Tony Romo vs. Donovan McNabb: Who's Really the Bigger Choke Artist?

Romo to WittenCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2009

The definition of a choke artist:

1. One who fails to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension so regularly and to such a grand scale that one becomes synonymous with the word failure, usually in an athletic contest.

2. Someone who is incapable of competing effectively when the situation calls for it.

Okay, you know I'm a Cowboys fan, so we all know where this article will go. But unlike a lot of other Cowboys fans, I will back up my argument will actual stats other than just my biased opinion.

There are two types of football fans in the world, those who love the Cowboys and those who hate them. If you love them, Tony Romo is our next triumphant hero. If you hate them, he has suddenly become the greatest choke artist of all time...after two playoff games.

Come on now, seriously?

What I find funny is that most anti-Romo fans decided to give him that label after the botched hold on the field goal against Seattle—his first playoff game ever. He also did not even start a single game until half way through that season.

Cowboys fans can give you that argument. Romo messed that one up big time. But last I checked, there hasn't been anyone who was labeled a choke artist after one playoff game.

Then you add in two seasons ago, when after a bye week, Romo could not manage to lead his team to victory over the highly underrated Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.

The saddest part of that game was that Romo did lead his team down the field at the end, and threw a beautiful pass on third down in the corner of the end zone to Patrick Crayton for the go ahead touchdown. Oh wait, Crayton stopped his route for some reason, and a perfect pass turned into nothing more than an incomplete pass.

Of course the fourth down pass, which was intended for Terry Glenn was picked off, but it was a complete desperation throw. Romo could not have just thrown it away with all of his receivers completely covered.

So Romo's playoff record is now 0-2. What an incredibly horrible record that is. I mean seriously, two games, and he couldn't even win one! Ouch!

Cowboys need to draft a QB in the first round all of a sudden!

The definition of a choke artist says someone that fails so regularly and on such a grand scale.

So for those of you who want to say Romo deserves the title simply because his team falls apart in December, shame on you.

Did you catch that line?

HIS TEAM falls apart.

If Joe Montana's teams performed on his Super Bowl runs the way the Cowboys have, he wouldn't have a ring to his name, and it would not have been because of him.

The quarterback will take the fame along with the blame.

Two losses can not give anyone the choke artist title. Haters give two-loss players that title.

John Elway lost his first two playoff games. It was not until he continuously "choked" year after year after year that the choke artist label became attached to his name. And when he won the big game, twice, it went away faster than T.O.'s big bowl of popcorn in Dallas.

Peyton Manning lost his first three playoff games. But again, he earned the choke artist name after repeatedly failing to make it to the big game year after year after year...

"Someone that fails so regularly and on such a grand scale...."

I don't think the definition of regularly applies to a two game situation in Romo's case.

And on such a grand scale?

Romo has not failed on the grand scale when he has yet to get through a playoff game, in only two chances.

But let me see...who has?

I do wonder...

The obvious of course has got to be Jim Kelly. Truly a Hall of Fame quarterback, who will undoubtedly live the rest of his life with the choke artist logo because of his four straight Super Bowl losses. That is down right sad.

Dan Marino easily is considered one of the greatest choke artists of all time. To hold every passing record in NFL history practically (until Favre came along) and only make it to one Super Bowl, and lose it, along with losing another two AFC championship games, tsk tsk tsk. Gag gag gag.

My dad always brings up one name when he hears the words choke artist, Fran Tarkenton. Three Super Bowl losses. Congratulations on making the list Tarkenton.

So now if Elway was not given that label after two losses, nor was Manning after three, or even Drew Brees after his first two losing attempts, how did Romo make the list, which is compiled of quarterbacks who have had multiple chances to win the biggest of games, yet failed to do so?

I'm not quite sure myself.

I am quite sure though that a certain Philadelphia Eagles quarterback by the name of Donovan McNabb has been on that list for more than a few years.

Oh how Eagles fans want to argue that point.

"It's not true! He's at least made it to the Super Bowl! He's won nine playoff games! That's more than Romo!"

The beauty of McNabb is this: after next season, I will venture to say he makes it back into the playoffs, and gets one more coveted playoff victory, and then lose again, in a much bigger game, and on a much "grander scale."

