[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).
Over the next several weeks before 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.]
2.) A Comeback That Can't Be Described, It Must Be Lived (Oct. 8th, 2007)
These were teams that were headed in opposite directions as the Bills were 1-3 and hosting the 4-0 Cowboys at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This was also the first full season of the Romo era after he took over midseason in 2006. This game is still remembered as one of the greatest comebacks not only of Romo's career but perhaps ever. Personally, I was in my sophomore year of college and we were having a Monday Night Football party. Little did we know, we were in for a nail-biter of the century.
The Cowboys lost the coin toss and the Bills elected to receive but weren't able to come away with much of anything as the Cowboys' bottled up the very young Marshawn Lynch. Dallas would receive the punt at their own two-yard line and two plays later as Romo is looking for Jason Witten at the 25, George Wilson intercepts the ball and runs it back for the score. Bills are up over the Cowboys 7-0.
The Cowboys would get the ball back in better field position and Julius Jones would bust out a 15-yard run on 2nd and 2 but on the very next play Romo tosses his second pick of the game, this time, to Angelo Crowell. Again, Romo was forcing the ball to Witten and it just wasn't there. We're not even through the first quarter and Romo has already given the Bills the ball twice.
Thankfully, this Bills team was dreadful and Trent Edwards couldn't move his offense into scoring range and Brian Moorman would punt it back to Dallas. With just a minute left in the first quarter, the Cowboys are back on offense. This time, Romo is able to get the ball out to his own receivers on this drive. He finally connects with Witten three times for a combined 35 yards. On 1st and 10 from the Buffalo 22, Romo finds Witten again for 22 yards and the touchdown to even up this contest.
The Bills are back on offense and they are driving with the help of Lynch and Edwards. Though the Cowboys get a sack from Jay Ratliff on first down, they still can't stop the Bills' drive. After 15 plays, finally, the Cowboys are able to hold the Bills to a field goal attempt, which they make to regain the lead 10-7 with 3:30 left to play in the half. The Cowboys begin at their own 11-yard line after Kevin Burnett picks up a penalty for low blocking.
On first down, Romo steps back to throw and it's intercepted by Chris Kelsay who runs this one back for the second pick-six for the Bills' defense. The Bills now lead 17-7 with 3:00 minutes to play. Three plays later, Romo is looking for Sam Hurd when Jabari Greer intercepts Romo at the Dallas 42. Romo is now four interceptions into this game with only one touchdown pass to show. In a few short plays, the Bills use their timeouts to attempt a 54-yard field goal with 41 seconds left in the half, the kick is no good and the Cowboys have the ball and one timeout.
On 3rd and 5, Romo finds Hurd for 22 yards and Nick Folk boots a 47-yarder as time expires and we're at the half, Bills lead is surprisingly only 17-10.
After the half, Romo is now firing on all cylinders as he shows that determination to make things right after as poor a first half as you can have. With the help of Julius Jones on the ground, the passing game is opening up for Dallas. Romo to Witten for nine, now to Patrick Crayton for seven and back to Witten for another 12 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Buffalo 43, Romo finds Crayton for a 31-yard pass to the Buffalo 12, two incompletions later, Folk makes this a four-point game as he nails a 29-yarder. It's Bills 17, Cowboys 13. That wouldn't last long as Terrence McGee would return the kickoff for 103 yards and the score, Bills now lead by 11 with just under 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.
Both teams struggle to move the ball on their next possessions and the Cowboys get the ball back with only three minutes left in the third quarter. Beginning at their own nine-yard line, Romo finds Owens for 11 yards. Romo rushes up the middle for an extra five and gets 15 more after the Bills are called for unnecessary roughness. Romo finds Marion Barber for 13 yards on second down and Barber rushes one for another nine yards to get to the Buffalo 36. On 3rd and 1, Romo connects with Deon Anderson for another 17 yards. The Cowboys fail to get the first two plays later and Nick Folk kicks the 37-yard field goal as the Bills lead is 24-16 inside the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing Bills' drive, Edwards is beat up from the feet up as he's sacked twice and almost loses a fumble. Moorman punts it back to the Cowboys but two plays later, Romo fumbles the ball and has his fifth turnover of the game. As the Bills are in Cowboys' territory and driving, Terence Newman saves the day with a pick of his own and runs it 70 yards. Newman is stripped at the Bills 17 but Ratliff bails him out and falls on the ball. Romo, with less than six minutes left, tosses his fifth interception two plays into the drive and we're all giving up at this point. It's Romo's sixth turnover of the game and doubt is starting to creep in about our signal caller.
After the Bills can't seem to take advantage of the Cowboys' mistakes, Dallas will have the ball back with 3:45 to play. Romo to Crayton for 12. Marion Barber up the middle for eight more. Romo to Witten for 10, to Barber for eight, back to Witten for nine more. On 1st and 10 from the Buffalo 38, Romo connects with Crayton again for 11 and back to Barber for another seven yards. With 47 seconds left, facing a 3rd and 3, Romo hits Witten again for six yards and the new set of downs. Dallas takes their first timeout then Romo completes one short left to Barber for 10 more yards and the first. Cowboys call a timeout followed by a timeout by the Bills. Romo finds Crayton for four yards and the score but Romo and Owens can't connect on the two-point try.
With 20 seconds left, Nick Folk attempts his first onside kick and what do you know...it's successfully recovered by Tony Curtis. Romo hits a wide-open Owens for 22 yards but the official overturns the play. With 13 seconds left, Romo finds Barber for four yards at the Buffalo 43. Romo is then good to Crayton for the eight yards on a 3rd and 3 to get Dallas to the Buffalo 35. With two seconds left, Nick Folk drills the game-winner from 53 yards out but Buffalo attempts to ice the kicker calling their final timeout (Dick Jauron's a real jerk). So, Folk is forced to try again and he nails it again as the Cowboys shock the Bills 25-24 in a game unlike any other I remember.
I ran out of my apartment screaming at the top of my lungs and was yelled at by a neighbor who didn't appreciate it. Must have been a Bills' fan. Still, this game may have been the game that showed Romo's true grit as they say. That dude never gave up and after turning the ball over six times, he willed his team to a hard-fought improbable victory. The Cowboys cruised to 13-3 on the season and this was most certainly one of the more memorable contests of the season and perhaps one of the most cherished Romo moments given the circumstances.