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The great QB debates

Is Culpepper back? Can Romo be the next Brady?

Posted: Tuesday September 5, 2006 10:48AM; Updated: Tuesday September 5, 2006 12:16PM
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Daunte Culpepper threw 39 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions in 2004 with the Vikings.
Daunte Culpepper threw 39 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions in 2004 with the Vikings.
Bob Rosato/SI
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Aaaah, I've missed your mail so. It's been months since we've communicated like this, so let's get on with it.

I SEE VIKINGS FANS STILL HAVE THEIR BITE. From Drew of Florence, Ala.: "You say Daunte Culpepper is "in his prime." That's what you call a guy coming off a season where he had a 6-to-12 TD-to-INT ratio in only seven games? I'm continually amazed at the free pass Miami has been getting for this move. That knee injury was the best thing that ever happened to big Daunte. Now that's the story (the injury comeback), instead of the fact that last year he was completely exposed for what he is: a chucker who throws 12 picks in half a season without Randy Moss. Am I the only one that thinks about these things?''

I should hope you are, Drew. It wasn't Moss alone who accounted for Culpepper's 64 touchdowns (vs. 24 interceptions) the previous two years. A year from now you'll be begging for Culpepper to return.

IT SEEMS SACRILEGIOUS TO COMPARE ROMO TO BRADY, BUT.... From Josh of Bloomington, Ind.: "This comment pertains to your choice of the Cowboys as the NFC champion. I fully agree with you that their defense will be stout and would be the reason for them making it to the big game. But (and this may make me sound like the Patriots fan I am) as nice a guy as he is, Drew Bledsoe is incapable of leading a team to the Super Bowl. His decision-making skills are too flawed, especially under pressure. He's not the kind of conservative, ball-control quarterback this team would need to go that far. But when reading your article I began to think about the potential parallels between the 2000-01 Patriots and the '06-07 Cowboys. Could Tony Romo execute a conservative game plan that would approximate Brady's role back in that season? Could Mike Vanderjagt make some clutch kicks and transform his reputation? And could Bill Parcells (in an ironic turn) adopt some of Belichick's strategies to disrupt a powerhouse offense (now Indy's instead of the Rams') and bring home a title they had no business winning? Hmmmmm.''

One of the greatest e-mails I've ever received. I've thought of exactly the same thing, which is probably why I like the e-mail. Most people would simply laugh at the comparison between Brady and Romo, but not me. Not that I think Romo will turn into Brady, but it's possible he can morph into a very good NFL starter ... a guy capable of leading the Cowboys farther than Bledsoe. He does more things. He's more mobile, in particular, and that will be vital to the Dallas offense this year because of the line's shakiness. We'll see if you and I are proven right.

DON'T WORRY, VERN. From Vern of Reading, Mass.: "Back on Aug. 13, you wrote that Roger Goodell's first test could be whether he has to take a draft pick away from Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Now I'm concerned the NFL insiders will rule against New England on Deion Branch just to prove how independent the new commish is. Should I be worried?''

Totally apples and oranges, Vern. Goodell will leave that decision to an arbitrator, as he should. I wouldn't worry too much about it if I were you. I don't think Branch will be taken from New England.