Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/3/12

Everybody wants a Tom Brady, with his confidence, decision-making, work ethic and above average arm strength (not to mention, that chin and hair).  Okay, so there’s only one Tom Brady and 96.875% of NFL fans can’t root for him, so what now? 

Same goes for Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. 

The second tier of NFL quarterbacks is kind of a revolving door, where some weeks Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning are there, the next they’re not, replaced by Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Joe Flacco, or it’s some temporary combination of those mentioned.

Then there's the scrutiny-laden third tier, where there are flashes of great QB play muddied by “what-the-BLANK-was-that” turnovers and Gosh-darn-it body language.  No one exemplifies life in this third tier more than two quarterbacks who played on Monday night, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys.

As an admitted Dallas fan, watching Tony Romo play like he did last night makes me want to kick newborn puppies across the room.  He makes me want to burn down children’s hospitals.  And what’s worse is the body language:  the look of an infant who just had their favorite toy taken by a slightly bigger infant, yet he does nothing about it, just pouts and kicks cans at an age where it would be perfectly normal for them to fight back. 

After watching a performance like that of Romo on Monday night, I feel a crippling illness come over me, like I should walk out in public and hand a complete stranger my wallet, or my laptop, or my daughter…anything of value to me, and then stand there as I watch them run the other way with it. 

A performance like this leaves me longing for the days of Troy Aikman, where it might not be a flashy aerial assault like the top tier QBs of today’s game, but it was a W.  And Troy Aikman always looked the part, like he was sure to leave the game in a limo or ride away from the stadium on horseback, either scenario believable and sure to involve beautiful women and the smell of musk. 

Win or lose, none of this sticks with Tony Romo, who looks like he will go home after a game in a compact car and make himself a bowl of soup once he gets there.

I am not a Bears fan but have to assume the same goes for watching Jay Cutler, a player with the same gun-slinger type mentality as Romo.  And it dawns on me that the two are, basically, the same player.  Both can play at a high level, albeit inconsistently, and both can be Pro-Bowlers. 

Where one has a stronger arm, the other might have a little more ‘touch’.  They both are leading popular teams in major media markets and have not reached the expected or desired potential that those fan-bases yearn for.  Both are, by different measures, smart guys:  Cutler, a Vanderbilt Grad and Romo an avid golfer, a game that you have to at least have a full deck to be able to play well.

So since no two QBs are created equal, what’s the difference you might ask? 


Romo cares too much, wetting himself on the biggest stages, especially at home, where last year I personally experienced the home crowd boo him when his name was announced during introduction of the offensive starters.  When things go poorly, he tanks.  He throws a pick, and you get the feeling he hopes they call running plays the rest of the game.  

Cutler just doesn’t care.  Okay, he might care, but he seems like he doesn’t, and I don’t always think that’s a bad thing.  He throws a pick?  So what, he might throw another one, or he might throw a touchdown, either way, he doesn’t really care what you think about him or his performance. 

He’s a diabetic, has to have insulin shots during games, but he doesn’t care, and he doesn’t expect you to feel bad for him nor does he use it as a crutch.  He constantly looks like he’s going to flip-off a fan or ignore a coach or argue with a teammate, and as a Dallas fan, I like that and would love to see some of that in Romo. 

Cutler can play, Romo can play.  Their difference is in what they let get to them.  With Romo, it’s everything.  With Cutler, it’s not enough. 

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents


U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker