#2: Romo's Run
Week 4; St. Louis Rams versus Dallas Cowboys
It's a play that needs no introduction, no build up. There isn't a Dallas Cowboys fan alive that hasn't seen the play over and over again, and with each viewing you have to pause and just chuckle to yourself. It was simply amazing.
Never before has a 4-yard gain at midfield elicited such a response from the Texas Stadium crowd or the home team on the sidelines. Professional players and coaches were left awestruck at what they had just witnessed. The play was the catalyst the Cowboys needed to wake up and throttle an over matched Rams football team.
When you sit and watch the play and really analyze everything about it, all the subtleties and nuances that took place on the periphery, there is some amazing stuff to take in. Before I get to Tony Romo himself, you have to applaud the team around him. Not one Cowboys player on the field panicked, they just realized the situation and did what had to be done to try and minimize the damage. Watching Marion Barber run back to help, stumble as he turned upfield and the rumble alongside his quarterback is what really chokes me up. It was as if he was Romo's personal guard, and he had taken it upon himself to ensure that no one would touch his quarterback in the open field. He was so committed to his job that as he went to level a linebacker he ended up putting Jason Witten on his back instead.
But the real story for those thirteen seconds was Tony Romo. This one play exemplifies everything we love our quarterback. Not once did he even think about falling on that ball, when everyone at the stadium and at home (including me) was yelling for him to do so and avoid catastrophe. And after he booted it once, his focus was still on picking that ball up and getting it upfield. As he grabbed the bouncing ball 35 yards behind the line of scrimmage he immediately he looked upfield for someone to throw it to. As he raced upfield somehow he sensed someone coming and while hardly glancing to his right, he sidestepped a would-be tackle and continued his run down the sideline. By the time he had stepped out of bounds for a 4-yard gain (and the first down), he had singlehandedly outran the defense and traveled nearly 70 yards up and down the field.
The icing on the cake came a few plays later, when Romo scrambled up the middle for the go ahead touchdown. He emphatically slammed the ball onto the turf at the back of the end zone, and turned to be embraced by his teammates.