FanPost

This is all about Romo

The Dallas Cowboys are 8-6 following the win in Arlington over the reviled Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas is now positioned to make a run at the playoffs. If the Cowboys win the final two games, they win the NFC East. Dallas could also win the division with a win over Washington and one more loss by New York.

Considering that the Cowboys started the season 3-5, this turnaround is nothing short of remarkable. Dallas has won five of the last six games. During that time, there have been some performances of note.

Player

Attempts

Receptions

Comp %

Yards

Rate

TD

Tony Romo

250

-

67.2

1,875

100.3

12

Dez Bryant

-

37

-

584

-

8

Miles Austin

-

21

-

261

-

1

Jason Witten

-

39

-

385

-

1

DeMarco Murray

58

-

-

217

-

3

Bryant has obviously raised the level of his play, averaging over 6 receptions per game for more than 97 yards and 1.33 touchdowns. Witten continues to play strong, with an average of 6.5 catches per game for just over 64 yards. Murray's presence has been felt, as play action passing has returned to the Dallas arsenal.

The star of the team, however, has been Tony Romo. Unequivocally, the play of Romo has driven this Cowboys team, which has now scored 177 points over the last six games (an average of 29.5 points per game).

Romo's numbers compares with some of the best quarterbacks to win Super Bowls in the recent past. The respective NFL rankings are in parentheses.

Quarterback

Attempts

Comp %

Yards

Yrd/Att

Sacks

Rate

Wins

Tony Romo

568 (3)

66.7 (4)

4,269 (3)

7.52 (10)

32 (9)

90.2 (11)

8

Tom Brady

560 (6)

63.4 (10)

4,276 (2)

7.64 (7)

23 (25)

100.1 (5)

10

Drew Brees

574 (2)

62.0 (15)

4,335 (1)

7.55 (9)

24 (22)

93.1 (10)

6

Peyton Manning

511 (8)

67.9 (3)

4,016 (6)

7.86 (4)

21 (27)

103.5 (4)

11

What makes Romo's accomplishments even more impressive is the fact that only eight quarterbacks have been sacked more than Tony. Considering that Tony is phenomenal at buying time and creating down field opportunities, the number of sacks he should have is a fraction of what another elite quarterback would have behind this Cowboys offensive line.

The perceived image of Tony Romo is that he spreads the ball around to his targets. When compared to other top six passing attacks, it is obvious that Romo relies on his top three guys more than other elite quarterbacks.

There is only one team in the NFL with three players in the top 20 in receiving yardage: the Dallas Cowboys. Dez Bryant has the 10th most receiving yards, Jason Witten is 17th (1st among tight ends), and Miles Austin rounds out the trio, ranked 19th in the NFL. The Cowboys are ranked 4th in offensive passing yards.

Receiver

Receptions

Targets

Yards

Average

TD

Dez Bryant

79

118

1,087

13.8

10

Miles Austin

62

107

898

14.5

5

Jason Witten

97

134

923

9.5

2

The next best trio of receivers belongs to Atlanta and New Orleans. Teams such as Detroit (1), New England (3), and Denver (6) rank in the top six in passing yardage, but rely heavily on one receiver (Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker, and Demaryius Thomas). New Orleans (2) and Atlanta (5) have three main targets.

Receiver

Receptions

Targets

Yards

Average

TD

Roddy White

79

123

1,156

14.6

5

Julio Jones

69

112

1,071

15.5

9

Tony Gonzalez

87

113

880

10.1

8

Receiver

Receptions

Targets

Yards

Average

TD

Marques Colston

68

110

949

14.0

8

Lance Moore

57

94

890

15.6

5

Jimmy Graham

69

108

779

11.3

8

Tony Romo is leading this team down the stretch. The Cowboys are in position to claim the NFC East for the second consecutive season. At this time last season, Dallas was 8-6, after just defeating the underachieving Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Romo was also on fire in 2011, but was betrayed by the cast around him.

In 2012, the Cowboys are a severely depleted team. Only three teams in the NFL have more players on Injured Reserve at this time (Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Carolina). None of those teams, however, have the amount of starters the Cowboys have on IR (6).

With so much change on the roster, the constant through the last six games has been the play of Tony Romo. If this team makes it into the playoffs, it will be because of their quarterback. Any chance of winning once in the playoffs also rests on the broad shoulders of the Cowboys' quarterback.

This team will go as far as Romo can carry them.

That is our quarterback.

Somewhere, Owens is likely shedding a tear...

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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