Have you ever gone to a really nice restaurant for a special occasion? Perhaps it’s a birthday or an anniversary. Before you went out you and your significant other agreed that this would be a night all about spoiling yourselves. You decide to start with an appetizer, the crab cakes and they are awesome. They are one of the best appetizers that you have ever had. Unfortunately, the dinner quickly goes downhill. The Steak from your surf and turf is overcooked and the garlic mashed potatoes are cold. The waiter isn’t very attentive so you are constantly left with an empty drink. The whole experience is disappointing and leaves you feeling like you invested way too much money in an average meal.
The next day on your way home from work you stop at a little diner in the middle of nowhere. The prices blow your mind compared to what you spent the night before. The crab cakes are $2.00 and the surf and turf is $7.00 which is one tenth of what you spent the night before. The food is awesome and the waiter is very attentive. While it’s not the best meal you have ever had, it is superior to the one you had the night before.
I know this is a weird way to start out an article that compares Tony Romo to Jay Cutler, but if you keep reading you will understand why Romo is the amazing diner and Cutler is the overpriced garbage. In order to get to the end though we have to start at the beginning.
Jay was selected with the 11th pick of the 2006 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He attended the college of Vanderbilt, where he amassed an amazing 11 wins in 46 games. In games within the SEC he was 5 and 27 during his tenure. Heading into his senior year Jay was a pretty pedestrian quarterback. But, during his senior season Cutler’s play made a statement that earned him the SEC offensive player of the year award. He was also a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, which is given to the best senior QB in the nation each season. One of the highlights of his time at Vanderbilt was when he almost led his team to a victory over the 13th ranked Florida Gators. Jay did put up some great stats when he was in college, but what he didn’t do was win.
Tony didn’t make it to a top college instead he attended Eastern Illinois University, a Division I-AA school. While at EIU, Romo would win the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year award for his sophomore, junior and senior season. During his senior season he also won the Walter Payton award, which is given to the best Division I-AA player. It is pretty much the Heisman Trophy for Division I-AA players. Romo though didn’t cost a first round draft pick; shockingly, Romo was an undrafted free agent.
On To the Pros
Heading into the NFL, Cutler looked like the favorite to have the better career, in fact, there was a question about whether or not Romo would even make it on a team. Romo’s skills though, had caught the eye of the brilliant Bill Parcells. Parcells and the Dallas Cowboys ended up inviting Romo to training camp where he impressed them enough to not only make the team but was eventually given the starting job.
Both of the future Pro Bowlers saw their first start during the 2006 NFL season. Romo started 10 of the Cowboys games starting week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Cutler on the other hand started 5 games starting in week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks. Romo ended up going 6 and 4 as a starter and led the Cowboys to the playoffs while Cutler went 2 and 3. Romo finished the season with a QB rating of 95.1 which was just barely ahead of Cutler’s rating of 88.5.
Romo’s 2007 season earned him a spot in his second Pro Bowl to go with over 4,200 yards passing and 36 passing TDs. Cutler had a solid season, but finished with less passing yards(4,211 to 3,497), less passing TDs (36 to 20) and a lower QB rating (97.4 to 88.1). Surprisingly, Jay Cutler has never finished a season with a QB rating higher than 89.2 while Romo has never finished a season with a QB rating less than 90.5. Even during Cutler’s Pro Bowl 2008 season he finished with 1 less touchdown pass than Romo despite playing 3 more games.
After the 2008 NFL season Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears for 2 first round draft picks a third round pick and Kyle Orton. Not only did Romo outperform Cutler during the 2009 NFL season, but so did Kyle Orton making Bears’ fans blow up sports radio lines with anti-Cutler sentiment. Cutler finished the season with a pathetic QB rating of 76.8 compared to Romo’s rating of 97.6 and Orton’s rating of 86.8. Cutler finished 13th in yards, 8th in touchdown passes and led the league in interceptions.
The 2013 NFL season offers even more evidence of Romo’s supremacy over Cutler. Despite playing in four more games than Cutler, Romo finished with less interceptions (10-Romo, 12-Cutler). Over the past three seasons, Cutler has failed to start 16 games in any of them, while Romo has started 47 of a possible 48 games.
Not only did Jay cost the Broncos the 11th pick in the draft, but he ended up costing the Bears 2 more first round picks. That’s 3 first round picks on a QB that has never finished a season with a TD to interception ratio better than 7 and a QB rating above 90. Meanwhile, Tony Romo cost the Cowboys nothing yet he has had 5 seasons with a TD to interception ration higher than 15 with 2 seasons above 20. He has never produced a QB rating under 90 and for some reason continues to be disrespected day after day.
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So far I’m pretty sure the Broncos won that trade, but who knows maybe Cutler will shock the world and play in all 16 games. I know that hindsight is 20/20 but I ask you readers, who really should have been a first round draft pick? If you disagree with me, feel free to leave a comment.