We wish Dan Graziano well in his new gig as NFC East blogger for ESPN. Hey Dan, this is not the way to ingratiate yourself into the good graces of New York Giants fans, though. Tom Romo above Eli Manning in the rankings of NFC East quarterbacks?
Michael Vick No. 1 I am guessing Giants fans can deal with. Based on last season, it is hard to argue with. But, Romo over Manning. Giants' fans thought the last ESPN NFC East blogger was a Dallas homer. At least he could say he was a former Dallas area newspaper guy. You? You live in Jersey, for crying out loud. And you're taking Romo over Manning? Best not let Giants' fans know where you live.
I know it's a supposedly impartial, subjective ranking. I am not even sure I want to argue about it. I'm happy with Eli, and the rest doesn't matter. Maybe Romo is better, statistically. Maybe Eli is better because he has done it at the biggest moments. Maybe this is like arguing Nomar Garciaparra vs. Derek Jeter.
Here, by the way, Is Graziano's argument. And, to his credit, he does not disparage Manning.
For me, Romo/Manning is pretty close. I had no doubts about picking Vick No. 1 and going with Manning and Romo, in some order, for the next two. But I did think a fair bit about what that order should be. In the end, I went with Romo, because ranking them tied for second would have felt like a cop-out and because I feel like Romo is the better all-around player/thrower/decision-maker at this point in time. But I don't think he's better by much, and if I were picking third in this draft I wouldn't be devastated to be "stuck" with Eli Manning. I'd just give Romo the slight edge right now if I were picking second.
Record-wise, Manning of course has the 4-3 playoff record to Romo's 1-3. All four of Manning's playoff wins were in the same postseason, but one was against Romo and the fourth was a Super Bowl victory over what may have been the greatest team of all time. This needs to be factored in when weighing these guys' career accomplishments against each other.
But I still think the question was about who's currently better. And it's not as if Manning has clearly been the better player in the three years since. Romo has him in yards per game (269.7 to 233.3), completion percentage (63.6 to 61.7) and TD/INT ratio (2.1 to 1.5) in that time. Manning has him in winning percentage (.612 to .568) and has of course been healthier, playing 49 games (counting playoffs, because I think we should) to Romo's 37 over the past three seasons. Like I said, it's close. Not sure there's a "wrong" call on this one.
Now, Dan, if Giants fans know where you live you'd best stay out of sight for a while.