Pulling rank with Tony Romo in 2015

IRVING, Texas -- In his recent mailbag, ESPN Insider John Clayton was asked an interesting question from "Bob in Dallas," to rank the top quarterbacks over the next three seasons.

Perhaps Bob in Dallas was getting to the Tony Romo window question. As in, how much longer will Romo's window stay open to give the Dallas Cowboys a chance to make a Super Bowl run?

The Cowboys' play and Romo's performance last year -- 34 touchdown passes, nine interceptions, 69.9 completion rate -- have brought back the Romo window question when it seemed closed after three straight 8-8 finishes.

Romo's offseason has been outstanding. He practiced every day, though coaches gave Brandon Weeden the first-team work on the final day of the minicamp.

Romo's game does not appear to have slipped, and I'll go back to what he said before last season: He believes his best football remains ahead of him.

Clayton evidently disagrees.

He didn't have Romo among his top 11 quarterbacks for 2015 (and wasn't on the list in 2016 or 2017 either). He had Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson in his top eight. Then he said he would rank Matt Ryan No. 9 followed by Eli Manning and Joe Flacco.

I mean, he had to have just forgetten Romo, right?

I'm not going to quibble over his top quarterbacks, but I can start the Romo argument after Peyton Manning. Part of me wants to make the argument before that, but I will genuflect at the Manning altar for this season.

Romo was better than Brees, Rivers and Wilson in 2015. He certainly was better than Ryan, Eli Manning and Flacco.

Maybe Clayton foresees issues with the Cowboys' running game that will put too much on Romo and see him go back to gambling ways. But then that forgets his 31-touchdown, 10-interception season in 2013 when he played in 15 games and had to carry the show.

Quarterback rankings are always a lively debate. Arguments and opinions are always going to differ.

But not to have Romo in the top 11?

If Bob in Dallas wants my answer for 2015 it would be this: Rodgers, Brady, Luck, Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Romo.