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Redskins-Cowboys matchups: quarterbacks

So entering this post, the Redskins and Cowboys are tied at 2-2 in my matchups. I will declare who I believe has the edge, but this is a comparison, not a matchup.

Let's start with quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb is in a new city playing with a new team and learning a new system. Tony Romo joined the Cowboys as free agent in 2003 and had his first start in 2006, so he has been with his team his entire career and has been with Wade since 2007. Advantage: Romo.

Although he's new to the team, McNabb is a proven winner. Since entering the NFL in 1999, McNabb set the following team records in Philadelphia:

Career attempts -- 4,303
Career completions -- 2,534
Passing yards -- 29,320
Passing touchdowns -- 203
Single-season completions -- 345, 2008 season
Single-season Yards -- 3,916, 2008 season
NFC championship appearances -- five

Romo has no such distinctions on his resume, so if I had to choose who I want to lead my team, I'm going with McNabb. Advantage: McNabb.

Romo has more talent at wide receiver and a deep stable of running backs, but his offensive line without injured right tackle Marc Colombo is young and inexperienced. Can Romo stay upright? Can he overcome the question marks surrounding his tackles?

Here's what needs to happen. Romo is not a running running back, so the Cowboys will test their run game first to see if the Redskins can stop them. If they are successful in establishing the running game, Romo should have the edge. The success of the running attack will draw more defenders into the box, making it much easier to throw the ball. Play-action fakes will be effective as well, so in this game, Romo's success will stem from whether or not his offensive line can block well enough to establish the run.

As for McNabb, he doesn't have as much talent at receiver and has question marks in his back field, so here's what has to happen. The Redskins must also try to establish the run, because this front seven of Dallas is so good that if the Skins can't run, it will force McNabb to win with his arm. He most likely will have to be mobile in the passing game to find clear throwing lanes. Shanahan will also have to help him by moving what could be his best receivers in tight ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis in space to create matchup problems for Dallas. I look for McNabb and Cooley to hook up early and often. If they are successful, it will open up the airways for McNabb to hit Santana Moss or Joey Galloway downfield.

I give Romo the overall edge in this game for these reasons:

>> familiarity with the offensive system;

>> familiarity with the coaching staff and team (the better a QB knows his coach, the better he is in game adjustment -- a great example would be Drew Brees and Sean Payton in New Orleans);

>> more targets in the passing game, between his receivers and tight ends.

This is what I think. Let me know what you think and how these two quarterbacks compare. Also check out HARD HITS CAM every Friday live at 10:30 a.m.

By LaVar Arrington  |  September 10, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
 
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Comments

LaVar, stop freebasing cleaning supplies. McNabb is better than Romo because he gets it done when it counts, in the playoffs. Romo folds under pressure and for that reason it is not even close. McNabb.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 10, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@eternale No need to bash Arrington; this was a very well reasoned and well written post.

As far as McNabb "getting it done when it counts, in the playoffs", I checked his stats, and he is 9-7 in the playoffs, with a QB rating of 80. He's been to one Super Bowl, in which he threw 3 interceptions and his team lost. Yes, McNabb has had more postseason success than Romo (who hasn't?) but Romo is an excellent regular season QB, with a lot of weapons, and he's also 3 years, 4 months younger so who knows how many playoff games he may win in the next three years? At this stage of their careers, it's not close, clear advantage to Romo. (And I am a COWBOYS HATER so it pains me to say that).

Posted by: jksesq1 | September 10, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I agree with most of this, except the comments about McNabb. Not sure that you can compare as you've done. McNabb is at the end of his career. The only thing that matters is what he is doing right now. Romo is the best QB Dallas has ever had - if you compare games played against games played and compare him to the great ones, Staubach and Aikman. I would take Romo to lead my team over McNabb without even a hesitation.

Posted by: Phil1957 | September 10, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It comes down to emotions. New coach, GM, quarterback... Sunday night game..season opener(at home) against your biggest rival.
The fans will be amped and the Skins will prevail. The new era starts Sunday night. HTTR !

