Meet the Romo 13

Getty Images

You’ve likely heard a time or two about the “Brady Six.” They are the quarterbacks drafted before Tom Brady in 2000.

Three years later, Tony Romo went undrafted, after not a half-dozen but a baker’s dozen quarterbacks. With Romo now stepping away (but not officially “retiring”), it makes sense to look at who the 13 drafted quarterbacks were.

In round one, the Bengals took Carson Palmer with the first overall choice. At pick No. 7, the Jaguars selected Byron Leftwich. Later in the round, the Ravens picked Kyle Boller and the Bears landed Rex Grossman.

In round two, the Texans took Dave Ragone and, nine spots later, the Bucs picked Chris Simms, the son of the man Romo will be replacing at CBS.

Round four saw the Seahawks select Seneca Wallace. In the fifth round, the Steelers took Brian St. Pierre. Three quarterbacks left the board in round six: Drew Henson (Texans), Brooks Bollinger (Jets), and Kliff Kingsbury (Patriots). The final round included Washington picking Gibran Hamdan and the 49ers adding Ken Dorsey.

All the while, some with the Cowboys had Romo on their radar. Here’s how Cowboys player personnel director Larry Lacewell explained it to Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star Telegram in 2006: “It was Parcells’ first draft with us, and I’m trying to make him happy, and get to know him, but I’ve got [former Cowboys assistant coach Sean] Payton, and one of our scouts, Jim Hess, constantly bugging the heck outta me about some kid named Tony Romo. . . . Everybody else is trying to decide if Terence Newman is our first pick, and how deep we could go and still get [Jason] Witten, but those two, Payton and Hess, they wouldn’t quit talking about this Tony Romo.”

So why didn’t the Cowboys take a late-round flyer on Romo?

“By the sixth round that year, Sean was practically standing on the table, telling us to take Romo,” Lacewell said in 2006. “We didn’t, and not in the seventh, either, but the good thing is both Sean and Hess were on the phone with Tony constantly, assuring him we still wanted him.”

In round six, the Cowboys instead cornerback B.J. Tucker (cut during his rookie training camp) and receiver Zuriel Smith (cut after one season with the team). In round seven, the Cowboys took guard Justin Bates (who never did anything with the team).

After the draft, landing Romo wasn’t a sure thing. As noted in the Bill Parcells autobiography (written with Nunyo Demasio), the Cowboys secured Romo in part because Payton persuaded Romo to take a $15,000 signing bonus in Dallas. The Broncos and coach Mike Shanahan, per the book, offered Romo $25,000.

Fourteen years later, Romo ended up being one of the best quarterbacks in Cowboys history. While not a Hall of Famer, Romo put together a special NFL career, especially in light of the fact that 262 players were drafted that year, and that none of them were him.

33 responses to “Meet the Romo 13

  1. Sean Payton probably knew most about Romo because he was also a graduate of Eastern Illinois. Garoppolo also played there, but by the time Jimmy G was there, maybe the football program had a little more respect. When the Patriots drafted Garoppolo in the second round, so many said Jimmy who?

    Another Tom Brady / Tony Romo connection. They both beat out Drew Bledsoe to become starters.

  2. Please let’s not do the revisionist history thing and make Romo into something he wasn’t. He was a serviceable QB, that’s all. Just happened to land in Dallas.

  3. The draft isn’t end all and be all. Kudos to Romo for not letting his lack of draft status keep him down.

    The best undrafted QB, though, has to be Kurt Warner.

  4. Not that it matters much but Ragone and Simms were in the 3rd round, not the second.

  5. C’mon, are we really doing this? Romo was a very good QB, but this comparison to all QBs and the players taken before Tom Brady vs. all the QBs taken before Romo is a little bit of a stretch.

    What has Romo ever won? He threw up in most of the high profile pressure situations.

    This exercise should be reserved for elite players drafted later in the draft, not very good players.

