Rodgers-Romo matchup a ratings winner

Eric Goska
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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

One travels well, moving from town to town impressing the locals at every stop.

The other's a homebody, the undisputed king of his castle.

Sunday's divisional playoff game between the Cowboys and Packers features elite quarterbacks in Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers. The two take to the field in a noon showdown at Lambeau Field with a trip to the NFC championship game at stake.

Romo and Rodgers were the two most efficient passers in 2014. Romo finished with a higher passer rating (113.2) than Rodgers (112.2) edging him out with a December to remember.

Romo earned his stripes on the road. His play at remote outposts from Seattle to Chicago to Philadelphia propelled Dallas to an 8-0 record outside Texas.

Rodgers excelled at Lambeau Field. Playing in front of the fervent faithful there, he was the triggerman in Green Bay's 8-0 run at home.

Both quarterbacks set team records for efficacy. Both had an affinity for the number 100.

Romo hit or exceeded a passer rating of 100 seven times on the road. In doing so, he joined Rodgers and Tom Brady (both in 2011) as the only players with seven such games (minimum 15 attempts) in one season.

Dallas began its road slate with a 26-10 win at Tennessee on Sept. 14. Romo posted a rating of 93.5 in that game, his only sub-100 road outing.

Romo peaked at 143.4 against the Giants in late November. He threw a season-high four touchdown passes as the Cowboys prevailed 31-28.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

For the season, three quarterbacks wound up with road passer ratings greater than 100. Romo (121.8) outdistanced Russell Wilson (107.6) and Drew Brees (101.0) for top honors.

Romo's mark set a Cowboys record. As the only Dallas player in history to exceed 100 on the road in a season, he snapped his previous bests of 102.5 (2010) and 101.7 (2011).

Only three players in NFL history fared better than Romo: Nick Foles (138.4; 2013), Brady (127.0; 2007) and Steve Young (122.6; 1994).

Rodgers, too, made 100 routine, bettering it eight times at Lambeau Field. He broke the NFL record of seven games (minimum 15 attempts) set by Kurt Warner in 1999 and equaled by Brady in 2010.

The 109.8 he opened with in a 31-24 win over the Jets was a season low. He soared above 120 six times, surpassed 130 four times and topped out at 154.5 in a 38-17 thrashing of Carolina in mid-October.

For the season, seven quarterbacks earned passer ratings greater than 100 at home. Rodgers (133.2) breezed past Peyton Manning (117.5), Ben Roethlisberger (114.8), Ryan Fitzpatrick (109.1), Brady (103.8), Romo (103.8) and Andrew Luck (100.2) for the No. 1 spot.

Rodgers's mark established a Packers and likely an NFL record. The previous best of 128.5 was set in 2011 by – drum roll, please – Aaron Rodgers.

Romo and Rodgers were both busier in the first half of games than in the second half. Romo attempted 147 first-half passes and 81 in the second half. For Rodgers the split was 167-73.

Rodgers' most efficient quarter was the second (137.0); Romo thrived in the third (145.4).

Both quarterbacks were excellent on third down. Rodgers clocked in at 144.4 at home, and Romo dialed up a 123.3 on the road.

That's a lot of 100s. That last time so many popped up, smoking was allowed in NFL stadiums.

Lambeau Field has seen its share of 100 ratings in the postseason. The milestone has been exceeded 12 times and in each instance the quarterback doing so tasted victory.

Given what's transpired this season, Romo and Rodgers might both throttle past 100 this afternoon. If so, it would be a playoff first in Green Bay and it would make the game within the game between these two gifted athletes all the more compelling.

Quick hit

Bart Starr (2), Lynn Dickey, Brett Favre (6), Rodgers, Daunte Culpepper and Eli Manning are the six quarterbacks to post playoff passer ratings of 100 or more at Lambeau Field. Dickey set the standard with a 150.4 in a 41-16 rout of the Cardinals in January 1983.

Postseason series

Overall: Dallas leads 4-2

At Lambeau Field: Green Bay leads 1-0

Starting quarterbacks

Packers: Aaron Rodgers (5-4)

Cowboys: Tony Romo (2-3)

Once a Cowboy, now a Packer

There are no former Cowboys on the Packers' roster.

Once a Packer, now a Cowboy

There are no former Packers on the Cowboys' roster.

Home and Away

Since 1960, the top single-season passer ratings by quarterbacks in home games (minimum 100 pass attempts)

Rate Quarterback Year

133.2 Aaron Rodgers 2014

128.5 Aaron Rodgers 2011

126.4 Aaron Rodgers 2013

126.3 Drew Brees 2013

and in road games (minimum 100 pass attempts)

Rate Quarterback Year

138.4 Nick Foles 2013

127.0 Tom Brady 2007

122.6 Steve Young 1994

121.8 Tony Romo 2014

Source: the play index at pro-football-reference.com

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