Tony Romo – QB – Dallas Cowboys
11th Year – 6’2”, 218 lbs
2013 Stats - Passing: 15 Games, 342-535 (63.9%), 3828 Yards, 31 TD’s, 10 INT
Pluses – Tony Romo has the size, skill and moxie that you want in your starting QB. Despite a number of heart wrenching turnovers over the years, Romo has been a steady completion machine. His career completion percentage is 64.8% and his lowest number was 61.3% back in 2008. Romo ranks sixth on the NFL’s all time completion percentage list ahead of such prolific QB’s as Tom Brady (63.4%), Joe Montana (63.2%), Dan Marino (59.4%) and Steve Young (64.3%). Romo also never gets credit for playing through pain as much as he has either. Last season he gutted it out multiple weeks including a heroic victory against the Redskins in week 15 in which he threw a game winning TD pass despite hardly being able to move. Over the course of his career, Romo has been blessed with some fine talent at the WR position. Dez Bryant is one of the best WR’s in the NFL and has grown with Romo a lot in recent years. Romo is also good friends off the field with TE Jason Witten who is often Romo’s main target when he is under pressure. Having these type of reliable targets is huge for a QB. Romo has averaged 4,380 yards and 30.4 TD’s per season in his career. He has always been a well above average if not fantastic fantasy option in any league format.
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Minuses – Romo is now 34 years old and is rapidly approaching most QB’s drop off point at 36. He has a lot of mileage on his arm and more importantly on his back. In May of 2013 Romo had surgery to remove a cyst from his lower back. The surgery was said to be a success and Romo went on to toss 31 TD’s in 15 games in 2013. However, his season ended early as he was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back requiring immediate surgery. His season was cut short and some wonder whether at 34 he can ever regain his previous form. I am not that sure that the cyst and disc issue aren’t closely related. Not that Romo was much of a rushing threat in the first place but at his age and coming off of back surgery he is going to offer little in the way of rushing production. In fact, Romo has just five career TD’s in his 108 career starts. Perhaps the biggest knock on Romo is that he chokes late in games. This is a bit of a misconception as Romo has the highest 4th quarter passer rating of any QB in the NFL since 2006.
Summary – Romo is currently ranked as the #8 QB in the 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide. Despite the back surgery and his age, Romo remains an insanely consistent performer in fantasy football. The Cowboys offense should have some more stability this season as Scott Linehan has been hired to call the plays. Though there will be more balance between the passing and running game, Romo will still put up numbers. We can be sure of this mostly because the supporting cast in Dallas is quite good. Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and emerging WR Terrence Williams are all great options for Romo and the passing game. DeMarco Murray is also highly effective when he is healthy and will help take some of the burden off of Romo’s shoulders. Cowboys fans will never quite warm up to Romo the way they did with Troy Aikman or even Danny White, but he is quite possibly the best QB that the Cowboys have ever had. Although I am not going to take a reach on Romo this year, if I end up waiting to select a QB until the sixth round or later I most certainly would be happy winding up with Romo as my guy.
Passing: 15 Games, 332-515 Yards (64.4%), 29 TD’s, 12 Int
Current ADP: 85.51 (FPPC), 85.53 (NFFC), 98.40 (MockDraftCentral)