Garrett says Aikman’s assessment of Romo is “dead on”

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When Troy Aikman said Tony Romo “already is a better quarterback than I was,” a lot of people wondered if maybe Aikman was feeling the effects of too many concussions. But the man who may have the best basis of anyone anywhere to compare Aikman to Romo says Aikman’s comments are valid.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who backed up Aikman for seven seasons and is heading into his sixth season coaching Romo, says Aikman has been “dead on” in his assessment of Romo.

“I think that’s a reflection on who Troy Aikman is,” Garrett told the Star-Telegram. “Troy Aikman was obviously an outstanding quarterback, first-ballot Hall of Famer, three-time Super Bowl winner, someone who was very talented, but also someone who was very modest. Troy understands the challenges of playing in the National Football League more than anybody else does, and I think his perspective on what Tony has done throughout his career is pretty dead on. He has a real appreciation for Tony as a player, as a person, as a leader in our locker room and on our football team, and I think those comments stem from that.”

In terms of the physical tools the quarterbacks have, it’s easy to see why both Aikman and Garrett would think highly of Romo’s abilities. The difference between Romo’s career and Aikman’s however, comes down to how they used their physical tools in a few key plays when big games were on the line. Until Romo makes the big plays on the biggest stage, not many people are going to buy the argument that Romo is even in the same ballpark as Aikman, let alone better.

87 responses to “Garrett says Aikman’s assessment of Romo is “dead on”

  1. I will talk no Cowboy smack until their united front has removed the salary cap restrictions imposed on our 2 teams…We (Skins and Cowboys) make the NFL what it is.

  2. I have to wonder why people to have to go lengths to justify how good Romo is. If he’s really that good, comparisons are no needed.

    Besides, maybe Romo’s physical skills are superior but there’s no question that the mental toughness is lacking. Aikman was a through and through winner. Romo is nothing like that.

    Aikman was a first ballot HOFamer. Romo will have to buy a ticket to go there.

    I am not a Cowgirl fan so it pains me to edify Aikman. He’s far far superior to Romo (despite what Garrett has to say). Garrett has to toe the party line.

  3. “someone who was very talented, but also someone who was very modest.”

    we all wish troy showed some of that modestly in the booth.

  4. I have to agree with Troy on this one. Not a Cowboy fan, but people forget that Aikman had a few hall of fame weapons and the Cowboys had a good D. Romo doesn’t have Emmitt Smith or Micheal Irvin. And present Cowboy D is not playing to standard. A lot of Romo haters out there, but a good percentage of them would love to have him on their team.

  5. I am a huge Cowboy fan, and LOVE Aikman. That being said, Aikman is right.

    The only real difference here is the teams the two QBs were on.
    Aikman was blessed to have been on such a complete team that it still ha me in awe, to this day, to realize how dominant that team was. He had the HOF running back, the dominant defense and HOF WRs to throw to.

    Aikman is a great QB, but part of his greatness comes from the greatness of that team and the SBs THEY won. THEY. Yes, whether some of these fools want to believe it or not… This IS a team game.

    Give Tony the run game and a defense that isn’t bipolar and Tony will, too, be in business.

    The games are lost and won in the trenches. Aikman had some DOMINANT guys playing in his… Romo’s are mediocre… And that’s being nice.

    Romo is a good QB, despite what Eagles, Giants and Redskins fans think.

  6. It does seem like today’s Qb’s are more talented than ever… We had three 5,000 yard passers this season. Db’s arent getting any worse, Qbs and offenses are getting better.

  7. Romo may be able to throw the football well and has good arm strength, all the physical attibutes, but it is his decision making. The same thing that separates Andrew Luck from the pack of QBs available in this year’s draft. Romo’s decision-making is downright awful. Why, who knows. But I would like to hear Aikman’s take on that because that is no doubt why Aikman is a first ballot hall of famer, and winner of thre superbowls and Romo will never do any of that.

  8. Ridiculous.

    I’ve been watching the NFL — particularly the NFC East — for 40 years.

    I’ve never seen a QB with the accuracy of Troy Aikman.