Posted by: cowbell | September 10, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

This post may be well reasoned and well written but i would guess that Lavar had very little to do with this post. I am sure he did little to no leg work putting this together and if you believe otherwise your foolish. it would very interesting to see just how many "producers" he has helping him every step of the way.

Posted by: efdelaney | September 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Career attempts -- 4,303
Career completions -- 2,534
Passing yards -- 29,320
Passing touchdowns -- 203
Single-season completions -- 345, 2008 season
Single-season Yards -- 3,916, 2008 season
NFC championship appearances -- five

Romo has no such distinctions on his resume"

The 2009 season saw Romo set club records for attempts (550), completions (347), passing yards (4,483) and 300-yard games (eight)...

Do your homework LaVarr....and the rest of those numbers are career numbers....with health, all of Romo's numbers will dwarf McNabb's....

Not a Cowboy homer...and I still think McNabb is a better QB...but when you make factual errors, that kills your credibility...

McNabb has done it, repeatedly, in the post season....that should begin and end your argument.

Posted by: Drygoods | September 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

This post may be well reasoned and well written but i would guess that Lavar had very little to do with this post. I am sure he did little to no leg work putting this together and if you believe otherwise your foolish. it would very interesting to see just how many "producers" he has helping him every step of the way.

Posted by: efdelaney | September 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse


Not really sure what you're basing this on. Everyone has editors and Lavar's always struck me as a fairly intelligent guy who's been able to express himself clearly. Not the most disciplined player, but most of what we've seen from him off the field indicates he's certainly capable of blogging intelligently.

Posted by: manifested | September 10, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"well reasoned and well written" - uhh... right. I know this is a sports column, so we can't expect the highest level of literary quality, but who edited this? Punctuation and grammatical errors aside, who lets a sentence like this slide?

"Romo is not a running running back, so the Cowboys will test their run game first to see if the Redskins can stop them."

Does the Post seriously pay this man? A high schooler could have written a better article.

Stick to the radio, LaVar. At least over the airwaves we can forgive you for the slip-ups.

Posted by: ben_dc | September 10, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Our back-up (grossman) has more playoff wins than Romo. McNabb is better. Keep staring at stat sheets when gauging how well your QB is if you want too. I doubt if Johnny Unitas had a season as good as romo's record breaking season..Joe Montana either...is he better than them? I think not...


Posted by: jwmartin_72 | September 10, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Not really sure what you're basing this on. Everyone has editors and Lavar's always struck me as a fairly intelligent guy who's been able to express himself clearly. Not the most disciplined player, but most of what we've seen from him off the field indicates he's certainly capable of blogging intelligently.


Are you one his "editors" i bet you are? Just listen to his radio that is all the proof you need. We were sold on this post by the Wapo that it would be Lavar's take clearly we were misguided. He is clueless learn, live it , know it.

Posted by: efdelaney | September 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Our back-up (grossman) has more playoff wins than Romo. McNabb is better.

-jwmartin_72

Exactly!!! Who cares about regular season success? Romo can win all he wants in the reg. season but if he can't man up when it counts then why would you want him on your team? You don't play to be first place in the standings, you play to win the darn Super Bowl. Idiots.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear Lavar, with all due respect.......
STOP TRIPPIN!!!!!!!!!

Here's the difference - TURNOVERS. McNabb is a playmaker. Romo will definitely cough the ball up at least twice on Sunday. If and that's a big IF the Skins can capitalize???

"GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!"

Posted by: BenThere | September 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Romo mauled McNabb in their three head to head games last year. We were talking about the McNabb of 5 or 6 years ago, I'd agree that he's better than Romo. But the McNabb of 2010 (or 2009 for that matter)can't hold a candle to Romo. Let's be honest about this.

