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Tony Romo Achieves Tough-To-Reach Statistical Milestone In Win Over Giants

On Sunday, Tony Romo passed for more than 300 yards, completed more than 3/4 of his passes and threw three touchdowns for only the fifth time in his career. We take a closer look at which other NFL QBs have and haven't reached such a career milestone.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In the aftermath of Sunday's win over the Giants, you'll read all sorts of impressive numbers about Tony Romo's performance. How he engineered his 25th fourth-quarter comeback, or how he now has 29 game-winning drives to his name. And all of that is hugely impressive.

But what very few people know is that Tony Romo achieved an even rarer statistical milestone for just the fifth time in his career on Sunday, the QB Trifecta.

In 2001, Peyton Manning became the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to complete a QB Trifecta by passing for more than three hundred yards, completing more than three quarters of his passes and throwing three or more touchdowns. The Oxford Dictionary defines a Trifecta as a "run of three wins or grand events", and while the term is mostly used in horse racing, a stat line of 300/75/3 is a combination of three pretty grand achievements for a QB and can therefore also be called a Trifecta.

On Sunday, Romo became the latest quarterback to throw for a QB Trifecta, when he finished the game with a stat line of 356 passing yards, an 80% completion rate (36/45) and three touchdown passes. Romo's performance was the 88th QB Trifecta since 2001. And a look at how many times that statistical milestone has been achieved over the years tells you all you'll ever want to know about how the passing game has evolved in the NFL:

No. of QB Trifecta games per year
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
QB Trifecta games 2 2 1 3 5 3 9 3 7 4 9 13 13 13

For Tony Romo, it was the fifth QB Trifecta game of his career, and his first since 2012, when he had one in the season opener against the Giants (307 yards, 75.9% CMP, 3 TDs in a 24-17 win) and one in December against the Eagles (303/82/3 in a 38-33 win). The other two games in which he hit the 300/75/3 mark: against Philly in 2007 (324/80/3 in a 38-17 win) and against Tampa in 2006 (306/75.9/5 in a 38-10 win).

Of course, the 300/75/3 mark is an arbitrary cutoff stat like many others used in sports, but the numbers do have a certain ring to them, and they are not numbers that every Tom, Dick or Eli puts up every day. Here's a list of all the active quarterbacks who've had at least one game in which they passed for a QB Trifecta in the regular season or in the playoffs:

Player Career Trifecta Games
Drew Brees 20
Peyton Manning 19
Tom Brady 10
Aaron Rodgers 8
Philip Rivers 6
Tony Romo 5
Matthew Stafford 3
Ben Roethlisberger 2
Matt Schaub 2
One game each: Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Josh McCown, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Geno Smith

Looking at the table above, it's no surprise to find the usual suspects (Brees, Peyton, Brady and Rodgers) at the top of the leaderboard, and only people with no functioning knowledge of football would be surprised to see Tony Romo rank high on the list as well.

But if you came here looking for the likes of Sam Bradford, Robert Griffin, or Mark Sanchez, don't give up. Their greatness is bound to manifest itself at some point.

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