    Romo’s not even close.

    Obviously, Aikman had Emmitt Smith behind him to run the ball.

    But in terms of Novacek, Irvin, and Alvin Harper — those guys were great because Aikman could thread a needle from anywhere on the field.

    Sorry. Romo’s not in Aikman’s class.

    Maybe in Billy Kilmer’s class. But not Aikman.

  9. Whats next Tom Landry tells Jason Garrett he was a better coach than him.

    I understand complements and giving a person confidence but raising ones ego like troy did will only be the start of this whole downfall.

  10. While it is noble of Aikman to speak out on Romo’s behalf, actions will always be looked at as a better measure of the player. Aikman never scooted off to Mexico during the season to get away with his girlfriend. Aikman never had a side sport (in this case golf) that he appears to devote his offseason to. Tonu Romo is not as good of a quarterback because he does not put the game in the same place of importance that Troy Aikman did. Tony Romo is what he is – a good athlete with an average undertanding of the game…and not good enough to win a Super Bowl. The Cowboys will be better off once they realize that they need a new qb.

  11. I`m a Redskins fan and I`ve watched both of them play! I just think that Romo cant compare to what Aikman did! However Aikman had the best O-Line in the NFL at the time where as Romo has to Run for his life at times

  12. I’m a Giants fan and think it’s ridiculous that Romo gets criticized as much as he does. He’s a top ten QB statistically, but one player is not responsible for that team’s shortcomings.

    If any ONE person is to blame, it’s Jerry. He needs to step aside – I thank God we have Reese as our GM. An owner should not have influence on personnel decisions.

  13. In terms of physical talent and abilities, yes, i concur that Romo is a better quarterback. Like the previous posters, though, i agree that Aikman was a much better decision maker. Perhaps that was indeed due to having reliable options in the backfield and out wide, whereas Romo doesn’t trust his supporting staff as much and takes more chances firing downfield because of it. That said, i also agree that many teams would love to have Romo at the helm of their franchises. (My name says it all)

  14. Tom Landry isn’t alive to tell Garrett he is better (or as the case likely would be, that he stinks).

    And I agree, I’ve never seen a QB with a career rating of 96.9 get trashed so hard. If you takeout the Lions game and massacre against Philly he had a magnificent season last year, especially with his #1WR out most of the year and RBs banged up.

  15. Right and that be like Mike Holmgrem saying Colt McCoy has already eclisped Otto Graham in two season. Jason and Troy need to let Jerry do the drinking and leave the stupid comments to Jerry!

  16. as a redskins fan, i agree. honestly, romo is a damn good QB, but look at the league now. it’s a league that throws the ball 40-50 times a game and runs 10-15 tops, every play from their offense is out of shotgun, i can’t remember the last time i saw romo take a snap from under center. he doesnt have an emmitt smith, nor a michael irvin, and dallas’ offense kinda blows too. romo is solid, jerry jones just needs to fill the roster out with playmakers around him. but as a redskins fan, its good to see that jerry jones just doesnt get it anymore.

  17. weathersusa says:Mar 24, 2012 2:49 PM

    While it is noble of Aikman to speak out on Romo’s behalf, actions will always be looked at as a better measure of the player. Aikman never scooted off to Mexico during the season to get away with his girlfriend. Aikman never had a side sport (in this case golf) that he appears to devote his offseason to….

    This post hits the nail on the head. I live in Dallas and have been a fan for >40 years. Romo is better than most of our QBs have been, but he is NOT a Troy Aikman. You can correctly point to his decision-making as a glaring difference between the two, but (for the reasons ‘weathersusa’ points out) the real issue is leadership. I don’t care how Garrett tries to spin Troy’s words, Romo is the opposite of a leader. The Cowboys don’t have a leader and haven’t in a long time. And if we’re waiting for Romo to step up to the plate, we’ll be waiting a looooong time before we see another playoff win — much less another Super Bowl.

