Passing Grades

Our quarterbacks make the honor roll.

TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW, football fans could well look back at the number of quality signal callers who emerged this season and call 2006 the Year of the Texas Quarterback. Emphasis on “could.” In Austin, freshman Colt McCoy broke the school record for touchdown passes in a season and had fans believing UT might actually repeat as national champs, but after getting knocked out of the K-State and Aggie games, he’ll need to show in 2007 that he doesn’t have a glass jaw. Meanwhile, the A&M faithful are wondering if Stephen McGee might be the real real McCoy after the way he ran over Texas, but even with the whole Aggie backfield returning this year, he’ll have to find a passing game if the “Can Fran” T-shirts are to disappear from Kyle Field. In the NFL, Cowboys fans have proved constitutionally incapable of talking about Tony Romo without mentioning Brady and Staubach; though his passes aren’t pretty, his composure is. Still, he’ll need to perform in January the way he did in November and December if the mythological comparisons—not to mention the Tuna’s tenure—are going to continue. Former Horn Vince Young showed signs of being football’s Michael Jordan; if the Tennessee Titans keep making dazzling draft picks like that one, he may be at the helm of the NFL’s next great dynasty. Which brings us to the hapless Texans and the quarterback they stuck with when they passed on Young. David Carr finally had the steady season Houston fans had been waiting for, but that hardly matters. In light of where Young appears to be taking the Titans, Carr will need to win a Super Bowl before he feels any love.

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