Looks like this week is quarterback rankings week. On the heels of Sports Illustrated releasing their quarterback Power Rankings, we joined the fray here at Blogging The Boys and looked at a quarterback ranking that compared a quarterback versus his peers who were playing in the same era. FOXSports.com didn't want to feel left out of the party and released their own Top 10 quarterbacks heading into the 2015 NFL season.
The title of this post is a bit of a spoiler, so we'll directly take a look at what FOXSports had to say about the fifth-ranked Tony Romo:
He takes a lot of heat, but he’s started in at least 15 games in each of the last four seasons. He’s thrown at least 28 touchdowns in each of those seasons and finally got his second playoff win. He’s got a career record of 75-48 and a career quarterback rating of 97.6. You may not like him or the Cowboys, but he’s in the top tier of the league’s current quarterback pool.
There is no doubt that Tony Romo belongs in any top group of quarterback based on the stats he's compiled, but as FOXSports points out, personal likes and dislikes frequently play a role in these types of rankings. Yet while Cowboys fans may agree that Romo is a Top 5 QB, the rest of the Foxsports Top 10 has some odd choices.
Take a look at the Top 10, with the Passer Rating Index from yesterday's post added for good measure:
|Rank||QB||Passer Rating Index|
There are no hard and fast rules about these QB rankings, and you could endlessly debate where each QB is ranked relative to another (which is the whole point of these rankings anyway), but there are two QBs that stick out here. Andrew Luck at least has youth on his side, Eli Manning apparently owes his ranking to a hypothetical statistical fluke:
But the real headscratcher here is the omission of Drew Brees, who's easily a better QB than half the guys who actually made the list.
Ultimately, there are way too many factors that can go into evaluating and ranking a QB for there ever to be a definitive ranking of QBs.
There is a school of thought that argues the QB position should only be measured by Super Bowl rings and nothing else. You'll find these folks predominantly in the Northeast of the country. A splinter group of this Reductionist Train of Thought uses a very simple question to rank QBs: "If you had only one game to win, who would you pick as your QB?" Not surprisingly, these folks often go for experience over youth. In some quarters you get the Position Group Apologists, who will argue against a statistically good QB based on the strength of the QB's defense, his O-line, his running back, or his receiving corps, and then will argue for a statistically bad QB based on the weakness of his defense, his O-line, his running back, his receiving corps, you name it.
There are many more groups, like the Selective Memory fans who will always argue along the lines of: "If you had ever seen [insert QB name here] play, we wouldn't be having this discussion". The Intangibles Fraction will chew your ear off with things like leadership, character, or the beauty of neckbeards. And of course there's a whole army of weekend statisticians out there who will try to rank QBs by some kind of number, be it winning percentage, playoff wins, completion percentage, efficiency measures or even volume stats (the horror!) like passing yards. And on and on...
So, what is the take-away here? There is no doubt that Tony Romo is statistically one of the best QBs in the game today. I really couldn't care less where he ranks on somebody's list of the best QBs. Especially when I don't know the criteria that went into generating that list.
At the end of the day, Tony Romo wins games for the Cowboys. And he wins more games with his supporting cast than most other QBs would with the same supporting cast. That's really all I need to know. If that makes him the 5th-ranked or 10th-ranked QB in the league, so be it.