  18. Aikman was a precision passer who was as good or better in the post-season as he was in the regular season. Let’s face it, you shouldn’t have to go to the chalkboard to explain why one player is as good as or better than another. Romo turns 32 in a couple of months. At 32 Aikman had 3 SB rings. Romo has one wildcard victory.

  19. Aikman was surrounded by Hall of Famers. Romo is surrounded by….these guys. Romo is a fine QB who sometimes tries to force things he shouldn’t but a lot of teams would like to have him. I think he gets too much flack for the team surrounding them as they’re lacking in a few areas.

  20. Those comments say much more about Troy Aikman than they do Tony Romo.

    Aikman is three time Super Bowl champion and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

    I’m not sure Tony Romo can even get into the HOF with a paid admission.

    Troy is being VERY kind to Romo, who isn’t qualified to carry Aikman’s golf bag.

  21. Hahahaha. You cowboy fans are so delusional. Tony romo can’t even hold the football for an extra point let alone win a superbowl. Haha. Baby steps my friends. Baby steps.

  22. Aikman is a great qb, but the teams that he was on were the definition of stacked. Those three teams in the 90s were just unbelievable not only in terms of top tier talent, but also depth. It’s also a fair argument that because of those teams he wasn’t able to reach the ceiling on his talent. When you have Emmitt Smith and a line that let him go for 4 to 5 yards untouched, it would be foolish to not utilize that to its maximum.

    On a side note, it’s great to see a former star who is comfortable enough with his place in history to call others at his position better than him. Too many athletes think their the best of all time even if the aren’t. We all remember Freddie Mitchell.

  23. Aikman had the accuracy of a laser beam. Especially in the playoffs.Actually Aikman played best in the playoffs. Aikman’s wrong. He’ll QB circles around Romo.

  24. As an unbiased Eagles fan, I have to agree with this assessment. Romo has had a better QBR, Passer Rating, Completion %, TD:Int ratio, etc….with a lesser offensive line, worse receivers, and less complicated defenses. I would take Romo as my QB instead of a decade of Vick and McNabb. If we had Romo on our team for the last 7 years, there’s no doubt we would have won a Super Bowl or 2. Wishful thinking…

  25. Maybe tony romo would make bigger plays on bigger stages if he had a hall of fame WR, arguably the greatest RB of all time, one of the best offensive lines AND defensive lines ever assembled, a hall of fame CB, and a hall of fame head coach on his TEAM.

    That might just make it a little easier for him.

  26. lombardihero says:
    Mar 24, 2012 2:49 PM
    Whats next Tom Landry tells Jason Garrett he was a better coach than him.


    Seeing as Tom Landry died a long time ago, that would be newsworthy.

  27. Gaikman was on one of the best teams ever with a Pro-Bowler at every position. Tony is much better out of the pocket, but makes dumb decisions or fails to step up in crunch time. Aikman was also more consistent. This is Gaikman taking the heat off of Tony & Garret. Let Troy do color for Dallas and not the Giants.

  28. Romo is hands down better that Aikman and Staubach put together! Only because I feel sorry for him like Aikman and Garrett do. Intellectual honesty be damned.

  29. Aikman’s pretty spot on as far as their respective overall performances. How he was a first ballot Hall of Famer still baffles me.

    Romo’s supporting cast pales in comparison, but he also has to shoulder some of the blame for melting down inexplicably when the team needs him to play his best. In that regard, Aikman is miles ahead, which really is all that matters when many compare their legacies.

  30. How can anyone with a straight face say romo is better than Troy ??? That’s just silly.

    First off 8 made a hof wr out of Irvin who even at the time was a junkie who if not for the 3 superbowls would have never made the hof ( ask Chris carter). And smith who IMO is the most overrated talent ever ( I say talent because what he was, was a really tough man and I wouldn’t take that awAy) who happen to run behind perhaps the best run blocking line in the history of the nfl.

    As far as the defense in that period, they weren’t even ever the best in the NFC east. The eagles and redskins were always better on d and the giants early in the 90s were better.

