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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Second Round: Mel Renfro vs. Tony Romo

Round two of our Midsummer Madness tournament is underway! Today’s match-up features three seed Mel Renfro facing off against six seed Tony Romo. Who will advance to the Sweet Sixteen?

As many of you have noted, the second-round match-ups are much tougher than most we experienced in round one and, as a result, are significantly more agonizing. Today's contest offers an excellent illustration of this, as third-seeded Mel Renfro, the best defensive back in team history, faces off against sixth-seeded Tony Romo, who will almost certainly retire with every significant team passing record. Who will survive and advance? Read the bios and comments and hit the poll, good people!

Wanna keep tabs on the state of the bracket or look ahead to future contests? All the Midsummer Madness info you could ever want can be found right here.


Player: Mel Renfro

Position: free safety; running back; cornerback

Seed: 3

How he got here: defeated Daryl Johnston, 684-171


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Melvin Lacy Renfro

Bio: Renfro, a collegiate running back, was drafted by the Cowboys in the 2nd round of the 1964 draft (and by the Raiders in the 10th round of the AFL Draft), but the defensive-minded Tom Landry decided to start him at safety, where Renfro made an immediate impact, leading the team with seven interceptions and the league in both punt return and kickoff return yardage, capping off his stellar rookie campaign with the first of ten straight Pro Bowl nods. In 1965, he continued his stellar play in the defensive backfield while setting a team record with a 30.0 yards per kick-off return average (in 21 returns).

Renfro briefly transitioned to running back at the beginning of the 1966 season, but the Dan Reeves's emergence allowed him to return to the defensive backfield, and another All-Pro season. In 1970, after he lead the league in interceptions the previous year from the free safety position, the Cowboys asked Renfro to move to cornerback. He continued to excel in his new slot, using his length (Renfro was 6'0") to shut down opposing receivers. From 1970-'73, Renfro missed only one game and continued to be a Pro Bowl regular, earning All-Pro nods in 1971 and '73.

In the 1970 NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, it was a key Renfro interception that led to the Cowboys' game-winning touchdown. He played in three Super Bowls, retiring as a champion after contributing to a Super Bowl XII victory. Renfro remains the Cowboys' all-time leader in interceptions with 52 and in career kickoff-return average (26.4 yards). His 14 seasons with the team ties him for second place in franchise history. Renfro was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 1981 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996.

Member comments:

Member Comment
pfloyd1 I agree, Renfro was the best DB we've ever had. I love moose, but it's Mel hands down.
Lajitas Lava

Mel was one of a kind

Not often do you see a mid-career switch from safety to corner. All of that for a running back by training.

Birddog26 Should be no surprise I am voting for the DB here


Player: Tony Romo

Position: quarterback

Seed: 6

How he got here: defeated Everson Walls, 1243-155


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Antonio Ramiro Romo

Bio: Romo went undrafted in 2003, but was recruited to the Cowboys by fellow Eastern Illinois alum Sean Payton. After holding a clipboard for a couple of seasons, he earned a starting nod in the middle of the 2006 season and has been the Cowboys' starting quarterback ever since. In 2007, his first full season, Romo completed 64.4% of his passes (only once in his career has he dipped below 63% passing) and threw for 4,211 yards - the first of four times in his career he exceeded the 4,000 yard mark - while leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record.

Romo captained the team to playoff berths on two other occasions, leading the league in passing yards in 2009 and in passer rating in 2014. In the process, he has become, quite simply, the most prolific and efficient passer in Cowboys history. Romo holds fourteen franchise passing records, including those for career passing yards; touchdown passes; games with 3+ touchdown passes; games with 300+ yards; consecutive games with a TD pass; most 4th quarter comebacks/ game-winning drives; and lowest career interception percentage, at 2.6%.

In addition, Romo holds numerous NFL records: the highest QB Rating in month of December and in the 4th quarter of games; most games with 135+ passer rating in a season; most passing attempts thru 100 starts; and most consecutive road games with at least one touchdown pass.Perhaps most impressively, he has combined accuracy while often throwing downfield; Romo's career completion percentage of 65.2% is sixth all-time, and he is tied for third all-time in yards per pass attempt, with 7.9 yards per attempt.

Romo has often struggled for recognition, playing for incomplete teams. Since he's made the Pro Bowl after each of the four seasons in which the Cowboys made the playoffs, one wonders how many Pro Bowls he might have accumulated had the Cowboys boasted a more consistent playoff-caliber roster.

Member comments:

Member Comment
The Tower Romo is possibly the greatest QB the Cowboys have ever had from a pure Quarterbacking standpoint. (not wins / SBs)

Romo, easily

He’s been one of the best QBs in the NFL for a long time and has done some incredible things in a cowboys uniform. Walls was really good, but Romo is a premium player at the most important position in the game. After he wins a Super Bowl he will easily be top 3.

Terry This was a huge no brainer except for the haters who weren't being honest with themselves

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the sweet sixteen?

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