Ever wonder what the common tie is between NFL quarterbacks? How is it that golden boys like Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger wind up doing the same thing as grocery store clerks like Kurt Warner and sixth-round picks like Tom Brady?
You might think that it has something to do with arm strength, ability to read defenses and strong coaching, but you'd be an idiot if you did. It has to do with how handsome they are. Don't take it from me, honest-to-goodness college professors have done a study that found that every starting quarterback in the NFL has a face that is at least 96% symmetrical. According to the professors, who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, 90% is average and those with more symmetrical faces have societal advantages over their lopsided peers.
Scientific research overwhelmingly points to facial symmetry as an indicator of success. Studies show infants with more symmetrical faces are given more attention. Symmetrical workers also tend to earn more. Football is supposed to be egalitarian, of course. The players with the strongest and most accurate throwing arms should become the quarterbacks while the biggest, most powerful players should be linemen. Somewhere along the way, it seems, good-looking kids are steered toward the glamour position.
Thank god for science! Without the chaps in white coats, how would we ever know that attractive people are prized by society? Kudos! Of course, based on personal observation, the way kids get steered toward playing on the offensive line has more to do with whether or not little Ralphie goes for the third pork chop than facial symmetry, but, then, my undergraduate degree was in history.
Anyway, since we're interested in the Cowboys in these parts, we must discuss how Tony Romo fares against his peers on this list. The answer is, not very well. Ryan tops the list with 99.82% symmetry, followed by Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers (Oh, the horror Packers fans must feel). Romo's ranked 23rd, below such luminaries as Shaun Hill and Matt Sanchez, the Jets rookie poised to challenge Romo for most celebrity bedpost notches. If success is truly tied to symmetry, that doesn't bode well for the Cowboys.
There's good news, though. The top 10 list published by the Journal includes only white quarterbacks, which may mean that Romo has an edge over Jason Campbell and Donovan McNabb and there's no way this study could have scientific validity if it found Eli Manning better looking than the Simpson Slayer. Which means, the NFC East is wide open for a quarterback who might not be as handsome as we imagined.