All-time NFL leader in career interceptions, Tony Romo, was not a Hall of Fame finalist. This is despite the fact that his stat line looks more impressive than Troy Aikman’s who made it as a finalist for 2017. We all know why: because he led Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles and had success on both sides of the ball.
The “tony romo hall of fame” is a statistical comparison between the two quarterbacks. The statistics show that Tony Romo was statistically better than Troy Aikman, but wasn’t a Hall of Fame finalist and we all know why.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Aikman, Troy and Tony Romo will long be associated. Perhaps they’ll be linked because of their exorbitant incomes as broadcasters. In any case, the two have a lot in common.
Cowboys supporters and critics alike realize there’s one thing they don’t have in common: the privilege of being dubbed a Super Bowl winner.
In the 1990s, Aikman won three Super Bowl championships in four years, the first of which he also earned Super Bowl MVP. Romo, on the other hand, failed to win even three playoff games, much alone three Super Bowls, finishing 2-4 in his six postseason outings. Of course, things may have gone differently if a call involving Dez Bryant had gone in an other direction. We’ll get to it later.
So, other from Super Bowl victories, what is the other important (and obvious) difference between Aikman and Romo at this point? That is, the former has a gold jacket as a Pro Football Hall of Fame member, whereas the latter does not. On his first attempt, Aikman, who retired in 2001, was elected to the Hall of Fame. Romo, on the other hand, had his first shot at Canton a few months ago and didn’t even reach the final 26. That’s right, I didn’t say finalists. Semifinalists, I said.
Now, I’m guessing that if you asked most football fans who they think deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, the great majority would pick Aikman. But I believe they’d begin their debates by discussing how he guided the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories. However, when looking at cold, hard data, the discussion may not be as one-sided as it presently is. Take a look at each player’s regular-season statistics.
I understand what some of you are thinking. Isn’t it true that Romo played in an age when the NFL became more of a throwing league than a running league? And you’d be correct in your assumption. Aikman, on the other hand, threw 4,715 passes in 165 regular-season games. Romo completed 4,335 throws in 156 attempts. So there’s the end of that debate.
Romo has the ninth-highest passing rating in NFL history, only one behind Tom Brady, at 97.1. When current quarterbacks are removed from the equation, he is only second behind Drew Brees. Steve Young (96.8) and Peyton Manning (96.8) are just behind Romo on the list (96.5). I’m not claiming that Romo is superior than any of those legends. However, it is worth mentioning.
By the way, Aikman is ranked 71st on the list. Surprisingly, the player just in front of him on the list is Danny White, another unappreciated Cowboys quarterback, who is tied for 69th with an 81.7 rating. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
In terms of the Hall of Fame, Super Bowl victories definitely count.
(L-R) Tony Romo; Aikman, Troy | Brian Bahr/Getty Images; Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Look, there’s a simple reason Romo will never be compared to Aikman or inducted into the Hall of Fame: his three Super Bowl victories. Or just Aikman’s playoff career in comparison to Romo’s. Take a peek around.
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To emphasize the point, I substituted the quarterback rating in the playoffs chart with Super Bowl victories. For the record, Aikman had an 88.3 passer rating in the playoffs. Romo had a score of 93.0.
But it’ll always come down to who wins the Super Bowl. Romo’s greatest chances for a championship came in 2007 and 2014. The Cowboys finished 13-3 in the first and were the NFC’s top seed. However, Eli Manning and the New York Giants defeated them in the Divisional Round. Those are the same Giants that went on to win the Super Bowl against the unbeaten New England Patriots.
Romo had one of his greatest seasons in 2014. He passed for 3,705 yards and 34 touchdowns against only nine interceptions, leading the league in completion percentage (69.9%) and passer rating (113.2). He was named NFL MVP in fourth place after leading the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and the NFC East championship.
A Wild Card Round victory against the Detroit Lions set up a Divisional Round matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who earned the MVP award that year. And we’re all aware of what transpired. With the Cowboys behind 26-21 late in the fourth quarter, Romo hit Dez Bryant with a long pass near the Packers’ end zone that would have set up an easy score.
The pass, however, was deemed incomplete. Green Bay regained possession of the ball, ran out the time, and the game was over. The Packers subsequently lost in overtime to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, and then in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots.
Now, some of you may be thinking that even if Bryant’s catch hadn’t been ruled incomplete that the Cowboys also would have lost to the Seahawks in the NFC title game, especially since the game was played in Seattle, where Russell Wilson & Co. were essentially unbeatable at that time.
During the season, they only lost one game at home. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys defeated them in Week 6 of the NFL season. Obviously, there’s no way of knowing what would have occurred in a rematch, but knowing that the Cowboys could go into that hostile atmosphere and win makes the discussion a lot more entertaining.
Listen, I know all of this is moot as Romo’s playing days are done and he’s never going to win a Super Bowl. And I’m honestly not even trying to make the point that he was better than Aikman, Troy. I know it may look that way given some of the arguments I’ve made here, but that’s genuinely not what’s happening here.
I’m not even suggesting that every Super Bowl-winning quarterback be inducted into the Hall of Fame. That shouldn’t be a thing, with all due respect to Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson. All I’m saying is that Romo deserves a little more recognition than he presently receives and that he deserves to be considered for the Hall of Fame.
He can’t be held responsible for all of the playoff defeats. Okay, maybe the game versus Seattle in which he mishandled the snap late in the fourth quarter on Martin Gramatica’s chip-shot field-goal try may be blamed on him. But I’m sure you get what I’m getting at.
I’m guessing if you placed Romo on those 90s Cowboys teams and Aikman on Romo’s Dallas teams, you’d get about the same outcomes.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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