Tony Romo's a modern-day Captain Comeback (minus playoffs)

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
11:18
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – As crazy as it sounds, Tony Romo has established himself as the most effective comeback quarterback in Cowboys’ history.

Yes, even more efficient than Roger Staubach, the man who earned the “Captain Comeback” nickname.

ColdHardFootballFacts.com has the cold, hard stats to prove it. Staubach and fellow Hall of Famer Troy Aikman had more comebacks, but Romo has a better winning percentage in comeback opportunities, which are defined by the website as the offense having the ball in the fourth quarter while trailing by eight points or less.

Aikman was 16-34 (.320) in those situations.

Staubach was 15-23 (.395).

Romo is 13-19 (.406).

Romo’s comeback record includes the Cowboys’ last two wins. He’s led four comebacks this season, the most remarkable coming when the Cowboys rallied from a double-digit deficit against the 49ers despite Romo playing with a fractured rib and punctured lung.

“I think you just have to have that belief as a player, that’s just part of your mental makeup,” Romo said. “Over time it just makes you think that you’re always going to get the job done. I know the team thinks that way. However many times we’ve done it, it just feels like you’re going to do it.”

Of course, Romo has only done it during the regular season. Staubach’s nickname stuck because of unforgettable playoff performances, such as throwing two touchdowns in the final 90 seconds of a 1972 win in San Francisco and coining the phrase Hail Mary after delivering a game-winning deep ball to Drew Pearson in a 1975 road upset of the Vikings.

Romo has yet to author his first playoff comeback. He should have in his 2006 playoff debut, but the holder blew it. (The fact that the holder happened to be Romo is one reason he’s often labeled a choker despite his track record of leading rallies.)

But the Cowboys will take their chances if Romo has the ball in his hands late in a one-score playoff game. Romo has given them reason to believe.

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