Friday, December 27, 2013
Win over Redksins at top of Romo's finest moments
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett described Tony Romo as “devastated,” about not being able to play in Sunday’s season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles because of back surgery.
Think of Romo’s lasting legacy from the 2013 season.
Knowing what we know now about the extent of Romo’s injury, Romo’s play in the fourth quarter of last week’s win against the Washington Redskins should be one of the quarterback’s defining moments.
Romo had been limping before he averted a Rob Jackson sack, stumbled and completed an 8-yard pass to Miles Austin on third down, but after that play was when it became truly apparent he was hurting.
Even Jason Garrett had a cavalier reaction after the game when the Cowboys were unaware how much Romo was hurting.
“He certainly was hobbling around a little bit and you just suck it up, pull your sock up, spit on it and keep going,” Garrett said.
Romo kept going.
He completed seven of his final nine pass attempts for 119 yards. One of the incompletions was a drop by Terrance Williams. The other was a great last-second deflection by DeAngelo Hall on a deep throw to Dez Bryant.
Twice on the game-winning drive Romo bought himself time with the Redskins pass rush crashing toward him. He hit Williams for a 51-yard gain and then won the game when he shook free and bought time that allowed DeMarco Murray score the game-winning touchdown on fourth down.
“Tony did an unbelievable job helping us to get to this point,” Garrett said. “He might have had his finest hour against the Redskins last week. What he did at the end of that ball game, under the circumstances, pretty special. We talk about mental toughness being your best regardless of circumstances. There were a lot of circumstances going against him and he certainly rose to the occasion and somehow, someway helped us win that ball game.”
Romo’s story is mostly about the Cowboys’ late-season miscues and lack of playoff success. But what’s often left to the side are games like last week’s or when he played through a punctured lung and broken rib against San Francisco.
“He willed himself in that game to think five days later, what he's gone through,” tight end Jason Witten said “He put the team on his back on that drive. He obviously was in pain. (It was) just unbelievable gut and will that he had to find a way for us to win.”