    The truth is Troy played against better talent and really led his team. Romo who has had just as much talent and a BETTER d most years chokes and leads his team into te ground. The man has been to busy being a star and buy enough winning games

  31. It’s nothing like comparing Lebron to Jordan, because romo is not one of the most dominant players in the game currently. It’s more like comparing Andre iguodala to Jordan. Has the potential to be great, but hasn’t done a whole lot with his career yet.

  32. It’s really pretty simple. I don’t pretend to know who the better QB is or was or who exhibits the best leadership skills. But here is one thing I do know…That Cowboys team of the 90’s was arguably the greatest team in NFL history. Period. The Cowboys today? The past two offseasons JG and company have been unloading as much of this so-called talent as possible. The O-Line Romo plays behind? I would hate to see Aikman’s cat scan today if he played behind the lines Romo has had. Aikamn wouldn’t be a color commentator right now. They would be electronically GPS tagging him before he left the house.

  33. @waltdawg

    If you haven’t noticed, the powers have shifted to Mara and Kraft, who happen to own the 3rd and 4th highest revenue franchises. Get over you pride and except it.

  34. Some of you neophytes need to understand one thing about supporting talent. Aikman was one of the main reasons Novacek, Irvin, et al thrived, not the other way around. Smith was the #1 reason for cowgirls success. Aikman was #2.

    Romo is not mentally tough. Aikman was a tough precise passer, a real leader.

    It pains me to say all this as those Cowboys kept my niners out of superbowl 2 out of 3 superbowls.

    I can still remember Aikman to Harper to kill the niner momentum when Young had taken 49ers 95 yards to pull within 4 points. Sucks….

  35. Romo – 96.6 QBR
    Aikman – 86.1 QBR

    Say what you like, stats don’t lie. Romo is clearly the better QB.

    Give Romo Aikman’s team and he’d win Super Bowls as well.

  36. ike301 says:
    Mar 24, 2012 3:52 PM

    If you haven’t noticed, the powers have shifted to Mara and Kraft, who happen to own the 3rd and 4th highest revenue franchises. Get over you pride and except it.


    That explains the Tuck rule perfectly.

  37. Answer me this, if you have your running back,run the ball about 25-30 carries a game, and your only passing 20 times, and out of those 20 times your getting 15 completions, shouldn’t you be accurate?

  38. As a fan of both players, I don’t think it’s very far fetched to agree with Aikman. It’s already been said numerous times, but Aikman had the luxury of playing behind arguably the greatest OL of the last 30 years. He had the NFL’s all time leading rusher, a HOF WR that was the heart and soul of the team, and a defense that imposed it’s will on people and could shut off half a field (in ’95 with Deion). Romo plays with some big names, but few have lived up to their hype (See: Miles Austin, Felix Jones, Roy Williams). Even with all that, had Crayton not dropped that perfect pass in the Giants playoff game, I have a feeling it would have been the Cowboys, not the Giants, in that SB.

  39. 2007 Division Playoff – Romo dominates Giants with two long 1st half TD drives for 14-7 lead. Eli Manning takes over at his 30 with 49 seconds left in half and leads the tying TD drive. Giant offense does nothing in 2nd half except score one short field TD. After Giants take lead, Cowboys have three more possessions with increasingly better field position. Romo cannot get the winning TD scored.

    2011 Week 14 – Cowboys lead by 12 with 5 and a half minutes left. Manning leads Giants on a quick TD drive to cut lead to five. Cowboys go three and out as Romo, not under pressure, misses open Austin to seal the game. Giants get the punt and Manning leads the winning TD drive.

    Like the man said, it comes down to executing a few key plays on the biggest stages at the biggest moments.

  40. In other words, Aikman was over-rated, and doesn’t belong in the HOF.

    I’m cool with that.

  41. minkey1 says:Mar 24, 2012 3:39 PM

    Romo is hands down better that Aikman and Staubach put together!

    Really? Do you think Staubach had the team that Aikman had? Two QBs with a total of 5 rings between them and Romo is better than both put together??

