[In the ten seasons that Tony Romo has been the starting quarterback, he's engineered some great fourth-quarter heroics to bring the Cowboys to victories. Since 2006, no quarterback has had more fourth-quarter comeback victories, 25 to be exact, than Tony Romo. His passer rating in the final quarter of football is an astounding 102.9, five points higher than the number two guy (Aaron Rodgers). Romo also holds the mantle of most game-winning drives among active quarterbacks (29) as well as passer rating in the final two minutes (93.1).
As the team heads out to Oxnard and starts it all up again, I thought we could take some time to look back at Mr. Clutch Quarterback himself. We're going to rank all of his comeback tales from good to great, from awesome to completely amazing. Here's looking at you, Mr. Romo.]
4.) A Primetime Epic For The Wily Veteran (Sept. 13, 2015)
As we get to ascend into the top comebacks of Romo's career, it was hard keeping this one outside the Top 3, but in the end, the others ahead deserve their spots on this countdown. In a terrible year that was last season, perhaps their best game came in week one when Tony Romo jumped into the driver's seat as the Comeback Champion in the National Football League. This game was a nerve-wracking one but it has to be up there as one of the greatest comebacks of Romo's career. Tony Romo is 11-7 against the G-Men in regular season play and has won his last five outings against the Giants.
Dallas received the kick to begin this one and Romo led an 18-play drive to the Giants 3, but on 3rd and 3, Romo and Dez Bryant failed to connect. Dan Bailey would come out for the 21-yard attempt and it's good, giving the Cowboys a 3-0 advantage.
With the help of an unnecessary roughness penalty on Brandon Carr and failed challenge by Jason Garrett, the Giants were able to make this one even with a 50-yard field goal by Josh Brown. The Cowboys are unsuccessful on their next outing going three and out. New York is leading a nice drive that began at their own 3-yard line but Larry Donnell fumbles a Manning pass out of bounds. The Cowboys challenge the ruling and the play is overturned to an incomplete pass forcing the Giants to punt this one back.
Darren McFadden takes over and picks up eight yards on first down and three more on second to bring a fresh set for the Cowboys. Romo finds Bryant 9 yards on first with McFadden picking up an extra three on 2nd down. Romo tosses a short one to McFadden and he runs it 19 yards to the Giants 21. Three plays later Romo to Dez is incomplete again and Bailey bails them out to take the lead 6-3.
On the Giants' ensuing drive, Tyrone Crawford steps up and rocks Eli Manning as the Giants are headed backwards and forced to punt. The Cowboys pick up where they left off as Romo finds Lance Dunbar for nine, Dez for 18, and Terrance Williams for eight more. Dez is now headed to the locker room with an apparent foot injury and he doesn't return. Unfortunately, on 2nd and 2 from their own 43, Romo hits Cole Beasley for 14 yards but Trumaine McBride forces a fumble in which Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie returns for 57 yards and just like that, the Giants are up 10-6.
To make matters worse, Romo is looking for Jason Witten on the next drive but is intercepted by Uani Unga. With only 46 seconds left in the half, Eli manages to get his team into field goal range, Brown is true from 40 yards out and the Giants have a 7-point lead 13-6 at the half.
Getting the ball after the half, the Giants are on the move again with Eli easily picking apart the secondary. On a four-yard slant to Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Wilcox levels Beckham and this one is starting to get heated. Eight plays after, the Giants are at the Cowboys 12 knocking on the door when Manning is incomplete to Preston Parker and Brown kicks his third field goal of the game, Giants lead is 16-6.
Facing a 3rd and 1 from their own 29, Romo hits Joseph Randle for 25 yards to get the first and then some. He finds Randle again on 2nd down for 11 yards and a first, the offense is just ripping the Giants' poor defense to shreds. Randle runs around the left for five and Romo finds Dunbar for another six to get another first down. On 3rd and 4 from the Giants 18, Romo passes deep to Williams and picks up a defensive pass interference call on Rodgers-Cromartie. On the very next play, Romo tosses a two-yarder to Gavin Escobar in the end zone, touchdown Cowboys. The lead is now cut to 3 points for the Giants.
Neither team can make anything of their next possessions and we're headed for the fourth quarter. On the next Giants' drive, Preston Parker is the main target after Beckham looks out of sorts from that hit Wilcox laid on him (he would never be the same in this contest). Still, Parker isn't enough as the Giants are forced to punt. However, two plays later, Devin Street is not even looking for the ball as it comes to him and is intercepted by McBride for a 19-yard return that Rashad Jennings turns into a touchdown run. Giants lead is now 23-13.
With just under eight minutes to play, the Cowboys get some help after Dunbar returns the kick for 32 yards, setting them up nicely for this drive. What a drive it is as Romo finds Witten for 15 yards. He follows that up with a 16-yarder to Williams and 7-yard pass to Beasley. Romo opens up the field with a 21-yard pass to Williams and finds Beasley again for 16 more to Giants 1. Romo to Witten for the touchdown and it's a three-point game with 5:11 on the clock, Cowboys have all their timeouts.
Here's where the New York Giants make their fatal mistake. They are leading an amazing drive with help from stupid penalties committed by the Cowboys. They should all but win this game after forcing the Cowboys to use all of their timeouts on this drive and getting to the Dallas 2-yard line. Manning misses on 3rd and 1, throwing an incompletion instead of taking a sack and keeping the clock rolling and they elect to kick the field goal on 4th and 1, giving them a 26-20 lead but leaving 1:37 left on the clock.
What happens next is just plain elite quarterbacking as Romo hits Dunbar (New York could not stop him) for 24 yards. Again, Romo to Dunbar for 16 more yards and then over to Witten for 13 more yards. Gosh, this New York secondary was toast. Romo finds Williams for eight more yards to the New York 11 with 17 seconds left in regulation. The next play is a thing of beauty, Travis Frederick produces a terrible snap but Romo picks the ball up off the ground, the defense is closing in on him but he finds Witten at the goal-line for 11 yards and the score. The Cowboys win this one 27-26 and the crowd erupts.
We see the Cowboys head to the locker room with Dez Bryant (broken foot) congratulating every one of his teammates as they make their way to the back. Everyone knows how the season ended but can't forget how legendary this game was for Tony Romo. After they lost their star receiver, Romo opened up the playbook to get everyone involved and expected nothing but a win. This was a comeback of epic proportions but wait until we unveil the last three.