That one more playoff win for McNabb will give him the ultimate distinction as the only quarterback in NFL history to have won 10 career playoff games, yet failed to have ever won the Super Bowl.

He holds that fantastic record right now with Kelly with nine.

Remember Kelly?

That's the guy the entire football world sees as a true choke artist?

Is everyone following me here on this?

Now for the fun stuff you've been waiting for—the stats.

I would suggest all Eagles fans turning away at this point. I would say this is a spoiler alert, but you have already seen the outcome every year McNabb has been leading the charge, and failed, regularly, on a grand scale.

The 2000 season: The Eagles lose in the divisional round to the New York Giants 20-10. McNabb set the bar high with a 181-yard game performance. He threw one touchdown and one interception, and had a killer rating of 59.1, in a very big game. Ouch Donovan.

The 2001 season: The Eagles lose in the NFC championship game, and barely, to the St. Louis Rams 29-24. Unfortunately McNabb's weak 171 yards and quarterback rating of 73.1 was not near enough to help his team win.

**Remember this also please: The Philadelphia Eagles have always been a passing team first. It's not like McNabb does not get enough opportunities to lead his team to victory.

The 2002 season: The Eagles lose again in the NFC championship game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-10. McNabb's rating was a horrible 58.5, without a single touchdown and one interception. Unfortunately for him that one interception Ronde Barber returned 92 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Ouch again Donovan.

The 2003 season: The Eagles lose in another NFC championship game to the Carolina Panthers 14-3. This was the ultimate high for Donovan, who racked up incredible numbers such as a quarterback rating of 19.3 (HA!), zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. I don't even know what to say about that.

Romo's starting to look pretty good now isn't he fellas?

The 2004 season: Finally, the Eagles make it to the promised land, but fall short against the New England Patriots 24-21. Terrell Owens played his heart out with a messed up foot. The defense played decent against a tough Tom Brady-led offense. But who was that quarterback who just couldn't get the job done?

Yes that's right, that's right—McNabb. He threw for 357 yards. Not too shabby, except for the fact that he threw threw interceptions, which cost them dearly.

McNabb had only thrown eight interception all season long, yet threw three in the biggest of all games. I'd say that's not quite stepping up to the plate. I'd even say that was sort of...choking, at a very big time, in a very big way, on a very grand scale.

Even when McNabb and the Eagles offense got the ball down 10 points with eight minutes to go, he could not manage to get his team in a hurry up, no huddle mode, and wasted about four minutes to move 49 yards, before throwing a 30-yard pass to Greg Lewis.

Even getting the ball back at his own four-yard line with 40 ticks on the clock, and being down only three points, he couldn't manage to move them anywhere. Final result, a Super Bowl meltdown.

And finally, the 2008 season: The Eagles lose again in yet another NFC championship game against the Cinderella story Arizona Cardinals 32-25. This was sadly one of McNabb's best playoff performances, at least in the second half that is. Even though his defense did not help him much, McNabb still only put six points up on the board at the halfway point.

Hey, if Romo gets the blame every time he doesn't put points on the board, so does McNabb. Six points in 30 minutes against an average Cardinals defense is pathetic.

Especially since he showed how easily the ball could be moved against them in the second half.

This is the same Arizona Cardinal team that Philadelphia managed to score 48 against in the regular season.

Where did you go McNabb?

McNabb choked, again. This time in the post season against Arizona. Consistently playing good for one half of a game does not make one great. Playing consistently great for an entire game does.

I will continue to enjoy hearing how Romo is this instant choke artist, while McNabb is still hanging around the league, continuing to blow games at the most crucial of times. I would rather have Kelly leading the charge, at least he can run a no-huddle offense effectively.

I would also venture to say that anyone other than a Cowboys or Eagles fan would rather have Romo and all of his upside, with his measly two playoff losses, compared to a burnt out McNabb and his record-high nine playoff wins without a Super Bowl win.

"To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation (or puking) or tension so regularly and such a grand scale (one Super Bowl, four NFC Championships) that one becomes synonymous with the word failure."

Hello McNabb.

Enjoy your little tea parties with your fellow long-time failures, Marino, Kelly, and Tarkenton. Hold that ring-less pinkie up with pride.


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