Posted by: TripLBee | September 10, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

eternale5150

i love it when the blogger trashes the guy who actually played the game as if they know more then their reasons dont make since either. This isnt a playoff game so what does Romo's playoff performance have to do with game 1 of the season. You may need to stop freebasing coke. At least LaVar used stats and game analysis. You just said McNabb does it when it counts. Where are you stats and analysis? I am not a cowboys fan but I cant say LaVar is wrong. We are talking about week 1. Not the playoffs. Go skins.

Posted by: ged0386 | September 10, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

efdelaney

To your surprise some athletes can actually think and articulate themselves. I know that spoils your theory of you being better than them at something.

Posted by: ged0386 | September 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Notice how blogger always think they are the smart ones and the people who write the articles are stupid? If you bloggers were as smart as you think you are we would be blogging about your article.

Posted by: ged0386 | September 10, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Re: ged0386

I think the first three letters of your username sum up your intelligence on this issue. McNabb has won 9 playoff games in his career, Romo has won 1. With all the mistakes Romo has made in recent years in the playoffs, I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry Jones cuts him loose next time he throws the game. Jones wants to win the Super Bowl and nothing Romo has done so far suggests he has what it takes. Every sports fan knows that some players have 'it' and some don't. Romo clearly doesn't have that extra gear to turn on when the game is on the line.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Re: ged0386

The first three letters of your username sum up your intelligence on this issue. McNabb has won 9 playoff games in his career, Romo has won just 1. I'm sure Jerry Jones will run out of patience with this loser. Next time he throws a game in the playoffs I wouldn't be surprised if is replaced. Jones wants to win championships and nothing Romo has done so far suggests he has what it takes to win a ring. Every sports fan knows that some players have 'it' and some don't. Romo clearly doesn't have that extra gear to turn on when the game is one the line.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 10, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

McNabb is a proven winner, o_O, where, and where are his rings?? I'm sorry, individual stats are great and all but that does not equal proven winner in my world. He might help get you to the BIG games but then he fizzles out *_*

Romo is a tragic comedy in the playoffs LOL. Before last season the girls hand't won a single playoff game in how long?!? LLS

.... oh yeah a ged or high school diploma, or college degrees etc. don't really determine or measure intelligence.

Posted by: royalk | September 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Did any of you fools watch the last two games of Donovan's career with Philly? He was absolutely awful against Dallas last year. Horrible. Putrid. Use whatever adjective you want, he stunk it up. And that was with better talent than he has in D.C.! More weapons, better OLine, better running game in Philly...the weak link was McNabb! Fools, the lot a ya.

Wooohooo, McNabb has more playoff wins in the past...so what? What do past results with a different team have to do with Sunday? If we are counting short-hops to receivers, McNabb wins hands down. On Sunday, Obi-Wan Romo will prove that he is the better QB right now. Again, who gives a rat's butt what McNabb did in the past with Philly?

Good grief, Redskin fans are like the Texas A&M Aggie fans down here in Texas. Grasping at any straw, real or imagined, to make themselves believe they are as good as UT, OU or Texas Tech.

Posted by: sleastacks | September 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

McNabb may not be a 'proven winner' but Romo is a proven loser. Why don't you go lie down in your bed and stare at the poster of him you have on your ceiling.

Posted by: eternale5150 | September 10, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

Do you have any motorcycle safety tips?

Posted by: dedicato | September 10, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

Do you have any motorcycle safety tips?

Posted by: dedicato | September 10, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

wow, uh, good comeback? you really stuck it to me there...good job.

Posted by: sleastacks | September 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'd take a plug nickel and Alex Smith over McNabb. The guy's washed up.

