Before going down for the season and frustrating the heck out of fantasy owners who drafted him as their starting QB, Tony Romo was making those same owners look like geniuses through the Cowboys first five games. You can't, of course, take away the fact that he got injured, but you also can’t ignore the numbers he was accumulating to that point.
Check out these numbers for Romo in his first five games:
143 completions in 206 attempts for 1,566 yards and 10 TDs. That’s an average of 28.6 completions on 41.2 attempts for 313.2 yards and two TDs per game! My goodness!
Compute that out over a 16-game season, and you’re looking at a 69.4 percent completion percentage (which would be the fifth-best single-season percentage in NFL history), 5,011 yards (would be the third-most ever) and 32 TDs. On top of that, you can sprinkle in the fact that he would have averaged 21.3 fantasy points per game—a number that would have given him 340.8 for the season and the most total fantasy points in the league.
Unfortunately, these majestic numbers would become a mere pipe-dream when Tony broke his collarbone in the second quarter of the Cowboys sixth game.
Without their All-Pro QB, Dallas would go on to compile a losing record of 6-10 and break their streak of five-straight winning seasons. At the same time, many fantasy owners were left to wonder what might have been.
(Side note: In one of my fantasy leagues, the owner that drafted Romo did so in the second round and still ended up winning the Super Bowl due to some nifty trading that landed him Aaron Rodgers. Basically, never lose hope people!)
On the other hand, the good news for Romo fans and fantasy owners alike is that the QB has completely recovered from his collarbone injury, and will head into the 2011 season fresh and hungry.
With Miles Austin, Roy Williams (who was playing well with Romo healthy), a seasoned Dez Bryant and All-Pro Jason Witten set to return, the sky’s the limit for Tony. In fact, considering what we saw last season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him return to the top and crack the top five fantasy QBs in 2011.
2011 Pros & Cons
(+) Dallas has some of the best skill-position players in the NFL.
(+) Dez Bryant and Miles Austin have a chance to become the best WR combo in the league as early as this season.
(+) Romo finished in the top seven in fantasy points per start each year from 2006-2009.
(+) Averaged 21.3 fantasy points/game before he was injured last year, which would have placed him third in the league behind Vick and Rodgers at the end of the season.
(+) Since Romo became a starter in 2006, the Cowboys have consistently passed the ball more than they have run it.
(+) His latest injury aside, Romo is one of the most athletic QBs in the game.
(+) Dallas' inept head coach, Wade Phillips, was finally replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
(+) Plays on one of the biggest stages in American sports.
(–) Even though he is fully recovered from his collarbone injury, he might not come back to form immediately.
(–) With the Cowboys unable to figure out their running game, opposing defenses are able to focus on Romo that much more.
(–) Tony hasn’t been the most accurate of passers over his career (3.0 career interception percentage).
(–) The Cowboys offensive line isn’t what it used to be.
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