Passing Lane


  •   The Carolina Panthers had a nice run with Jake Delhomme, but their 16-year history has included stopgaps like Kerry Collins, Steve Beuerlein, Chris Weinke and Rodney Peete. Jury's still out on Jimmy Clausen.  * The Denver Broncos got some decent years out of Brian Griese and Jake Plummer, but neither lived up to his contract. Jay Cutler's attitude got him shipped out, and now who's the starter? Kyle Orton? Tim Tebow?  * Since Jim Kelly left 14 years ago, the Buffalo Bills have sifted through Todd Collins, Doug Flutie, Rob Johnson, Alex Van Pelt, Drew Bledsoe, Kelly Holcomb, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards and now Ryan Fitzpatrick. Wow.  * In the 11 years between Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer, the Cincinnati Bengals started David Klingler, Jeff Blake, Akili Smith and Kitna. Blake and Kitna were decent; Klingler and Smith were first-round busts. Now Palmer wants out.  * The Arizona Cardinals have had Neil Lomax, Jim Hart and Kurt Warner. Fine. They've also had Gary Hogeboom, Tim Rosenbach, Tom Tupa, Chris Chandler, Josh McCown, Matt Leinart and most recently Derek Anderson.  * Since Bernie Kosar in 1991, the Cleveland Browns have recycled Vinny Testaverde, Mike Tomczack, Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn and now Colt McCoy, possibly the future there.  * The Joe Montana and Steve Young years are fading more and more. The San Francisco 49ers' starters since Young's last year in 1998 have included Jeff Garcia, Tim Rattay, Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer and Shaun Hill. No wonder they've been to the playoffs twice during that

stretch. 

Vince Young's act has gotten old, and the Tennessee Titans are again looking for a QB to lead them the way Warren Moon and Steve McNair did years ago.    Listen, those are just eight teams out of 31. The Detroit Lions' all-time quarterback roster would fill this entire column space. So many others have endured similar instability at the position, envious of the Packers (Starr, Favre, Rodgers) and Cowboys (Meredith, Staubach, Aikman) for finding franchise guys in each era. 

Put Danny White and Tony Romo in that list, too. Neither have Super Bowls on their resume, but White would have been an all-timer for a lot of franchises, and Romo would instantly start on all eight of those eight above-mentioned teams. He's a top-10 quarterback in this league, albeit probably closer to 10 than 1. 

The fact that Newton, Gabbert and Jake Locker are being mentioned so high in this year's draft despite their flaws just shows how QB-starved many teams are. The Cowboys are not. 

Romo isn't perfect, but they're lucky to have him. They know it. Hopefully you do, too. 

Just look at this draft for some perspective. 

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