Odds of Romo Being the NFL’s MVP?
Here’s what caught my attention yesterday. First the photos of Prince Fielder in the ESPN The Magazine body issue. Obviously the editors were going for the extreme examples of the differences between one athlete’s physique and another. By the way, no one has a worse body that Fielder. It was actually hard to look at all 275 or so pounds of him. Why he would pose in a national magazine is beyond me. The fact that he thinks he looks good might be part of the problem the Rangers had in getting him to drop a few pounds. It also might help to explain why he’s on the sideline for the rest of the season after injuring himself just 25 games into the season. Say what you will about guaranteed contracts, but it’s very hard to motivate anyone to do anything when he has $130 million coming his way, no matter how many chili cheese dogs he eats.
The second thing to catch my eye (and make me shudder), were the odds given to various players in the NFL to win the 2014 MVP award. Your favorite “love-to-hate” quarterback Tony Romo led the way for the Cowboys at 50-1 odds. You could look at that a couple of different ways. It could seem like a real long shot and not a lot of respect by the odds makers who spend their lives calculating these things. Not a lot of people would bet on anything with 50-1 odds. But on the other hand, when you break it down, and look at the list, there aren’t that many players in front of him. The problem is three of the guys in front of him are in his division. Peyton Manning leads the list (not surprisingly after what he did to the Cowboys defense and the rest of the league in 2013) with 3-1 odds to win another MVP award. He’s followed by three other elite quarterbacks; Drew Brees at 11-2, Aaron Rodgers at 15-2 and Tom Brady at 9-1 – the same quarterbacks whose names are always brought up when identifying the best quarterbacks in the league.
After that comes Andrew Luck at 16-1, then Jay Cutler and Matthews Stafford at 20-1. See the trend? The top 7 are all quarterbacks. The NFL is more than ever, a quarterback league. If you’re going to succeed and potentially win a Super Bowl, you need a top signal caller. Romo isn’t the top on the list, or even tops in the NFC East. Robert Griffin III is a 25-1 bet to win the MVP award and Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles (with all of 2 years as a starter under his belt) is at 33-1. That doesn’t look good for Romo or the Cowboys. Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are all ahead of Romo at 25-1 as is Matt Ryan at 33-1.
The good news is that Romo has the same odds as Ben Roethlisberger and Phillip Rivers and better odds than Eli Manning (all at 66-1), Andy Dalton at 100-1 and Joe Flacco at 100-1. Interestingly, rookie Johnny Manziel has 100-1 odds to win the MVP even thought he’s not even the Browns starting quarterback…yet. In case you’re wondering about any other Cowboys players, Dez Bryant is at 66-1 and DeMarco Murray is 200-1. The odds don’t mean a lot this early and certainly the teammates around the player make a difference, but it does show that some experts think a handful of young quarterbacks have already passed up Romo and the veteran “elite” have continued to stay ahead of him.