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Monday, January 9, 2012
What Went Right: Tony Romo's return

By Todd Archer

This is the first installment in ESPN Dallas' five-part series on things that went right for the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.

No. 5: Tony Romo returned to form

Tony Romo
Tony Romo showed his toughness while arguably having his best season, playing at times with a broken rib, a punctured lung and a badly bruised throwing hand this season. He threw for 4,184 yards and 29 touchdowns and had just nine interceptions.
Tony Romo was limited to five-plus games in 2010 because of a broken collarbone suffered on Oct. 25, 2010 against the New York Giants. Romo had 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions and 1,605 yards passing before getting hurt, but the Cowboys were 1-5 in his six starts.

Romo finished 2011 with 4,184 yards on 346-of-522 passing and 31 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions. His 102.5 passer rating was a career best. His 66.3 completion percentage was the best when he has lasted a full season. After throwing five interceptions in the first four games, he had just five the rest of the season. He had five games with at least three touchdown passes.

Romo showed a leadership and a toughness many thought he lacked entering 2011.

The leadership started during the lockout when he e-mailed his teammates a detailed practice plan for month-long workouts in May. Romo, who helped organize the sessions with fellow veterans, ran the practices almost like a coach.

The toughness came when he returned from a broken rib and punctured lung suffered in the first half at San Francisco and delivered an overtime win and played through the injury for the next six weeks. He played the season finale at the New York Giants with a badly bruised right hand that required a pain-killing injection.

Romo turns 32 in April, but nothing that happened in 2011 show he is nearing the end of the line.