Cowboys vs. Jets Sunday Night: Is Tony Romo or Mark Sanchez Game's Top QB?

Cian Fahey@CianafFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01:  Mark Sanchez #6 talks with Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets during their pre-season game at MetLife Stadium on September 1, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez are two of the most scrutinized quarterbacks in the NFL. It comes as no surprise considering that they both play in such major markets as Dallas and New York.

When you compare the two it is very difficult to argue that either are elite performers but there is no doubt in my mind who is the better player.

Mark Sanchez has been to two AFC Championship games in his first two seasons as an NFL quarterback, accumulating four playoff wins in that time.

Tony Romo has played in four playoff games and won just one. However at this point there is no doubt in my mind that Tony Romo is the better quarterback.

Romo may win this debate by default but nonetheless he wins it. Many people will claim that I am down on Sanchez because there are a lot of people out there in the media that do like to rag on the early success that he has had in his career.

I won't do that but I also won't give him the credit that many others do. Sanchez has done well to this point in his career as he has not made the mistakes that many quarterbacks as inexperienced as he is at this level would have made.

However he has never carried the bulk of the offensive load in New York. He has always been a complementary piece to the running game and elite defense that the Jets have built their success on. That isn't a knock against him but you cannot celebrate him as a great or even good quarterback at this point in his career.

The third year is generally the point in a quarterback's career when he is fully developed and you can finally see what type of player he will be throughout the remainder of his career.

It is simply unfair to judge Sanchez at this point in his career. The best thing that you can say about him is that he hasn't lost the team many games or hindered their level of success—well, relative level of success.

Tony Romo may draw the ire of many NFL fans across the league including some in Dallas but he has the statistics to back up those that claim he is a good quarterback. Romo's career rating of 95.5 is more than impressive while his touchdown-to-interception ratio is almost 2:1.

He is not an elite player but he has proven that he can carry the Cowboys' offense as he has thrown for at least 20 touchdowns in three of his five NFL seasons. Last season he threw 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions in six starts.

That ratio isn't impressive but when you consider the protection problems in Dallas last year many of those interceptions cannot be held over his head.

Tony Romo is not an elite quarterback but he is a good quarterback capable of carrying his offense and winning football games without a strong running game or good defense. Dallas scored at least 20 points in five of the six games Romo featured in last year.

Mark Sanchez has relied on a running game and strong defense the past two seasons. This year if the Jets are to finally get over the hump of the AFC Championship then they will need Sanchez to step up and prove that he is not just a game manager.

At this point in their respective careers as they face off on Monday night, Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez