Tony Romo leaves the game as one of the best QBs of the PFF era
Tony Romo has reportedly decided to bring his NFL career to a close, rather than explore playing options outside of Dallas in 2017.
Romo leaves the game having been the Dallas starter for the past decade before 2016 after entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois in 2003.
Romo may never have quite hit the heights he was capable of consistently, but for seven of his first nine seasons in the league he posted a PFF grade of over 80 over a season, including both of his first two years starting.
Perhaps the biggest issue over Romo’s career has been durability, or lack thereof. He played a full 16 games just four times in his career and on only one occasion (2009) did he play every snap of the season. That year, including the playoffs, he was on the field for 1,247 snaps without being forced from the game.
Over the past two years though, he has played just 244 snaps due to injuries, ultimately opening the door for 2016 rookie Dak Prescott to take the starter job going forward.
Romo at his best was an excellent QB, and he had a chance of proving that elsewhere in 2017, but any team he would have been playing for would have exposed him significantly more to hits from which he has proven very vulnerable in recent seasons. The Dallas offensive line has averaged 119 total pressures surrendered over the past two years and 54 sacks or hits. Denver and Houston, the two teams seen as front-runners for his signature if he had hit the open market, surrendered 208 and 210 total pressures last season, respectively, and combined to allow their QBs hit the ground 108 times.
Romo may have been able to hold up and show his talent again in either venue, but elected not to put his body at more risk of injury.
Ultimately he has enjoyed the most unlikely of NFL careers given his starting point in the NFL, and will go down as one of the best QBs of the past decade.