Fantasy Football 2011: Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo a Sound Prospect?

Eitan KatzAnalyst IIAugust 11, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 25:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a touchdown by Jason Witten against the New York Giants in the first quarter at Cowboys Stadium on October 25, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tony Romo is not only going to be a sound fantasy football prospect in 2011, he is going to be a top-five quarterback.

I know he got injured last season, but when has Romo ever not produced?

His quarterback rating has been above 90 in every season of his career. Yes, that includes his rookie season. If we take away his rookie year, the two times that he played all 16 games, he threw for over 4,200 yards.

What it boils down to is this, will Romo stay healthy?

Considering his injury last year and the fact that he has only played a full 16-game season three times during his five-year career, I think it is a pretty reasonable concern.

However, when it comes to quarterbacks, it is way too rare for these multiple injuries to occur, unless you are talking about Matthew Stafford. He has a shoulder problem.

Romo? I doubt that he breaks his collarbone again this season.

When he is healthy, Romo is superb. With some additions to his supporting cast this season (namely, Dez "Beast Mode" Bryant—my article, my nickname), Romo is primed to have another monster year.

Don't forget that touchdown-stealer Marion Barber is gone, so expect more play-action near the goal line.

Play-action inside the red zone is money. Just ask anyone who has had Peyton Manning or Tom Brady the last few years.

This year, Romo has two No. 1 wide receivers to work with and one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL.

Austin Miles, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are going to light up the scoreboard this year.

Miles is Romo's favorite big-play target and went over 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns the last time they played a full season together. Witten is a consistency machine. He has had 94 catches and 1,000-plus yards in each of the last two seasons.

Dez is really the only question mark. Not because he is not super talented—he clearly is—but because he doesn't really have any connection with Romo.


I expect Dez to take a giant step forward this season with Romo back full-time. Jon Kitna played admirably as Romo's backup, and his connection with Dez was obvious (they had played together in the preseason), but things are different now.

Romo has been playing with Dez in training camp, and Romo will be playing with Dez in the preseason. Once they get their connection down pat, the Cowboys passing offense is going to be insanely hard to contain.

So what does this all mean for Romo?

I project a 4,400-yard, 33-touchdown, 10-interception year for the good-looking kid from California.

He should be taken after Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick and Tom Brady, but he is now definitely in the discussion with Peyton Manning (neck injury), Drew Brees and Philip Rivers for that No. 4 spot.

Romo is going to slip in your draft because of last season's stink-bomb. Don't be the sucker who passes on him in the third round. He will be well worth it.