5 Reasons Why Eli Manning Is a Better Quarterback Than Tony Romo

Doug RushSenior Analyst IJuly 15, 2012

5 Reasons Why Eli Manning Is a Better Quarterback Than Tony Romo

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    It's the one debate Giants and Cowboys fans always have.

    Eli Manning or Tony Romo. Which is the better quarterback?

    Giants fans have their reasons as to why Manning is the better quarterback.

    While on the other side, Dallas fans will swear up and down why Romo is better.

    It's kind of like the Joe Montana vs John Elway debate. Or the Steve Young vs Troy Aikman one.

    And I guess you can throw in the Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady one in too.

    I am here to give my opinion on the debate, siding with Manning.

    I'll expect the Dallas fanbase to accuse me of being a homer, but that's fine, because I expect it.

    But here goes. Here are five reasons why Manning is a better quarterback than Romo.

Game-Winning Drives

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    There's two minutes left in the game. Your team is down by four and you need a touchdown to win the game.

    Your team has the ball, two timeouts and is starting on its own 25-yard line.

    Who do you want with the ball in his hands to win the game? Manning or Romo?

    Romo has engineered 14 game-winning drives in his career, which is a decent number.

    Manning, however, has engineered 25 game-winning drives in his career.

    Manning's very first game-winning drive of his career was also his first career win in the NFL; back on Jan. 2, 2005 where the Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 on Sunday Night Football.

    In 2011, Manning had eight of them, which led the league and helped establish a claim that he is one of the most clutch players in the NFL.

    Two of the game-winning drives that Manning has led have come in the Super Bowl. Eli put the Giants on his back both times in each game and lead the Giants downfield to knock off the Patriots in the final minutes.

    Players are really put to the test in the fourth quarter and their character in big games is established in these moments.

    To answer the question from before, I'd want Eli Manning leading my team downfield with the ball in his hands to win my team a game.

Playoffs Reached

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    Getting to the playoffs is a big deal.

    Actually, it's a really big deal because we measure athletes by what they do in the playoffs and in championship games.

    You can be the best quarterback in the league, but if you can't get to the playoffs with your team, then what good are you?

    While as the quarterback of the Cowboys, Tony Romo has gotten Dallas to the playoffs three times (2006, 2007 and 2009.)

    He's been the Cowboys quarterback for six seasons now, so he's led his team 50 percent of the time to the playoffs.

    On the other side, while as the quarterback of the Giants, Eli Manning has gotten New York to the playoffs five times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011).

    Manning has been the Giants quarterback for eight seasons now, so he's lead his team to the playoffs 62.5 percent of the time.

    Both number of times and percentage wise go to Eli here.

Playoff Wins

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    The playoff record between these two is no contest.

    Tony Romo's playoff record is 1-3.

    Romo and the Cowboys lost to the Seattle Seahawks back in the 2006 Wild Card round 21-20 and you can put a lot of the blame on Romo for that game.

    Romo botched the snap of a potential game-winning field goal by Martin Gramatica that would have won the game for Dallas, but instead cost them the game.

    Romo and the Cowboys also lost to the Giants in the 2007 divisional round 21-17, and while not all the blame goes to Romo, he made the biggest turnover of it.

    The Cowboys were driving and attempting to win the game, and Romo lobs a pass in the air towards Terry Glenn in the end zone, but was picked off by R.W McQuarters to end the game and send the Giants on to the NFC Championship Game.

    In 2009, Romo finally won his first playoff game against the Eagles 34-14, but then the following week, the Cowboys were upended by the Vikings 34-3 in a game that was never close from the beginning.

    Eli Manning's playoff record is 8-3.

    Two of the three losses Manning suffered were at the hands of the Eagles in 2006 and 2008. The one in 2008 was even worse because the Giants had a first-round bye, had home-field advantage as the NFC's No. 1 seed and were beaten 23-11.

    In the other one against the Panthers in 2005, it might have been one of the worst games in Eli's career, as the Giants were defeated 23-0 and Manning threw three picks with no touchdowns.

    Despite those losses, Manning has led the Giants to two playoff runs ending in Super Bowl victories.

    In 2007, the Giants knocked off the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Packers, then defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

    In 2011, the Giants knocked off the Falcons, Packers and 49ers, then again defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.

    Manning also has two Super Bowl MVP awards to go with his playoff record as well.

    Playoff wise, Manning is superior to Romo.

Head-to-Head

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    While as the starting quarterback for their respective teams, Eli Manning and Tony Romo have played against each other a total of 11 times.

    In 2006, the Giants won 36-22 at Texas Stadium back on Oct. 23 (this was Romo's debut as a starter, who took over for Drew Bledsoe). The Cowboys won the re-match 23-20 at Giants Stadium on Dec. 3.

    In 2007, the Cowboys won 45-35 on Sept. 9 at Texas Stadium and won 31-20 at Giants Stadium on Nov. 11. On Jan. 13, 2008, the Giants won 21-17 at Texas Stadium in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs.

    In 2008, Romo was injured for the game on Nov. 2 at Giants Stadium, but eventually returned to the team later on and won 20-8 at Texas Stadium on Dec. 14.

    In 2009, the Giants won 33-31 in the opening game of Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 20. The Giants again won 31-24 at Giants Stadium on Dec. 6.

    In 2010, the Giants won 41-35 at Cowboys Stadium on Oct. 25. The Cowboys won the re-match three weeks later 33-20 on Nov. 14 at MetLife Stadium.

    In 2011, the Giants won 37-34 at Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 11. The Giants won the re-match 31-14 on Jan. 1 in the game that decided who would win the NFC East title and advance to the postseason.

    Head-to-head, Eli has won six to five. In those six wins, two of them were either in the playoffs or decided a playoff fate.

The Super Bowl Winning Factor

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    I can see where some fans might try to counter this point.

    They are going to argue and say while Dan Marino and Jim Kelly never won a Super Bowl, but Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson did, but that doesn't make Dilfer or Johnson better than Marino or Kelly.

    And in that case, that is a valid argument because hands down, Marino and Kelly are Hall of Fame quarterbacks, while Dilfer and Johnson were mediocre at best.

    With Eli Manning and Tony Romo, that's not the case.

    With Manning, he's not only won a Super Bowl, but he's won two with the Giants. He joins a list of players like Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady as players who won multiple Super Bowls with one team.

    Romo on the other hand has yet to get the Cowboys past the second round of the playoffs.

    With Romo, who knows if Romo will ever get Dallas to the big stage and into a Super Bowl. It remains to be seen and a lot of people think that as long as Romo plays for Dallas, they'll never get there.

    With Eli, the Giants have been there and done it twice. Manning makes the Giants a contender who can win in big games.

    Without Manning, the Giants don't stand a chance to win much. But with him, they make the playoffs and win Super Bowls. The Giants don't win Super Bowl XLII and XLVI without Eli Manning.

    In the case of Marino and Dilfer, the Super Bowl argument doesn't apply, because if anyone tried to argue in Dilfer's case, they shouldn't be watching football.

    But in the case of Manning and Romo, it does apply, and in the end, Eli Manning is the better quarterback.