IRVING, Texas -Both Michael Vick and Tony Romo came into this season with high expectations. Neither of them has met those expectations thus far and they have both been under fire because of it.
As a result, this Sunday, two struggling quarterbacks will lead two struggling teams as they face off against each other. Despite having very different styles of play, many people might not realize just how similar Vick and Romo's production (or lack there of) has been this season.
Both quarterbacks have actually done a good job of moving the ball this year. Romo has already thrown for 2,394 yards. Vick is more than just a pocket passer and you have to also account for plays that he makes with his feet. When you combine Vick's passing yards and rushing yards it totals to 2,395 yards, just one more than Romo's passing yardage. When you add in Romo's 23 rushing yards it only slightly alters the similarity.
But acquiring yardage has not been the problem for either for these quarterbacks. Their problem has been giving the ball away and, therefore, negating much of the yardage they gain. Romo has thrown 13 interceptions this year (most in the NFL). Vick has thrown nine interceptions, but he has also lost three fumbles, meaning he has accounted for 12 turnovers of his own.
Both have thrown interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns in the first half of close games.
Both have thrown 10 touchdowns and rushed for one.
Romo has the edge in quarterback rating, but not by a significant margin. Romo's rating is 82.2 compared to Vick's 77.7.
Romo and Vick have played their entire careers as quarterbacks that you either "live by or die by." They both have skill sets that are unique to only them, but they come with risk. In fact, you could argue that both quarterbacks play at their best when they are taking risks. Except of course, for when those risks don't pay off.
This season, the mistakes have caught up to both men. All the blame cannot go on just them, however. Vick's offensive line has allowed him to be the most hit quarterback in the NFL. Romo has been playing most of the season with a nearly non-existent running game.
But at the end of the day, there's no getting around the fact that both the Eagles and Cowboys would have a few more wins if their quarterbacks didn't give the ball to the other team quite as much as they have been.
Two teams that had high hopes for their seasons are sitting at 3-5 facing a similar dilemma. They need to give their quarterbacks freedom for them to do the things they do best. And they need their quarterbacks to be productive for them to have a chance at winning games.
Both quarterbacks have made a lot of momentum changing plays this season. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them have shifted the momentum to their opponents.