Eli Manning Tony Romo
There is no question that Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer. However, Tony Romo was absolutely the better quarterback. I’m not sure it’s debatable either. (GJ McCarthy/ Dallas Morning News)

Eli Manning recently retired and his Hall of Fame candidacy is a big topic of debate. Is Eli Manning really deserving of a spot in Canton? Whether you like it or not, Eli is going to get in. He won two Super Bowl as a quarterback for the New York Giants. He’s getting in and it’s not really worth debating cause it’s happening. What we can debate is just how great Eli Manning really was. Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer… BUT Tony Romo was better.

If we’re just being honest, Eli Manning was mostly average for a large chunk of his career. Take out the two playoff runs and there is a lot of ugly mixed in. Yes, Eli Manning ranks 4th in league history in touchdown passes. Manning’s biggest asset realistically was his durability. Manning compiled stats and was never hurt. That’s one of the biggest things he has going for him.

Let’s just be honest about this. Tony Romo was a better quarterback. In 16 career seasons, Manning threw 30 touchdowns in a year just three times. Romo did that 4 times in 13 years and never got an opportunity as early as Manning. Eli Manning never completed 60 percent of his throws until his 5th year in the league. Romo NEVER finished a season under 60 percent. Tony Romo was a hell of a lot better at protecting the football too.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re skeptical and that’s fine. However, a large part of the bias towards Eli is the fact that a former number one pick and Romo was undrafted. If Romo played in the league today, he likely would have transferred out of Eastern Illinois and he would have gotten picked. From a statistical perspective, there is no way to quantify Eli Manning being better than Tony Romo.

Eli Manning: 60.3%, 4.1 TD%, 3.4 INT%, Yards per Attempt – 7, Adjusted Net yards per attempt – 5.92, Rating – 84.1

Tony Romo: 65.3%, 5.7 TD%, 2.7 INT%, Yards per Attempt – 7.9, Adjusted Net yards per attempt – 7.03, Rating – 97.1

I think people forget how good Tony Romo was. Dallas wasn’t nearly as talented as they are now either. Romo dealt with some horrible offensive lines and got hurt often because of them. Eli Manning had some serious weapons and a defensive line that could take over a game. Tony Romo has the 4th highest passer rating in league history. Romo sits behind just Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees. Tony Romo was fucking GOOD.

Let’s also not forget that Eli Manning has a record of 117-117. Tony Romo has a record of 78-49. Romo also only had one great coach his entire career, Bill Parcells, and Jerry Jones ran him out of town. Eli Manning was gifted Tom Coughlin and the Giants kept him for the majority of his career.

Yes, Romo had fewer starts, but there is no question that Romo was the better player. Eli Manning will get into the Hall of Fame. There is no question about it. Tony Romo will not get into the Hall of Fame. Nevertheless, there is no way that you can possibly say Eli Manning was a better football player than Tony Romo. It’s not really debatable. Eli should thank his lucky stars that his Dad had enough power to get him to the Giants instead of the Chargers. You can’t take those Super Bowls away from Eli but Romo was consistently better over the course of their careers.

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