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Tony Romo: 3 Things Eli Manning Has That Romo Lacks

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIFebruary 1, 2012

Tony Romo: 3 Things Eli Manning Has That Romo Lacks

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    Dallas Cowboys fans may sit in front of their televisions on Sunday wondering why the New York Giants are in the Super Bowl while the Cowboys missed out on the playoffs. Cowboys fans may feel some bitterness towards the rival Giants as they go for their second Super Bowl title in five years.

    Some Cowboys fans may look at Giants quarterback Eli Manning wondering why he has it so good. Cowboys fans may wonder why Manning has pushed his team back to the Super Bowl while Tony Romo couldn't push the Cowboys over the hump.

    There's something to be said for where Manning and Romo are at. This isn't about Manning being a better quarterback than Romo. Also, it has nothing to do with Manning coming from a quarterback family or a big-time college conference.

    This discussion goes beyond the stats posted by Manning and Romo.

    What Manning has on Romo largely happens outside of his control and is, to some degree, intangible.

    Read along to see a few things Manning has on Romo.

A Defense That Makes Stops When Needed

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    The Giants put the pressure on late in the game. Jason Pierre-Paul aided Eli Manning with a blocked field goal in Week 14 against the Dallas Cowboys to seal the victory. The Giants forced the San Francisco 49ers into three-and-outs in the last three full drives of the NFC Championship Game.

    In Week 8, the Giants forced the Miami Dolphins into two three-and-outs and a turnover in their three fourth-quarter possessions as the Giants rallied to victory.

    Meanwhile, the Cowboys haven't always been able to hold up for Tony Romo late in the game. They let the Arizona Cardinals back in the game late, and then allowed one big play in overtime that ended it. Against the New England Patriots, the Cowboys couldn't make stops in the fourth quarter, giving up two touchdowns.

    In Week 14, the Cowboys pass rush swung hard and missed, unable to put pressure on Manning. The Cowboys let the Giants come back from a double-digit deficit as they picked up big chunks of yards in the air.

    In Week 17, when Romo made his last stand for the season, bringing the Cowboys back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to within seven, the Cowboys defense couldn't keep the Giants out of the end zone.

    As many would say, it's often hard for a quarterback to pull off a close win when the defense doesn't do its job.

Elite Status

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    Sooner or later, one must concede that Eli Manning is among the elite NFL quarterbacks. He has a Super Bowl ring, three straight 4,000-yard passing seasons and is brushing off the label as an inaccurate quarterback. Manning overcomes interceptions to put together victories.

    Manning has made a name for himself as a clutch quarterback. In both 2007 and 2011, Manning had six comeback victories. This season two-thirds of the Giants wins were comebacks led by Manning. He set a record with 15 fourth-quarter touchdowns.

    Tony Romo is building his reputation, but he's still definitely not an elite quarterback. Romo had his heroics of his own this season. He led four comeback wins, including two with a broken rib. He brought down his interception rate and became more accurate this season.

    With two blown games in 2011, he's still trying to lose the label as a choke artist.

    Questions loom whether Romo could become a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. He's only one playoff game. He's struggled in the playoffs, posting an 80.8 passer rating in four playoff games.

Luck

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    Eli Manning has had greater fortune than Tony Romo in his career. He had a key drive in Super Bowl XLII sustained by a catch David Tyree made against his helmet, one of the most freakish plays imaginable. Manning was lucky to have Jason Pierre-Paul block Dan Bailey in Week 14.

    Manning had the fortune of Kyle Williams muffing a punt in overtime to set up a short field for the Giants' game-winning field goal in the NFC Championship Game.

    Romo has seen his share of misfortune just this year. He bruised his hand in Week 16 on a freak mishap that is still difficult to understand when looking at the replay. Two losses came when Dan Bailey missed field goals after being iced, including one instance in which his own coach iced him. Bailey hit the mark before being iced each time.

    Some quarterbacks catch breaks when they need them, and some don't. Super Bowl winners get lucky at least a few times in the course of a season.

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