After entering the league as an Undrafted Free Agent, Tony Romo has enjoyed quite the career. All time leader for the Dallas Cowboys in passing yards (34,183), passing touchdowns (248), 300 yard passing games (46) and games with multiple touchdown passes thrown (79), he is also 4th all time on the list of passing yards from a UDFA. Granted, these numbers pale into insignificance when you consider that players he is ahead of on the Cowboys list, namely Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, won five Super Bowls between them, but this should not cloud what was a magical ride. How different things might have been had Cowboys mogul Jerry Jones accepted a trade offer from the New Orleans Saints in the summer of 2006. The image below, courtesy of RotoViz, shows just how important to the Cowboys Tony Romo has been, as you see the difference in offensive output and wins when he missed games between 2006-14.
Silverware aside, Romo’s career has resembled something of a fairytale. So it is only apt that we look at the impact he had on fantasy football, from the 2006 season when he wrested the Cowboys starting gig from Drew Bledsoe to 2014, before serious injuries brought an abrupt end to his reign as Cowboys signal caller.
In all, Tony Romo finished as a top 12 fantasy QB seven times in the nine seasons between 2006 and 2014. The two times he finished outside of the top tier was in 2006, when he played in just ten games (still finished as QB16) and 2010 when injury ruled him out of all but six outings. He was the QB2 in 2007 as the Cowboys went 13-3, largely on the back of Romo’s career high 36 touchdowns. Between 2011-2014, he never finished lower than QB10, with his all round performance in 2014 nothing short of astounding. He threw just 435 times, the fewest attempts in any season of his career in which he played at least 14 games, yet paced the league in completion percentage with 69.9, touchdown rate (touchdowns per pass attempt) with 7.8, and passing yards per attempt with 8.5. He finished the season with “just” 3705 yards, but tossed 34 touchdowns against nine picks.
During his golden era, Tony Romo averaged 16.45 fantasy points per game, good enough for the 11th most among quarterbacks in that span, and his haul of 2502.40 total PPR (Points Per Reception) points between 2006-14 is good enough for QB7. As a player who was frequently available in the later rounds of drafts, in most formats, he was responsible for many a league championship victory in fantasy football. At his pomp, he was a player who will be sadly missed not just by Cowboys fans, but by fantasy players who knew that title winning gold came from the QB with the star on his helmet. Mind you, after finishing as QB6 and averaging 17.93 fantasy points per game last season, Dak Prescott could carry on the Romo legacy of fantasy excellence. But as with the best fairytales, I hope Tony Romo does in fact live happily ever after.