Everybody knows that Tony Romo is coming off back surgery, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to limp around in the pocket as the Dallas Cowboys go 4-12. I think Romo could actually end up challenging for the NFL MVP.
Recent odds provided by Bovada have Romo’s chances of capturing the award at 50-1. There are 13 quarterbacks who have better odds than he does going into the season. I think it’s unlikely he will win the award as long as players like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are still under center, but Romo will have comparable numbers.
Manning, Brady and Rodgers have been the last three quarterbacks to win the award. In the three years that Manning won, he averaged 4,661 yards and 38 touchdowns. That number is swayed slightly by his 55-TD performance last season. Brady won it twice in that time period, and he averaged 4,353 yards and 43 TDs. He also had a record-breaking performance at the time with his 50-TD season in 2007.
In Rodgers’ award-winning season, he threw for 4,643 yards and tossed 45 TDs. When all of those numbers are compiled, the typical MVP season for a quarterback would look something like 4,552 yards and 42 TDs.
Romo has had four seasons where he threw for over 4,000 yards. Although he’s never thrown for 40 scores, he’s had three seasons where he threw for over 30 scores. That was good enough to land Manning two MVP awards and enough for Brady to snag one.
Romo obviously has the ability to rack up the stats to be in contention for MVP honors, but there is one big reason why he won’t be able to actually take home the award, and that is his number of wins.
The other three quarterbacks averaged between 13 and 14 wins in their MVP seasons. Unfortunately for Romo, he’s only had two seasons in which he’s had double-digit wins. The Cowboys’ defense is riddled with uncertainty and question marks. Who knows if they will be able to hold up their end of the bargain and close out games?
He has the tools and weapons to get things done. He still has his security blanket in Jason Witten. On the outside, he has a top-five wide receiver in Dez Bryant and a speedy second-year compliment in Terrance Williams. Factor in contributions from red-zone targets like Devin Street and Gavin Escobar, and his numbers might be through the roof.
If that isn’t enough, he also has DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar out of the backfield who can do major damage in the open field.
Many things have to fall in place for Romo to have one of those magical seasons that lands him the NFL MVP, but his history has shown us he can put up the necessary numbers to contend.