Young QBs Debate: Roethlisberger

September, 18, 2008
9/18/08
2:34
PM ET
 
 Jason Bridge/US PRESSWIRE
 Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger owns a 5-2 record in the postseason.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Is there really any doubt who's better, Matt Mosley?

Before we examine the merits of this debate, let's start by saying Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers owns a Super Bowl ring and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has yet to win one playoff game.

We could end this discussion right there.

But I won't let you off that easy, Matt.

It's obvious to anyone not blinded by those big blue stars in Dallas that Roethlisberger is the best young quarterback in the NFL. Whether it's stats, team success or rings, Romo is playing catchup to Big Ben in every way.

Lest we forget, Romo is two years older. But where was he during the first three years of his career?

While Roethlisberger was leading the 15-1 Steelers as a rookie in 2004, Romo was third string in Dallas behind 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde and Drew Henson. I'm sure you recall that particular season, Matt. You covered the Cowboys that year when a very young Roethlisberger came to town in Week 6 and handed the Cowboys a 24-20 loss at Texas Stadium.

Roethlisberger was a successful franchise quarterback from Day 1. Romo is a late bloomer who still has a ways to go. His 19 interceptions for Dallas last year were tied for the second-highest total in the NFL.

The less-hyped quarterback in Pittsburgh is more efficient. Roethlisberger's passer rating (104.1) in 2007 was behind only Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. In fact, three quarterbacks had triple-digit passer ratings last season and none of their names were Romo.

Matt, your guy plays with a dozen Pro Bowlers and has nothing to show for it. He shrinks in the biggest games, so the comparisons to clutch signal-callers such as Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman are premature. Saying that he's more established than Roethlisberger, who is 5-2 in the postseason, is downright negligent.

The next postseason game Romo wins will be his first. So until then, Matt, I suggest you at least bring Eli Manning from the NFC East to get into this type of party.

This debate is reserved for rings only.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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