The day that many Cowboys fans feared is almost here. Tony Romo has said goodbye and soon will be released or traded, likely ending his 13-year career in Dallas. That's also a cause of concern for fans of teams that need a quarterback. Now they'll be squirming in their seats over the possibility their team signs a soon-to-be 37-year-old QB with a history of injuries.
Last 30 starts: 65.9% completions, 62-25 TD/INT, 100.8 passer rating
This is why Jerry Jones has wanted to keep Romo. The Cowboys were winning with him and he was putting up Hall of Fame-type numbers. (That, and the $108 million contract Jones gave him.)
Romo has the Cowboys' only two playoff wins in the past 20 years, with the last one coming after the 2014 season, when he led the NFL in completion rate (69.9 percent) and passer rating (113.2). That must be hard for Jones to move on from — and tantalizing to a desperate GM.
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Aaron Rodgers: 18-12
Last 30 starts: 62.6%, 66-15 TD/INT, 97.2 rating
Admittedly, Rodgers was not his spectacular self in the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016. But he was arguably the best QB in the NFL for the second half of last season and finished with a league-leading 40 TD passes. Plus, Romo and Rodgers went toe-to-toe in a playoff duel two years ago (though to be fair, Dak Prescott did so as well in January).
Even if Romo plays at "less than peak A-Rod" level, he'd still be better than more than half the starting QBs in the league.
Matt Ryan: 17-13
Last 30 starts: 68.1%, 56-21 TD/INT, 102.7 rating
Ryan, like Rodgers, had a down 2015. But Ryan was all-world in 2016, leading the league in passer rating (117.1) and setting career highs in completion percentage (69.9), yards (4,944) and TDs (38) while winning MVP and taking the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
It was just the second time Ryan threw for 30 or more TDs. But Romo has done it four times, including 34 and 31 in his past two full seasons.
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Ben Roethlisberger: 21-9
Last 30 starts: 65.9%, 55-31 TD/INT, 94.8 rating
Fewer TDs, more INTs by Big Ben — and he's been a Pro Bowler/playoff QB in each of the past three years. Plus, he's also old and injury-prone.
Like Ryan, Roethlisberger has thrown for 30 or more TDs only half as many times as Romo. But like Romo, Roethlisberger has played 13 seasons ... and been much more durable, starting 185 games to Romo's 156. He's also won much more: a 123-60 career record compared to Romo's 78-49. But both Ben and Tony have won more than two-thirds of their past 30 starts.
Romo is a roll of the dice for any team given his age and injury history. But when he's healthy, it's clear he can be among the league's very best QBs.