Tony Romo and Michael Vick are probably the two best NFC East QB's in the division. Others will debate Eli Manning holds that crown, but most of you by now should know my take on the QB situation. If not take a look here - http://everyfourdowns.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/eli-manning-opened-up-a-can-of-worms/.
Other than that both Vick and Romo have a ton of talent around them. Vick's weapons include DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith, Brent Celek, and LeSean McCoy. If you want to get spoiled and add in Jason Avant and Ronnie Brown go ahead. Romo's weapons are Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Felix Jones. The third WR spot is still open in Dallas. One option being Kevin Ogletree and the other Dwayne Harris. The rookie out of East Carolina. You can say Vick has more weapons, but I wouldn't question that Romo has two of the best receivers in the NFL plus the NFL's most complete TE.
We can see who has better targets this by looking at the Cowboys and Eagles receivers DYAR, DVOA, and EYards (Effective Yards) from our friends over at FootballOustiders. If you're wondering what DYAR and DVOA mean then just take a look at these lines from FO on how they got these numbers.
"This gives the value of the performance on plays where this WR caught the ball, compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then translated into yardage."
It's more in depth here : http://footballoutsiders.com/info/methods#dyar
"This number represents value, per play, over an average WR in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player's performance."
It's more in depth here : http://www.footballoutsiders.com/info/methods#dvoa
"This provides an easy comparison: in general, players with more Effective Yards than standard yards played better than standard stats would otherwise indicate, while players with fewer Effective Yards than standard yards played worse than standard stats would otherwise indicate."
DYAR : 236 (13)
DVOA : 12.2% (17)
EYards : 1,120
DYAR : 105 (47)
DVOA : 5.8% (34)
EYards : 616
DYAR : 251 (10)
DVOA : 15.5% (8)
EYards : 1,097
DYAR : 109 (45)
DVOA : 2.3% (44)
EYards : 754
I know I just threw out a bunch of numbers at you, but what these stats mean is that it's highly debatable on who has the better 1-2 WR duo. While every sees Jackson as the #1 in Philly, Maclin actually puts up better stats. Out of the entire group Maclin has the highest DYAR and DVOA. His 251 DYAR means he's 251 yards better than a replacement WR that's adjusted for his situation and opponent. Now that we found the leader we go ahead and see who's number two. Which is Miles Austin according to the statistics above. Austin leads the group in effective yards. Which is good because he has more EYards than standard yards (1,041) meaning that he played better than his standard yards total.
It's difficult to select who was better based off these stats between Jackson and Bryant. You would think Jackson in a land slide because he's been in the league more, having more experience. So while Jackson just ranks above Dez in DYAR, Dez owns Jackson in DVOA. Which means he's 5.8% more valuable than an average WR in the same game situations. That's 3.5% better than Jackson's DVOA. Bryant's EYards show he played better than his standard yards would show. His 616 EYards is 55 yards better than his standard yards. While Jackson's EYards were 302 yards less than his standard yards meaning he played worse than his standard yards would show. So while Jackson has more total value, Bryant has more value per play.
It's very close, but I'll give Dallas the edge being that Dez Bryant was only a rookie last year and he missed some time. Plus the ball was being thrown to him by Jon Kitna and not the guy this post is about.
Speaking of Romo being out last year instead of using his 2010 DYAR and DVOA we're going to use his 2009 because it just wouldn't be fair. In 2009 Romo did not have Dez Bryant as a WR, but he barely had him in 2010 also so it's not a big deal. You can see though that Miles Austin is a better WR with Romo as QB for the full season. He ranked 4th in DYAR and DVOA in 2009 so expect Miles to have a great year in 2011.
2009 Romo :
DYAR : 1,589 (7)
DVOA : 32.3% (7)
EYards : 5,109
2010 Vick :
DYAR : 835 (13)
DVOA : 20.6% (8)
EYards : 3,251
Vick too didn't play a full year, but he was the Eagles QB for more games than Romo. He was in 12 of the Eagles games going 8-3 as the starter. Should be enough data to compile. So looking at the stats you see Romo just blows Vick away, even without Dez. Just swap Roy Williams in his place, and you know that didn't do too well. Romo was also 626 EYards over his standard yards. That's more than Vick's 233 more EYards than his standard yards.
Lets see how each QB led their offenses in these two seasons. In 2009 Romo's Cowboys OFF DVOA was 24.9%. Which ranked 3rd in the NFL. While Vick's Eagles OFF DVOA was 21.2% also ranking 3rd in the NFL. Also look at weighted offense because this shows how games earlier in the year were less important to games later in the year. In 2009 Dallas ranked 5th with a 23.3% weighted offense, and the Eagles also ranked 5th with a 19.9% weighted offense. So while they both ranked very similar the 2009 Dallas offense was better than the 2010 Eagles offense.
But offense isn't just passing, there's also running. So lets see where these two QB's offensives ranked as a pass offense. The 2009 Cowboys pass Off was ranked 3rd at 45.8%. The 2010 Eagles were 12th in pass Off at 24.4%.
Another factor in the pass game is the offensive line. The Eagles ranked 28th in pass protection and let up 49 sacks. But that may be because Vick is a scrambler. Their adjusted stat rate was 8.4%. The Cowboys ranked 11th in pass protection. They let up 31 sacks and has an adjusted sack rate of 5.8. The Cowboys offensive line has changed a bit. They drafted Tyron Smith and David Arkin. Two of them will most likely start for the Cowboys in 2011. They've shown they can play vs. the Broncos this pre-season. They Cowboys line looks like it will consist of Free, Arkin, Gurode, Kosier, and Smith. With 7th round pick out of Wisconsin Bill Nagy adding to the offensive lines dept.
Going into the season I think Romo is set up for more success. Just based off the talent of his receivers. The Eagles have more depth at receiver, but I still think Dallas have a better overall 1-2 WR duo and the better TE. The better catching running back? I think while McCoy is the better overall RB that Jones and McCoy are both equal at catching the ball out of the backfield. The Cowboys offensive led by Romo was better in 2009 than the Eagles offense in 2010 by DVOA. They also had a better weighted offense. The Cowboys line was better at pass protecting last season, but Vick is able to elude a lot of pass rushers. Romo can do that too though.
2011 Projections :
Romo : 63.2 cmp%, 38 TD, 15 INT, 4,538 YDS, 96.8 QB Rating
Vick : 61.4 cmp%, 28 TD, 14 INT, 3,382 YDS, 92.4 QB Rating