Sometimes, all that's needed to be intrigued is a nudge from a professional muse. When talking to Dallas Cowboys writer Rick Gosselin this week about Tony Romo, an interesting, somewhat shocking factoid came up regarding Romo's always questioned clutch gene.
When it comes to performing in the fourth quarter, contrary to popular belief, Romo isn't half bad historically. In fact, he's great, possessing the highest fourth quarter passer rating in history at 102.3, just ahead of Aaron Rodgers at 100.6 and Steve Young at 97.9 percent. Say what?
Considering all that's ever casually reported about Romo is the fact that he's a choker who fails in the fourth quarter, this stat was very interesting. Interesting enough to warrant a comparison this season. So Romo has been good in the second half in his career, but how has he been in 2013? And how about Matthew Stafford, his main competitor this week?
As it turns out, Romo has been just as good this season. His second half completion percentage stands at 67.2 percent, and he's tossed nine touchdowns to only two interceptions–more scores and less turnovers than in his first half. Romo's competition percentage in the fourth quarter is 72.1 percent (highest amongst all quarters) and he's thrown for 524 yards in the fourth with five touchdowns, which also his highest amount of yardage amongst all quarters.
Stafford isn't much worse. In fact, his second half completion percentage of 62.4 is well higher than numbers from the first quarter, and his nine touchdowns to two interceptions is sterling. Specifically, Stafford has been an assassin in the fourth quarter, passing for 643 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions and a completion percentage of 68.5 percent. Those numbers are also Stafford's highest in all categories.
Given the struggles of both the Dallas and Detroit defensive backfields in recent weeks, Sunday's game could become a shoot out. If that's the case, the quarterback position will determine who wins in the second half. Who's got the advantage in end? Considering Romo and Stafford each perform well in the fourth quarter, it might be a very entertaining toss up.
Warning Lions' fans: contrary to what's always reported, Romo is actually much more clutch than he initially appears.
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