It was only a matter of time before Tony Romo does what he normally does statistically on a big stage.
Playing on a national stage and in the home of the defending world champion (and bitter NFC East rival) New York Giants, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys played the role of party stoppers in grand fashion. Very few gave Romo and the ‘Boys much respect coming into this contest and considering big-game failures of the past they seemed to have good reason; It doesn’t seem as though the Cowboys win very many games like these anymore.
None could have felt more vindicated than Romo, whose 96.9 career passer rating is second in NFL history and came in having posted passer ratings over 100 in his last four against the Giants with six touchdowns and one interception. Many had dubbed him a choke artist or a fraud in big moments.
Last night very well could have turned the tide for him.
Throwing for 307 yards and three scores last night in a manner that seemed to show new-found poise in bigger moments was the major difference. He was unfazed by the Giants aggressive pass rush and made better decisions when the game mattered most.
Another highlight of the Cowboys was Kevin Ogletree, who seemed to be this years Laurent Robinson, or Miles Austin, or any of the other breakthrough play-makers the Cowboys have unveiled in recent years. His eight catches for 144-yards and two touchdowns caused the Giants secondary issues all night, and showed the Cowboys passing attack this season could be onto something if Bryant, Miles, Ogletree, and Witten all remain healthy and in the starting lineup. Couple that with Demarco Murray’s 131-yard performance and this has the makings of a very scary offensive unit.
Jerry Jones made headlines, as he so often does, when he stated that the Cowboys window was closing if they wanted to win. While ridiculous for no other reason than the Cowboys have one of the youngest teams in the league on both sides of the ball, he seemed to light a fire under them on this night. But the question remains:
Will this make them favorites in their own division?
I see the Eagles still having the best team in this division especially after clearing up glaring issues on the defensive line through the draft and picking up Demeco Ryans from the Texans. I also can’t ever count out the defending champion New York Giants who have the ability to play some of the most brilliant football in opportune stretches.
So while this night belonged to a seemingly new Tony Romo and the Cowboys, the road to the playoffs is a long and difficult one. I will say it seems as though the Cowboys are better equipped for it this time around.