Sports Outside the Beltway

Aikman Says Romo Best Cowboys QB Ever

Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, who has three Super Bowl rings and a Hall of Fame jacket to his credit, says that Tony Romo is having the best season ever for a Cowboys quarterback:

I would say it’s by far the best season a quarterback has had. I understand those who would argue against that – well, the season’s not over. Well, I think already, if you’re just looking at a season for a quarterback, it’s without question the best year.

If you put my best two years together, I don’t think you’d come up with the numbers that he’s going to have at the end of the season.

Unless Roger’s got a beef with it, I certainly don’t.

That’s a generous thing to say. I disagree, though.

Statistically, he’s certainly right. Romo has shattered all manner of Cowboys single season records with only three quarters of the games in the bag, as Albert Breer notes.

Romo’s 2007 numbers project to rank in the top three in club history in seven major statistical categories – passer rating, attempts, completions, completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt and touchdown passes.

Danny White’s 1983 season ranks in the top three in four of those categories.

The only other seasons that are top three in even two of those categories are Troy Aikman’s 1993 campaign and Roger Staubach’s 1971 season.

But it’s a different league than Aikman, Roger Staubach, Don Meredith and others played in. The rules are set up for passing in a way that simply wasn’t the case even then years ago.

Further, Aikman’s numbers were hampered by Emmitt Smith’s dominance in the red zone. Emmitt scored more TDs than any other running back in NFL history and, because he was so reliable, it made sense to hand off to him rather than risk interceptions.

It’s true, as Aikman admits, that Romo is more mobile and athletic. Of course, Aikman had a great arm and was as accurate a passer as you’ll ever see.

On the other hand, this is Romo’s fifth year in the league and he’s only been starting a season and a half. By this point in Aikman’s career, he’d started virtually every game he’s been on the team and was on his way to his second straight Super Bowl.

What Romo has accomplished so far this season has been quite remarkable. But let’s view it when it’s over before proclaiming it the greatest ever.

Staubach led the Cowboys to a 12-2 mark and a Super Bowl in 1977. Aikman led them to a 13-3 mark and a Super Bowl in 1992.

If Romo can go 14-2 or 15-1 and win a Super Bowl in 2007 to go along with shattering the franchise record for TDs and 300 yard games, he’ll have a good claim on the title.

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