  6. Romo was/is a good QB. So was Marino, and Moon, and Kelly, and Fouts, and Cunningham….etc.

    The bells tolling lately though seem a little much for what he accomplished.

  7. Fourteen years later, Romo ended up being one of the best quarterbacks in Cowboys history.

    Stop insulting great quarterbacks!

    Romo will never see the HOF…unless he buys a ticket.

    Four times selected to the Pro Bowl. In 14 years.

    In fourteen years he won TWO playoff games. No football fan on any team (well maybe Cleveland) is going to find that a great achievement.

    The biggest knock on Romo in his 14 NFL seasons is the fact that he has struggled mightily in crucial situations and big games. Fold up like a card table was a favorite reference.

    As an undrafted quarterback he was a serviceable player but was never even close to Kurt Warner who was the BEST undrafted quarterback EVER!

    Lest we forget Warren Moon who was undrafted in 1978, won three playoff games and was selected to the Pro Bowl 9 times….across 17 years. One of the Oilers bright spots….

  8. Fourteen years later, Romo ended up being one of the best quarterbacks in Cowboys history.

    #1 Roger Staubach
    #2 Troy Aikman
    #3 Don Meredith
    #4 Danny White
    #5 Tony Romo

  9. TLDR – I do know this. Byron Leftwich won more playoff games and has a Super Bowl ring…

    Rex Grossman went to a Super Bowl

    Carson Palmer is still playing and competing at a high level

    Gibrian Hamden was better than Romo on Madden for like 3 seasons and I’m pretty sure he’s still an FA with like a 32 rating in Madden 2018

  10. Della Street says:
    Apr 6, 2017 11:26 AM
    Please let’s not do the revisionist history thing and make Romo into something he wasn’t. He was a serviceable QB, that’s all. Just happened to land in Dallas.


    I hate the Cowboys, but he had four 4,000 yard seasons before they were the norm, has a 2 to 1 TD to interception ratio, never had a QB rating under 90 when he played a full season and finished with a 97 QB rating. That is not just serviceable. That is in the top 10 of active starting QB’s. teams would love to build on a top 10 QB with a knack for making creative and big plays.

  11. What I just learned is that the Houston Texans don’t know how to evaluate and select quarterbacks.

  12. Tony didn’t have great teams around him for a long time. Brandon Weeden is serviceable. He also didn’t play until 2006 and only played full seasons 2007-2014. 8 years.

  13. Just like his crushing late game interceptions, he started his career off making a bad decision going to Dallas instead of Denver where he’d probably have a ring or 2 and be a guaranteed HOFer.

    Poor Tony. I love his warrior mentality and will miss the battles he’s had with Eli but the dude is the “Mush” of football decision making.

  14. Romo should’ve taken the 25 thousand from the Broncos, that’s where his Super Bowls went. Bad luck Tony, couldn’t even pick the right team and left 3 SB on the field. Had he taken the 25 instead of the 15 Dallas gave he’d have been on those great Denver teams, they’d have never signed Manning. Bad juju.

  15. Never have gotten this love with Romo. he has won nothing, look at his playoff record or rather BIG disappointment record.

  16. LMAO Tony Romo was good for stats and losing important games.

    2 playoff victories in his ENTIRE career (and if the refs don’t pick up the PI flag at the end of the game against Detroit, he only has 1 win).

    Playoff chokes/losses aside, his December record was abysmal and he was 0-3 in week 17 “win and in” games. Dude lost a week 17 game ( and threw 3 INT’s) for the division to a one-legged RGIII to end another Dallas run .

    Best thing he did was date hot celebrities. Tony Romo, SMFH

  17. “Della Street says:

    Please let’s not do the revisionist history thing and make Romo into something he wasn’t. He was a serviceable QB, that’s all. Just happened to land in Dallas.”

    Yeah, right. “Serviceable” QBs usually end up with the 4th highest QB rating in NF history and the most 4th quarter comebacks during his career.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.