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Dallas Cowboys: How 2014 Became The Best Year Of Tony Romo's Career

Tony Romo was asked to do less, but proceeded to do a whole lot more when all was said and done. Check out how 2014 became the best year of his career.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason, Tony Romo was coming off of his second back surgery in as many years. He got to spend the entire offseason listening to doubters talk about how his career was likely over, as well as how much the Dallas Cowboys were going to struggle in 2014.

His response? A %69.9 completion percentage with 3,705 yards, 34 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in 15 games. Tack on a career-best 113.2 quarterback rating and you have the best season of Romo's career. The question is, how did it become his best year?

Sure, having DeMarco Murray running like a mad man helped his case out. Also, having one of the best offensive lines in football can make for a strong argument, but in all honesty, it's far more than that.

Romo put together the impressive numbers above with his fewest attempts in each season, except for back in 2006. It was also his fewest completions aside from that year as well. While he may not have thrown for nearly 5,000 yards like Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger did, he was incredibly consistent and effective this season. Romo played smart football in 2014, which led to him throwing the fourth-most touchdowns in the NFL.

What makes what Romo did last season even more impressive, is the fact that he did it with the low number of passing attempts. The chart below breaks down the top 10 quarterbacks in 2014 in terms of touchdown passes and how many passing attempts each player had.

Player Attempts Touchdowns QB Rating
Andrew Luck 616 40 96.5
Peyton Manning 597 39 101.5
Aaron Rodgers 520 38 112.2
Tony Romo 435 34 113.2
Tom Brady 582 33 97.4
Drew Brees 659 33 97
Ben Roethlisberger 608 32 103.3
Philip Rivers 570 31 93.8
Eli Manning 601 30 92.1
*Jay Cutler 561 28 88.6
*Matt Ryan 628 28 93.9

Those numbers are incredible when you really think about. When asked to throw far less, Romo was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, even from a statistical standpoint. He was so consistent in 2014, and down the home stretch (yes from the start of December), he posted a 16-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. Those stats include the postseason.

Did someone say something about a December meltdown?

So what made this year the best of Romo's career? Basically everything. The often-criticized quarterback truly turned the corner this year. While many believed that the championship window was closing, there's a strong argument to be made against that as we look towards 2015.

Romo's ability to take advantage of what the defense gave him and not force the issue was a key part of an impressive season. Expect that to continue heading into next season with the offensive line coming back stronger than ever and the coaching staff finally being on board with the run-first mentality.

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