Rating A Winner

have his imprint on the other side of the ball. The whole team reflects his demeanor. Parcells has commented many times that the quarterback cannot take a day off like other players. He has to be at the top of his game for every practice, every play and in every way. 

Last week Parcells spoke of Archie Manning, the gifted father of the two Manning quarterbacks in the league today, saying he was a really good quarterback that just played on a bad team. Being personal friends with Archie, I used to lament the losses he experienced by suggesting that if he could get to Dallas, all would change. 

That suggestion shoots a hole in my theory that the team's performance is dictated by the quarterback's persona. Some think Peyton Manning might be the best of all time. The reason the Colts aren't winning championships has less to do with Peyton's performances and more to do with the defense not holding up its side of the responsibility. 

To further this argument, John Elway took his team to two Super Bowls in the late 1980's, but could not win one. That was going to be how he was remembered until the Broncos made some changes on defense and to their running game. Then, finally Denver, under Elway's guidance, won two Super Bowls, getting that monkey off Elway's back. 

Buffalo's Jim Kelly did not have the same good fortune. His teams went to four Super Bowls, too, but came away with no wins. Kelly did make the Hall of Fame. 

But is it good fortune or is it the quarterback having enough power to will their teams to victory based on skill, performance, toughness, preparation, persistence, tenacity, resilience, confidence and the many other "intangible" characteristics that he brings to the table? 

So this past Sunday at Texas Stadium it was the proven winner of regular season games who has not won in the playoffs for whatever reason vs. the unproven whippersnapper who is in the process of putting his mark on his entire team. Manning vs. Romo. The whippersnapper prevailed, 21-14. 

The tables turned on Thanksgiving. Now it was the four-year "veteran" making his fifth NFL start vs. an even younger whippersnapper, the rookie Bruce Gradkowski making his eighth NFL start. Both are in the process of putting their mark on the team, but Romo improved his record as a starter to 4-1. 

Which team wins the game is usually influenced more by the QB than any other position. 

Bill Parcells: "This is a result-oriented business." 

Winning is how you judge.                               

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