Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Jan 2007

Similarity scores for Tony Romo

BlueStarDude: Say, when Dallas names their new head coach, can we get a Tony Romo similarity score to celebrate the occassion?

Aaron Schatz: Heck, let's do it now.

I counted this as Romo's third season -- I don't think he was on the roster in 2003 -- and I gave him 12 games instead of 16, since he was only the holder in the first few games. One of the projects for the off-season will be to go through and make sure the similarity scores system isn't picking up quarterbacks who only are listed with 16 games because they were holders.

The top two guys on the list are far ahead of everyone else:

• 1. Brian Griese, 2000 Broncos
• 2. Troy Aikman, 1991 Cowboys

However, neither of these is players is in his first year as a starter -- the similarity is that they are in their third year overall. The stats are similar except that Romo had significantly more yards per attempt than either Griese or Aikman, and then Griese had the same number of touchdowns with fewer interceptions -- only four!! -- while Aikman was more similar in interceptions but had fewer touchdowns.

From there, leaving out anyone with more than four years of career experience:

• 3. Neil Lomax, 1983 Cardinals
• 4. Ben Roethlisberger, 2004 Steelers -- this is the most similar player in his first season as a starter. Roethlisberger matches up well because of the extremely high yards per attempt numbers.
• 5. Matt Hasselbeck, 2002 Seahawks
• 6. Chris Miller, 1990 Falcons
• 7. Ben Roethlisberger, 2005 Steelers
• 8. Chad Pennington, 2002 Jets
• 9. Tom Brady, 2001 Patriots
• 10. Kurt Warner, 2000 Rams

That's a pretty sweet list right there, isn't it?

By the way, if we use 16 games instead of 12, we end up with Pennington 2002 on top, then Brady 2001, Drew Brees 2004, Troy Aikman 1992, Aikman 1991, and then Roethlisberger 2004.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 26 Jan 2007