Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Dilfer breaks down the playoff quarterbacks
By Dan Graziano
Before the season ESPN's Trent Dilfer, a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback, put together an interesting list breaking down the quarterbacks across the league. On Wednesday, he broke down the 12 quarterbacks in the playoffs. Here's what he said about Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb heading into Saturday night's big game:
Dilfer's take on Romo: The skill set has always been there. The Cowboys' transformation this season is a testament to a man who can identify his mistakes and then mature as a person and player. Because Romo exorcised his demons, the Cowboys exorcised theirs as well. The entire team reflected his change in mentality. Romo has become the poster boy for the new Cowboys -- mentally tough, resilient, singularly focused on the moment at hand, playing his best football in the highest-stakes games. Romo is as primed as anyone to play his best in the playoffs and make a Super Bowl run.
Dilfer's take on McNabb: The greatest testament to McNabb's season was the high level of productivity he enjoyed despite throwing to a very green corps of receivers. McNabb changed his game from a first-completion, West Coast mentality to a down-the-field approach seeking big plays to DeSean Jackson. The question I have here is whether McNabb's occasional inaccuracy issues will rise up and bite him the way they did against Arizona in the playoffs last season.
My take: I think McNabb certainly has the advantage in terms of playoff pedigree, but Romo's the hotter quarterback right now. McNabb has more weapons than Romo at wide receiver. But the major difference is that the Cowboys' defense is playing much better than the Eagles' defense. Romo's not making as many dangerous throws these days because he knows it's OK to occasionally punt the ball. The Cowboys are also putting the Eagles in poor field position. Heading into this game, I believe that Romo's playing with more confidence than McNabb. Even during the Eagles' six-game winning streak, McNabb was making some loose throws. Romo's in a much better place at this point in the season.