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The 2012 season: Romo and the ‘Boys

For the second time in a second half, Tony Romo had a perfect quarterback rating. Of course, the first time Tony accomplished this lofty achievement in 2006, his line against the Houston Texans was:

2-2 35 yards, 1 TD

Romo's second half in Arlington against the Eagles Sunday night was much more impressive:

10-10 169 yards, 3 TD

That second half led to the greatest statistical single game performance Tony Romo has ever played for the Dallas Cowboys. For the first time in his professional career, Tony topped a 150 passer rating.

Here are the top 10 games ranked by passer rating for Tony Romo when he threw more than two passes:

Opponent

Season

Rating

Final Score

Philadelphia

2012

150.5

W 38-33

Tampa Bay

2006

148.9

W 38-10

@ Philadelphia

2007

141.7

W 38-17

@ Tampa Bay

2009

140.6

W 34-21

Atlanta

2009

141.6

W 37-21

Buffalo

2011

148.4

W 44-7

NY Giants

2011

141.3

L 34-37

@ Tampa Bay

2011

133.9

W 31-15

NY Giants

2012

129.5

W 24-17

NY Giants

2007

128.5

W 45-35

The story of this game was Tony Romo's stellar performance. Every sub plot related to Romo's excellence.

It was not a coincidence that Romo had his best day ever from the perspective of passer rating when Tony was afforded improved protection (despite two sacks) and could lean on a strong running game (30-126 yards, 1TD prior to the last two possessions). Tony and Jason Garrett could use play action effectively (see the replay of Miles' TD reception and focus on DeMeco Ryans biting on the play fake to Felix) for the first time since the game at Baltimore.

Alarmingly, despite having Romo throw for three touchdowns and accumulating 303 passing yards with nary a turnover, had Dallas not scored on a sensational fumble return late in the fourth quarter by rookie cornerback, Morris Claiborne, the Cowboys could have easily lost this game. The defense yielded 423 yards, with 183 rushing yards.

Of course, with starters Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, and Barry Church watching the game from the bench, it is not surprising that rookie Bryce Brown ripped the incomplete Cowboys' defense to the tune of 169 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. It was obvious that Nick Foles was only going to take the throws that the Dallas defense was yielding.

For the second time this season, Alex Albright got the best seat in the house as a kick returner raced by for a touchdown. At Baltimore, Albright lost contain by drifting out of his lane. This time, Albright failed to converge and left a lane as he ran by the diminutive Damaris Johnson. Thank goodness Witten was able to collect the onsides kick behind a flawless blocking wall.

Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and DeMarco Murray were all great supporting actors behind the strong lead of Romo. On defense, Spencer was great. Almost every other player on defense was up and down. Considering that the nickel package was missing almost half of its players, and the Eagles specifically attacked that package, the inconsistency of the defense was not shocking.

Moving forward, it seems obvious that making this team more Romo-friendly should be a priority. Better blocking from the offensive line (a few more Tyron Smith's would be nice), a more consistent defense that can give the ball back to the offense, and special teams that help, rather than harm the team should be the priorities. The weapons to win exist on this team, if they can stay healthy, or be given time to shine

It is always glorious to beat a division rival, but Dallas will be hard-pressed to win more than seven games this season; and winning seven may be a stretch. Perhaps that seventh win will occur in Washington in week 17.

For those looking for progress, last season the Cowboys finished 2-4 in the division. This season, Dallas has won three games in the division, with a chance of winning a fourth the final weekend.

It may have been Jimmy Johnson that believed that winning a Super Bowl started with winning the division. Against divisional rivals that swept Dallas in 2011 (0-4), the Cowboys finished 3-1 in 2012.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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