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Dallas Cowboys history: Tony Romo duel with Peyton Manning’s Broncos happened 10 years ago today

A decade has passed since Romo’s duel with Manning.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

There are certain games that stand out in our memories as Dallas Cowboys fans and unfortunately, like all fans, they are not all positive. Winning feels great which is why those memories are so prominent in our minds, but losing hurts so much, and when close losses happen it is difficult to completely forget how they made us feel.

We have had plenty of both but there is one that is worth discussing given that today, Friday, October 6th, 2013, is the 10-year anniversary of it. Amazingly, an entire decade has passed since Tony Romo out-dueled Peyton Manning in a game that was completely emblematic of his entire career.

The Tony Romo duel with Peyton Manning happened 10 years ago today

I’ve been fortunate to be at some pretty memorable Dallas Cowboys games in my lifetime and this was indeed one of them. My Dad and I had chosen to attend this game before the season started because we wanted to see Peyton Manning. But with all due respect, the Sheriff had the second-best quarterback performance of the day. The NFL doesn’t allow embedding YouTube videos from their official channels, but if you want to watch the highlights from the game you can do so right here.

Normally watching highlights from a Cowboys loss would be the worst idea ever, but this is a different sort of loss for all of us. This game was a Tony Romo masterclass and justified the belief that many of us had in him for years prior.

Tony Romo against the Denver Broncos (October 6th, 2013)

  • 25 attempts
  • 46 completions
  • 69% completion
  • 5 passing touchdowns
  • 1 unfortunate interception
  • Ultimately a Dallas Cowboys loss, 51-48

Nobody expected the Cowboys to win this game let alone hang in it given that the Broncos were off to an incredible, undefeated start. Remember that this Denver team would go on to win the AFC before losing Super Bowl XLVIII (shout out to Dan Quinn) and that Peyton Manning would be crowned MVP given that he threw for 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards on the season.

But as great as Manning was, he was the inferior signal-caller on this day because Romo willed the Cowboys all the way to the very end when it was simply too late. Consider the following truths about the game:

  • Romo’s offense gave the team a 14-point lead to start
  • After an onslaught of scoring Romo gave the team an early fourth-quarter lead
  • Even after the defense continued to not help at all Romo gave them a second lead in the final quarter
  • The Broncos did not punt a single time

It is not a unique opinion to say that this game was a microcosm of Romo’s career. Like he did for so many seasons, he gave the team their only real chance of winning only to be let down by much of what was around him. This naturally created a situation where he had to be perfect and in this game he almost did it before being stepped on as he threw the interception that effectively sealed the team’s fate.

We remember this game mostly for Romo’s performance, but two other things I always like to mention are that (as a rookie at the time) Terrance Williams caught his first NFL touchdown in the contest, an 82-yard one at that, and that Peyton Manning threw the first interception of his MVP season into the arms of what was then a second-year cornerback for the Cowboys, Morris Claiborne.

In many ways this game feels like it was yesterday, but again an entire decade has passed. Nowadays, Tony Romo calls games himself with the play-by-play man on duty that day in Jim Nantz. Peyton Manning has an entire media company where he provides his own analysis.

If you want to watch the entire game you can do so right here, but just know that even though 10 whole years have passed,that the result will not be any less heartbreaking.

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