    Delusional, man. Its back to the earlier argument: this is about leadership. Staubach is the quintessential leader and Aikman isn’t far behind. Romo would rather go to Cabo on the bye week and golf constantly (you don’t become a scratch golfer over the weekend, ya’ know) than stay at home and build a better team. Sure, he is ‘allowed’ to do those things, but those are the kinds of things that leaders do not do…

  42. No way guys, I hadn’t idea that Romo also plays behind one of the most dominating lines in nfl history and has a RB (Emmit Smith) who can pound the ball and ice games.

  43. Love Romo and the boy’s, but I’m a temporary Skins’s fan right now as well. People bust on Romo, but notice he never say’s a word about it. That’s class.

  44. Well he is third all time in completion rate, Troy has a far superior team so it’s not hard to call him better, the real football people like Troy look at more than wins. If big games matter I guess Marino and Fouts sucked

  45. The Cowboy Kool-Aid being served up in gallon sized drums as per usual. Is it not bad enough that we have Irvin and Sanders on The NFL Network smooching up to the organization on a daily basis,now Aikman has to get in on the act too? Thats one Helluva Cult ya got there Jerrah!

  46. Wow. You mean the head coach of the cowboys feels the current starter is better then a guy who retired 12 years ago? Stunned.

  47. nfcbeast21 says:
    Mar 24, 2012 3:29 PM
    As an unbiased Eagles fan, I have to agree with this assessment. Romo has had a better QBR, Passer Rating, Completion %, TD:Int ratio, etc….with a lesser offensive line, worse receivers, and less complicated defenses. I would take Romo as my QB instead of a decade of Vick and McNabb. If we had Romo on our team for the last 7 years, there’s no doubt we would have won a Super Bowl or 2. Wishful thinking…


    Eagles fan?? You aren’t any kind of Eagles fan. Anybody with half a brain can see that Romo is another one of these “has all the tools, but thinks like a fool”. Sure, he’s a good guy, got great stats, but how often does he shine with his back against the wall in crunch-time against the top teams? I can say this confidently: RARELY.

    Plus, the man seems to have a certain losing mentality against the Eagles whom he seems to struggle against, sometimes for no great reason other than the Eagles are always ramped up to play the Cows.

  48. Its like comparing Troy Aikman to Chris Collinsworth. Chris actually gives unbiased, smart, insightful football commentary while when you watch a Cowgirl game Troy is completely in the bag for the Cowgirls, and all you hear about is how great the cowgirls are and how they shouldn’t be losing all of the games they lose. Collinsworth is Aikman in that comparison for all those who missed it.

  49. I don’t care who compares who. I am and forever will be a Cowboys fan. We want another championship. If Dirk did it with the Mavs Romo can do it with the Cowboys. Nuff said!

  50. Romo has many more tangent surrounding him, than Aikman had, and Aikman has 3 SB rings, and Romo has only ONE playoff win or none. Yep, concussions all right. Jerry is pulling all buttons, so everybody believes Romo is a great QB, for the cowboys.

  51. f*%k ur qbr’s if he was that good he would at least be able to win 1 one uno single playoff game he’s a choker and might not ever win a playoff game 16 years since the cowgirls won a playoff game. what a f’n joke. wahh wahh bla romo don’t hav irvin and emmitt motherfutta please motherfutta please ON HIS TALENT ALONE HE WOULD BE ABLE TO WIN 1 PLAYOFF but he can’t and he wont so shut the front door. F’N IDIOTS

  52. Romo is a better passer. But yeah, he hasn’t been as clutch as Aikman. But the Cowboys offensive line has been bad for well over a decade now and is not even close to the days of the line that ploughed holes for Smith and Aikman. The defense has been as good as in the past, if not dominant (bend but not break type of D). But they can’t put pressure with their front linemen like the Giants can. Giants can penetrate with just 4 guys!

  53. Give me a break. Aikman was one of the most prolific passers ever. His balls flew perfect and straiaght and his timing ability with his receivers was as good as anyone ever. Yes the overall team was much better and the OL was at least one of the 2 best ever (HOGS). But Aikman is still as classy as he was as a player and proved it here. Romo has shown to get ratteled in the big games and Aikman never did.

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