Steelers Fans Recall Analyst’s Kenny Pickett-Tony Romo Comp

Kenny Pickett-Tony Romo

Getty Images Kenny Pickett (left) and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (right).

At the 2022 NFL Combine, former NFL quarterback turned ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky tweeted a message stating:

“The more I watch on Kenny Pickett the more he reminds me of Tony Romo.”

Of course, Orlovsky was making reference to the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback turned CBS color analyst, who went undrafted out of Eastern Illinois but authored a 14-year career that saw him start for the Cowboys for nine seasons, making the Pro Bowl four times along the way.

That tweet resurfaced on Steelers Reddit on Friday, prompting a debate about whether Steelers fans would be “happy” if Pickett turns out to be another Tony Romo.

By and large, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

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‘Romo is … in the Hall of Very Damn Solid’

It’s easy to understand why, as Romo was in the league from 2003-2016 and produced a 78-49 record as a starter, completing 65.3% of his passes and throwing for 248 touchdowns along the way. Equally notable is that he authored a career passer rating of 97.1 and averaged 7.9 yards per attempt, according to Pro Football Reference (PFR).

Arguably he had his best season in 2014, when he went 12-3 and completed 69.9% of his passes en route to throwing for 3,705 yards, with 34 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions, good for a 113.2 passer rating.

In many respects, his career numbers compare favorably to those of former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who finished his 18-year career with a 64.4% completion rate at 7.6 yards per attempt, and a passer rating of 93.5, as per PFR.

Of course, one can’t ignore that Roethlisberger produced ample postseason success, taking the Steelers to the Super Bowl three times and winning the Big Game twice, a big part of the reason that Big Ben will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and why “Romo is probably in the Hall of Very Damn Solid,” as Reddit user yinzinainteasy put it.

By comparison, Romo went 2-4 in the playoffs during his career, and is best-remembered for a gaffe that occurred during his very first postseason game, against the Seattle Seahawks on January 6, 2007.

With 1:19 left in the fourth quarter the Cowboys set up for a 19-year field goal attempt that would have given them a 23-21 lead. Except Romo fumbled the snap, and was subsequently tackled short of the goal line, allowing the Seahawks to escape Dallas with the win.

Tony Romo Botches Hold On GW FG Attempt (Cowboys @ Seahawks, Wild-Card Playoffs 2006)Oh, what a moment of irreversible infamy! When Dallas and Seattle squared off in an NFC Wild-Card playoff game on a Saturday night in January 2007…….the most unthinkable, unbelievable, improbable, miserably wretched thing happened to send Tony Romo into tears, Bill Parcells into retirement, and an entire fanbase to its knees. Al Michael and John…2019-01-02T18:38:14Z

‘Better to Have the Next Romo Than the Next Orlovsky’

While the names of several other quarterbacks — including Andy Dalton and Derek Carr — were referenced during the fan discussion on Reddit, the overall sentiment of the thread is best reflected by the user who wrote: “If he wins us a couple super bowls I will be happy with whatever player he is compared to.”

Predictably, one other Reddit user couldn’t resist taking a shot at Orlovsky, a former NFL quarterback who is best remembered for a gaffe of his own, namely running out the back of his own end zone for a safety during a game against the Minnesota Vikings.

“Better to have the next Romo than the next Orlovsky,” quipped duggo1991.

Orlovsky — a fifth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2005 — remained in the NFL until 2015. But he went just 2-12 as a starter and produced a 75.3 career passer rating, having played for four different teams, including the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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