Comeback Victory Over Giants Makes Romo Hero In Dallas…For A Week, Anyway
A football novice once leaped up on his social soapbox and spread a biting rumor to the effect that Tony Romo has all the natural instincts of a prohibitive force for the Dallas Cowboys offense in late-game situations. That rumor has, of course, been rendered temporarily mute in the aftermath of The Drive, Sunday’s late-night magic show from the Cowboys quarterback that left many an intellectual marvelling. Yes, muted and forgotten. Till the next Cowboys defeat, that is.
By a 27-26 score, Romo notched career victory No. 76 in a Cowboy uniform. For many watching, it was his most impressive performance to date, and even had some iron-willed traditionalists pondering the possibilities of equating Romo with a pair of Cowboy quarterbacking legends who will remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
There are certain accomplishments that have eluded Romo thus far. That much has been well documented.
What also needs to be acknowledged is the fact that Romo is a premier talent at his position, and that Sunday’s once-upon-a-miracle moment in Arlington, rather than an entertaining fluke, was simply an extension of what he has been doing for nearly a decade.
Romo may not be the top quarterback in the league (though he has played like it over the past calendar year), but he certainly is second to none in the category of late-game heroics. Nobody, since 2006, has more game-winning drives in the fourth quarter than Romo.
Yes, beating the Giants was supposed to be an inevitability. Not only were the Cowboys home team, the they were also the better team, from top to bottom.
But instead of choking the life out of the Giants early, the Cowboys embarked on a corporate venture designed to undermine expectations. The initial 52 minutes of play had revealed little of a positive nature for the home team. Starters were falling like flies and the Cowboys were coughing up the ball at random, three turnovers leading to a 23-13 deficit.
That’s when Romo took to the field again, minus his top wide receiver Dez Bryant, who had limped to the locker room earlier with a broken foot. All he did was lead two quick touchdown drives to steal the game away from New York, the last march encompassing 72 yards in less than ninety seconds with no timeouts at his disposal.
Lost in the reaction to such an improbable outcome was Romo’s final stat-line. Not only did he orchestrate a brilliant two-minute march, he also completed 80-percent of his passes for the game (36-of-45). For everyone not named Aaron Rodgers, that’s every bit of a noteworthy statistic.
A season ago, Romo was less than two percentage points from breaking Drew Brees’ all-time record for completion percentage in a single season of 71.2. After what we witnessed against the Giants, it’s hard not to imagine Romo pushing Brees’ record to the limit again in 2015.
Sure, it’s not every week that Romo will be going up against a defense that’s missing its best pass-rusher. That’s the bad news.
The good news, of course, is that, barring a series of catastrophes, he will be playing behind the league’s premier offensive line. That fact alone should give him at least a fighters chance at the record.
Not that it will alter the outside perception of his abilities. It will only be filed away with virtually every Cowboys passing record known to man as one of the many inconsequential accomplishments during his career.
Until he wins a Super Bowl, the fans’ love for Romo is much like an at-arms-length marriage, its status fluctuating from moment-to-moment, week-to-week.
Romo saved the Cowboys’ backsides from humiliation versus the Giants. Again. Yet, come Sunday evening in Philly, who’ll even remember him for it?