Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) shakes hands with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) after the game at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants 36-31. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Battles: Eli Manning vs Tony Romo

Quarterback Battles: Eli Manning vs Tony Romo

Technically, even with training camp just around the corner, it’s still the offseason. And thus, offseason topics rage on. Recently Eli Manning was left off another list, which Giants 101 covered in this piece titled: Tony Romo Listed as One of NFL’s “Most Clutch” Quarterbacks; Eli Manning Left Off List. The writer, Dan Benton seemed heated:

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been credited with 25 4th quarterback comebacks and 30 game-winning drives — two of them coming in the Super Bowl — while also setting an NFL record with 15 4th quarterback touchdown passes in 2011. Yet when NFL Network ranked the Top 10 Most Clutch Quarterbacks in the NFL, Manning was not among them.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was, but Eli Manning was not.

When my colleague @AdamGaneles informed my of this news, he also said:

“This is laughable.”

At the time, I resisted making a post, as it’s the offseason after all — lists are meant to stir people up. Our friends over at seemed very much stirred indeed, in this savvy satirical stir: Romo vs. Eli: Debunking the Comeback Stat. The article featured this tweet from the four letter that also attested to Tony Romo’s offseason parade as a much heralded clutch quarterback:

At GMEN HQ, we recommend reading ‘the comeback stat‘, as it’s a great read where the staff at PC does an excellent job of questioning the value of Romo’s victories versus the true tests that Eli Manning faced over the same time span. It’s brilliant logic and word play that should be enjoyable for any Giants fan. That said, around here, we try to look at the New York Football Giants with a sense of humor, while having passion for the sport and valid gridiron information. With a QB Battle of this magnitude we can simply say two Super Bowls wins, then turn and walk away from the fight without a care. Yet, we’ll oblige Tony Romo’s fans more respect than that. He’s a good regular season QB that has plentiful shiny numbers:

  • 208 Touchdowns to only *gasp* 101 INT’s.
  • Rushed for 546 yards and 5 TD’s
  • Four 4,000+ yard passing seasons
  • Started 108 games – Won 63. That’s a 58.3 Win%
  • 29,545 passing yards and 64.6 Cmp%
  • 23 game winning drives
  • One playoff win against the Eagles (a team that’s never won a Super Bowl, like Romo)
  • Three playoff losses – Seahawks, Giants, Vikings
  • 24/7 coverage on every network

That’s an impressive list. Let’s take a look at Eli Manning:

  • 229 TD’s to 171 INT’s (coincidentally, all picks were thrown last season)
  • Rushed for 431 yards and four TD’s
  • Three 4,000+ yard passing seasons
  • Started 151 games – Won 85. That’s a 56.2 WIn %
  • 35,345 passing yards and 58.5 Cmp%
  • 30 game winning drives
  • Eight playoff wins, including two Super Bowls
  • Three playoff losses – Eagles, Eagles, Panthers
  • 24/7 coverage on every Network as other Manning brother

Here’s the thing — stats can be manipulated in any writer’s favor. I’m truly an idiot, but even I can make a compelling case for anything if given the right platform to write, tools and insight. In this case, I used the profiles of Tony Romo and Eli Manning with the help of the good people over at Pro Football Reference, who supply stats going as far back as their efforts to find them. Thank you nameless, faceless people. Regardless of stats, the truth lies in the results on the field, and that’s the best way to put it. Because depending on how you use stats and information, sometimes the truth… lies. On the field of play, fanatics watch the Giants win it all in a field of 32 teams some years (2007 and 2011), and as such, read a voluminous array of people telling them they’re the champions. It stills shows when you ask who’s better on Twitter: Eli or Tony?


On everything from hats to baby boots, twice in the last seven years, everything has told the New York Football Giants fanatics that they were the best in the world. This has been the case with Eli Manning, magnified. In those years, Eli Manning could make a case for being the best QB on the planet. In years where he doesn’t win, he is measured against that success, which is impossible to live up to every year. Just ask Tom Brady’s legacy the last decade of Super Bowl drought. People and fanatics alike tire of the losses and spoiled hope. In Dallas, that’s all their fanatics have, glory days, hope that Tony Romo can turn a regular season gift into a Super Bowl present. But every year after Christmas, Romo turns those dreams into coal even if he’s lucky enough to make the playoffs.

That’s gotta be frustrating for Cowboys fans.

In the offseason, these lists and battles pray on the newfound hope that every new football season brings. IDEA: Show them how Clutch Tony Romo is, maybe they’ll believe again this year. But the thing is, they should believe. Dallas fans should hope Tony Romo turns the corner. The reality is he probably won’t and the Dallas fans will be left wanting… again… but it’s no different from Giants fans hoping Ben McAdoo will step into a offensive coordinator NFL role for the first time in his career and have Super Bowl results.

It’s far fetched, but people hope anyway. For this battle, it’s about pride. Giants fans versus Cowboys fans. A rivalry that surpasses my life time. For this current duo of QB’s in the rivalry, you have to give the edge to Eli Manning. He’s had a longer career, although their the same age, he’s won championships and he’s simply done more in the NFL than Tony Romo.

For Giants fans, that’s the perspective to take. Eli Manning has had his moments, he’s been at the top of lists, he’s been at the bottom of them too. At 33 years old, with more Super Bowl rings than his legendary older brother, it’s okay to just sit back and laugh at lists like this, and at the Cowboys hopes and dreams of Tony Romo’s make believe success. Because in just a couple days, NFL camps will be in full grind and the real battles will begin to play out on the gridiron. For the Giants and Eli Manning, that includes a pair of contests against Tony Romo’s Dallas Cowboys:

Week 7

Week 12

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