Posted by: RicoSuave2 | September 10, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Mcnabb is better than Tony Romo, and MCnabb for the majority of his career in Philly had no weapons besides B Westbrook, he had(Todd Pinkston, Freddie Mitchell,Greg Lewis,Hank Basketts, and James Thrash) and got to 3 Championship games, and the 2 seasons he had TO went to the super bowl, for years D Mac was the Eagle offense it was all on him, Andy Reid never even attempted to run the ball or establish the run, as opposed to Tony Romo who has had plenty of weapons, and a consistent running game to work with and has managed to win 1 playoff game

Posted by: bmillison | September 10, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Most of those playoff games were won by the great Eagles defense under Jim Johnson.

Posted by: RicoSuave2 | September 10, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Mcnabb is better than Tony Romo, and MCnabb for the majority of his career in Philly had no weapons besides B Westbrook, he had(Todd Pinkston, Freddie Mitchell,Greg Lewis,Hank Basketts, and James Thrash) and got to 3 Championship games, and the 2 seasons he had TO went to the super bowl, for years D Mac was the Eagle offense it was all on him, Andy Reid never even attempted to run the ball or establish the run, as opposed to Tony Romo who has had plenty of weapons, and a consistent running game to work with and has managed to win 1 playoff game
------------------------------------------

It is worse than talking to a brick wall.

It doesn't matter, BECAUSE IT HAPPENED IN THE PAST WITH PHILLY. At this point, in the year of our 8 pound 10 ounce Lord Jesus 2010, Romo is the better quarterback. McNabb was not retained for a reason, Reid is smart, he saw the writing on the wall. McNabb is finished as a QB, especially with a bad OL, old receivers and old RB's. 20 years from now we can compare the two to see who was the better QB.

Posted by: sleastacks | September 10, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"well reasoned and well written" - uhh... right. I know this is a sports column, so we can't expect the highest level of literary quality, but who edited this? Punctuation and grammatical errors aside, who lets a sentence like this slide?
"Romo is not a running running back, so the Cowboys will test their run game first to see if the Redskins can stop them."
Does the Post seriously pay this man? A high schooler could have written a better article.
Stick to the radio, LaVar. At least over the airwaves we can forgive you for the slip-ups.
Posted by: ben_dc | September 10, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay, first off, there are no punctuation or grammatical errors WHATSOEVER in LaVar's post, so I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about when it comes to writing. (Please point them out; I'm an English professor and looked pretty hard for them.)

Second off, what is wrong with the sentence you highlighted? If anything, the problem seems to be that the sentence is constructed too complexly for you to figure out its meaning, which reflects more on you than it does LaVar. Very well-written, well-reasoned article. I'm looking forward to reading more of this blog and am very happy that LaVar continues to be part of the DC sports community (and not just on the Eastern Motors ads).

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | September 10, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait until SUNDAY!!!!!!!!! GO SKINS!!!!!!

Posted by: DCFan12 | September 10, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Mcnabb had statistically a pretty good season, and lead his team to a 10-4 record, so we are not talking about 4-5 seasons ago. And Tony Romo is a turnover machine he turns the ball over @ the wrong time he is a poor man's Brett Farve aka Tony Farve. Mcnabb is more effecient and a better leader that is why he took less talented players and was successful. Mcnabb still has like 4-6 good more seasons left he is 33 years old.

Posted by: bmillison | September 10, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@efdelaney

I was going to let this go (I have much better things to do than argue on the internet), but when someone uses "your foolish" as an insult, it is just too good to pass up.

Perhaps YOU'RE the one who should go back and brush up on YOUR writing skills.

Posted by: jksesq1 | September 10, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

LaVarr,

Nicely constructed essay. Your analysis is nicely laid out and easy to follow. My major complaint, however, is that it lacks finesse.

Grade B

Posted by: 44fx2901 | September 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

romo did not beat mcnabb in any game..dallas' o-line hammered the eagles defense and ran all over them and then hit pass plays downfield (eagles gave up almost 30 TD's thru the air last season)if mcnabb had real receivers in his stay with eagles instead of guys like t. pinkston,j.thrash,f. mitchell n. brown and other mediocre players his numbers and wins would far exceed what they are now.

Posted by: wathu19 | September 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

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