Tony Romo's stats for the game against the Giants were kind of pedestrian. He only threw for 263 yards, his per attempt average was a paltry 5.4 yards, he had two touchdowns and one interception. When you look at those topline measures, you would conclude he was just average at best on Sunday night. Assuming that, though, would be a mistake. Tony Romo had a wonderful game for a few different reasons.
1. Playing through pain. Admit it, when you first saw Romo on the ground, crumpled in pain after being sandwiched by a couple of Giants, you had thoughts of losing this game in the second half, of a season going down the toilet, of all kinds of things. Most observers, after watching Romo walk off the field gingerly then wincing in pain on the sidelines, thought Romo was surely done for the evening's festivities. But he wasn't. Say what you want about Romo, you can never question his toughness, his ability to play through pain. He didn't have X-rays done at halftime and didn't take any pain medicine, but still played the whole game. We'll find out later today if there are any problems with his ribs after he has X-rays done. But Romo is taking it in stride:
"You take some hits sometimes and you’ve got to come back from it," Romo said. "We had plenty of guys do the same thing and it was no different. You get back out there and play. I’ll be fine."
2. Taking the short stuff. 263 yards is a pretty average total for an NFL QB to pass for in a game. Romo routinely puts up 300+ yard games. So what gives? Take a look at his completion/attempts ratio. 36 for 49 on the evening. That's a lot of attempts to only rack up 263 yards. That was Romo being patient and taking what the defense was giving him, which was the short stuff. The Giants were determined not to get beat deep, and they were also determined to shut down Dez Bryant. They rolled a safety his way on every play. After the game Romo said that was a totally new defense from the Giants, one he's never seen them run before. But instead of doing what he's sometimes done in the past and forcing throws downfield, Romo played the dink-and-dunk game and got a victory out of it. BTW, how about a 73% completion rate. Outstanding.
3. Determination. Romo not only took the pain and put his body on the line after the big hit, he also threw his body into harm's way after his interception. Tom Ryle has a great post about that play, but I'll just say it was inspiring to see Romo make all that effort to tackle Ryan Mundy. Of course, at the moment half of my brain was saying get the heck out of there, don't get hurt. But the other half couldn't help but to be impressed with his effort.
Now, we just have to hope the X-rays come back negative and Romo is ready to go against the Chiefs. Sunday night wasn't a typical night for Tony Romo; typical nights usually consist of him putting up gaudy numbers regardless of whether the team wins or loses. This night looked a lot different, but Romo came out of it proving he can win a game in many ways.