Romo’s Comeback Wins
A week ago, Tony Romo was about to get his walking papers out of Dallas. We welcomed the 2011 season with the Tony Romo Blame Game, noting that Romo was 40-26 as a starter, including playoff games.
After week 2, Romo is 41-26 as a starter, and though he hasn’t escaped criticism, nobody can legitimately question his toughness after he played much of the game with at least one cracked rib and a punctured lung.
This week is really about giving the guy credit. In 11 of those 41 wins, the Cowboys were tied or were behind heading into the fourth quarter. Romo is just as responsible for most of those wins as he might have been for bad losses described last week.
Below is a summary of each of those games.
Oct. 29, 2006: Dallas 35, Carolina 14
Those who see the score might wonder why this is on here. But in Romo’s first career start, Dallas fell behind 14-0 early and still trailed heading into the fourth quarter. Dallas scored 25 in the fourth to give Romo his first NFL win.
Nov. 19, 2006: Dallas 21, Indianapolis 14
The 5-4 Cowboys hosted the 9-0 Colts in a November matchup, and the Cowboys came away with the win. Romo completed 19 of his 23 pass attempts, and Dallas came back from a 14-7 deficit to pull out the win.
Dec. 3, 2006: Dallas 23, N.Y. Giants 20
Romo’s first really great moment came at the Meadowlands. The Giants tied the game at 20 late in the game, but Romo drove the Cowboys down for a game-winning field goal. The biggest play was a 42-yard pass from Romo to Jason Witten on the final drive.
Oct. 8, 2007: Dallas 25, Buffalo 24
Romo threw five interceptions in this game, and Dallas trailed 24-13 heading into the fourth quarter. But Romo helped the Cowboys to an improbable win thanks to Nick Folk’s 53-yard field goal as time expired.
Dec. 9, 2007: Dallas 28, Detroit 27
The Cowboys clinched the NFC East by erasing a 27-14 deficit in the fourth quarter. Romo’s 16-yard touchdown to Witten gave Dallas the win.
Sept. 15, 2008: Dallas 41, Philadelphia 37
The Eagles took a six-point lead early in the 2008 game at Texas Stadium, but the Cowboys came back. Romo threw for 312 yards with three touchdowns.
Nov. 16, 2008: Dallas 14, Washington 10
Romo returned from injury to lead the 5-4 Cowboys to an important win at Washington. His 25-yard touchdown to Martellus Bennett was the difference in the game.
(Fun trivia for today: how many touchdowns has Bennett had since scoring four as a rookie?)
Oct. 11, 2009: Dallas 26, Kansas City 20 (OT)
Two years before Jesse Holley came out of nowhere to help the Cowboys to a win, a speedy receiver named Miles Austin caught 10 passes for 250 yards against the Chiefs, including a 60-yarder in overtime to give Dallas the win. Romo threw for 351 yards with two touchdowns.
Nov. 8, 2009: Dallas 20, Philadelphia 16
In what turned out to be a critical win in 2009, Dallas erased a three-point deficit to get the win. One of the big plays was Romo’s 49-yard touchdown to Austin.
Nov. 22, 2009: Dallas 7, Washington 6
The least impressive win on this list also marked the last time before the 2011 season that Romo led a comeback. Dallas trailed 6-0 in the fourth quarter before Romo drove the team down and hit Patrick Crayton for the game winner.
Sept. 18, 2011: Dallas 27, San Francisco 24 (OT)
Romo has been compared with Don Meredith, playing a game with a cracked ribs and a punctured lung sounds like what Dandy Don might do.
(Of course, Romo was probably the beneficiary of modern medicine, while Dandy might have had to rely on Southern Comfort.)