Sunday, July 1, 2012
Jaws' QB countdown: Tony Romo is No. 10
By Dan Graziano
Ron Jaworski's countdown of his own list of the top 30 quarterbacks in the NFL has reached the top 10, and No. 10 on the list is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
You may remember that Jaws had the Eagles' Michael Vick ranked 12th on this list, which he's unveiling at the rate of one player per day on the morning SportsCenter. In that segment, he spent a fair amount of time on Vick's weaknesses, though he said he believed they could be overcome and that Vick could be on the verge of a big year. But when he broke down Romo on Sunday morning's SportsCenter, Jaws had nothing but praise.
The early part of the segment focused on a 20-yard completion Romo made to Dez Bryant on third-and-9 on "Monday Night Football" against the Redskins last year. Jaws raved about the way Romo "recognized the blitz, set the protection and held his cadence to minimize Washington's aggressiveness" and touted it as an example of Romo's excellent "anticipation vs. man-to-man coverage."
"There's an instinctive awareness to Romo's play that I've always liked," Jaworski said. "He's always been able to move within the pocket, and he's also very good at extending plays outside the pocket, especially moving to his left. That's not easy for a right-handed quarterback to do."
Jaws also looked at a pair of long touchdown passes to Jason Witten, including one against Seattle on which Romo held safety Earl Thomas in place by keeping his eyes looking right before throwing to Witten in the seam on the left side. He said that Romo's ability to manipulate safeties "jumped out" when he re-evaluated Romo for this project.
And then there's this:
"I've always sensed the perception of Romo was that he turned the ball over too much," Jaws said. "That is dead wrong. In his last two full seasons, he's only thrown 19 interceptions in almost 1,100 attempts. That, my friends, is outstanding. Romo is, without question, a top-10 quarterback."
Obviously, I know many of you agree with this and many of you consider it ridiculous. I agree with it, and given the remaining names on Jaws' list, I'm surprised he's not ranked a little higher. From what I can tell, the remaining nine quarterbacks on the list are going to be, in some order, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. I do not know the order, only Eli's ranking, which I am not permitted to reveal until the segment airs.
This is the list so far. Remember, rookies Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are not on the list, presumably because there is no NFL tape of them for Jaws or anyone else to review:
11. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
13. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
14. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
15. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
16. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
17. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans
19. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
20. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
21. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
22. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs
23. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
24. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
25. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals
26. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins
27. Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks
28. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings
29. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Tim Tebow, Jets