the QBs who have had the most games with five-plus interceptions:

8: Joe Namath

5: Ken Stabler

4: Vinny Testaverde, Tommy Kramer, Joe Ferguson, Dan Fouts

3: Jim Hart, Steve Grogan, Steve DeBerg

Here’s a few more interesting stats concerning QBs who threw five or more interceptions in a game and his team won.

* Ryan became only the second QB since 1966 to have five-plus interceptions and no TD passes and his team won. Bart Starr did it in 1967.

* Tony Romo is the only QB to throw five interceptions in a game that his team won on the road. The other eight QBs who threw five-plus interceptions in a win did it at home.

* Quarterbacks who threw five-plus INTs in a playoff game are 0-11. The last QB to do so? Jake Delhomme of the Carolina Panthers who had five interceptions in the Panthers 33-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 10, 2009.

* Ten QBs have thrown six or more interceptions in a game. None did it in a victory.

* David Woodley of the Miami Dolphins had the highest passer rating of any QB who threw five-plus interceptions in a game. He had an 82.8 passer rating in his five-interception game versus the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 25, 1981.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp