|The Eli Manning vs. Tony Romo debate has been raging over the airwaves this offseason.|
Cowboys fans contend the argument isn't close, Romo by a landslide. The Giants fans feel the Super Bowl victory ends the debate. Cowboys fans are quick to remind Giants fans that most of the Big Blue faithful were trying to run Eli Manning out of town halfway through the 2007 season. The Giants fans keep asking how can the Cowboys fans be so loyal to a guy who has never won a playoff game? The raging debate has been spirited, to say the least, as fans get emotional. I thought it would be a good time to tag the argument with some facts and figures.
Eli Manning and Tony Romo have both played enough in the past two seasons to compare their production. While Romo has been in the NFL longer, Eli Manning has been on the field longer. Some categories can be compared head-to-head while others will be discussed by percentages. My intent is not to direct you to decide which man is the best player, but to help you decide which guy you like more and at least have some facts to back up the opinion in case you run into a Cowboys/Giants argument over the summer.
Let's start at the top and work backward.
The playoff comparison
Eli Manning is now 4-2 in playoff games, including a victory in Super Bowl XLII. Romo is 0-2 in playoff games. Eli Manning has completed 59.7 percent of his passes; Romo has connected on 53.8 percent. Eli Manning has thrown a touchdown pass 1:20.5 pass attempts, Romo has hit pay dirt 1:32.5 attempts. Manning has been sacked 1:13 attempts in the playoffs; Romo has only gone to the turf 1:17 throws. Eli Manning averages 6.8 yards per pass attempt and 11.5 yards per completion. Romo averages 6.0 yards per attempt and 11.1 per completion. Advantage: Manning
Regular season comparison
Over the past two seasons Eli Manning has thrown 1,051 passes to Romo's 857 so there is enough similarity to weigh the results. Eli Manning connected on 57 percent of his passes with 47 touchdown passes and 38 interceptions; he was sacked 52 times. Tony Romo completed 65 percent of his passes with 55 touchdowns and 32 interceptions; he was sacked 45 sacks. Advantage: Romo
There's not a coach alive who doesn't say your team has to be built to win the division. Since Eli Manning took over as the QB, the Giants have gone 14-10 in the division, winning 58.3% of their games. Romo has gone 6-5 in the division, winning 54.5% of their games. Romo is closing in on Eli Manning but the Giants QB has never had a losing division record in four years, while Romo went 1-3 his first year. Advantage: Manning
Personal stats (last two seasons)
Eli Manning has connected on 69 passes over 20 yards. Romo has done it 73 times in 194 less attempts. As for 300-yard passing games, Eli Manning has just six in his career and three over the past two years, recording a 2-1 record in those games. Romo has hit the 300 mark 10 times in the past two seasons and boasts a 9-1 record in those games. Advantage: Romo
So after this breakdown it is a split decision, but if you like playoff football and division play Eli Manning is the winner. If you like regular season and personal achievements then Romo is the winner.
Have a football-related question for Pat that you would like answered in a future column? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. "Movin' the Chains," Pat's SIRIUS NFL Radio show with co-host Tim Ryan, can be heard weekdays from 3-7 p.m. ET.