I’ll respectfully disagree with the take from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth that Tony Romo played the best game of his career Wednesday night.
In fact, it arguably wasn’t the best game Romo has played against the Giants in the last 10 months.
Here’s one man’s opinion of the five most impressive performances of Romo’s career:
1. Cowboys 27, 49ers 24 (Sept. 18, 2011): It’s impressive any time a quarterback leads a late rally from a double-digit deficit to defeat one of the league’s top defensive teams. It’s especially amazing when that quarterback does so after breaking a couple of ribs and puncturing his lungs early in that game. That was the case at Candlestick Park with Romo, who completed 12 of 15 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime, essentially sealing the win by hitting reality show-winning receiver Jesse Holley for a 77-yard gain. Romo, who had been ripped all week after committing two late turnovers in a season-opening loss to the New York Jets, finished the game with 345 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-33 passing.
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
2. Cowboys 37, Packers 27 (Nov. 29, 2007): Want high stakes? The NFC’s top seed was on the line, and Brett Favre was on the opposing sideline. Romo responded with 309 yards and four touchdowns on 19-of-30 passing. His lone interception could have been another score, but Terrell Owens bobbled the ball in the end zone to allow Green Bay’s Al Harris to get his hands on it. Romo also put the ball on the money twice to Miles Austin on deep balls, drawing 42- and 40-yard pass interference penalties. This was a masterful performance in a game with major playoff implications.
3. Giants 37, Cowboys 34 (Dec. 11, 2011): The Cowboys didn’t win, but you’d have to have a football IQ lower than Romo’s jersey number to blame this loss on him. In fact, his 141.3 passer rating in this game was the highest in NFL history by any quarterback who threw for at least 300 yards in a loss. Romo completed 21 of 31 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns. His stats would have been even more impressive — and the Cowboys would have won the game — if Austin didn’t lose a deep ball in the lights on what should have been a dagger touchdown.
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
4. Cowboys 37, Falcons 21 (Oct. 25, 2009): Austin hogged the headlines, following up his franchise-record 250-yard performance in his first start the previous week by torching Atlanta for 171 yards and two scores on six catches. Of course, Romo had a lot to do with that. No. 9 was simply sensational after a slow start. He didn’t have a completion in the first quarter, scrambling for the Cowboys’ lone first down in the opening 15 minutes, but Romo finished with 311 yards and three TDs on 21-of-29 passing. His 5-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton on the final snap of the first half was Romo at his finest. He avoided a sack by spinning away from three Falcons before firing a strike to a wide-open Crayton in the end zone, giving the Cowboys a double-digit lead
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
5. Cowboys 24, Giants 17 (Sept. 5, 2012): Romo had to overcome an awful performance by the offensive line to beat the defending Super Bowl champions on the road. He threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-29 passing despite being pressured by Jason Pierre-Paul and Co. all night. Most quarterbacks wouldn’t have been able to get rid of the ball on his two touchdowns to Kevin Ogletree. Romo used his mobility to make the biggest plays in what could be a statement game at the site where Dallas’ 2011 season died.
Rewatch this game on NFL Game Rewind:
Tim MacMahon | ESPN Dallas
Don’t let them in the game: The Philadelphia Eagles should have no trouble with the Browns in Cleveland, but to a certain extent that appears to be up to them. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Eagles ranked second in the league last year with 84 offensive plays of 20 or more yards, fourth in the league in total yards and fifth in yards per play. They were also eighth in total defense. So why were they 8-8? Their 38 turnovers were the second-most in the NFL. And nine of those turnovers were in the red zone. No other team in the league had more than five red-zone turnovers. If you want to lose to inferior teams, turnovers are the surest way. Watch the turnovers in Cleveland. If the Eagles commit a lot of them, the game could be much closer than most expect it to be. Working in Philadelphia’s favor is that the Browns forced only 20 turnovers in 2011. Only seven teams forced fewer.
Marquee matchup: One of the Cleveland Browns’ strengths is left tackle Joe Thomas, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He’ll go up against Eagles defensive end Trent Cole, who has the third-most sacks in the NFL (63) since 2006, in a matchup that could go a long way toward deciding the game.
Road favorites? The Eagles should not be at a disadvantage just because the Browns are the home team in Sunday’s game. Since this new incarnation of the Browns entered the league in 1999, it is 1-12 in season-opening games. The second-worst record in season openers over that same period of time is 4-9, shared by the Raiders and Chiefs.
Blowing in the Brees: If the Washington Redskins can hold New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees without a touchdown pass, they’ll have pulled off some trick. Brees has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his previous 43 games. That’s the second-longest streak in NFL history behind the 47-game streak authored by Johnny Unitas from 1956-60. The Redskins will play this game without starting strong safety Brandon Meriweather, who is out with a knee injury, and safety Tanard Jackson, who is suspended for the year for violating the league’s drug policy. They would do well to find a way to get some pressure on Brees.
Dome sweet dome: The Redskins are 6-1 all-time at the Louisiana Superdome, and while their most recent game there was in 2006, that record stands as a testament to the fact that the Redskins used to be one of the league’s best teams and the Saints one of the league’s worst. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Washington’s .857 winning percentage at the Superdome is the highest in history for any team that has played at least five games there. Something has got to give, though. The Saints were 8-0 at home last year, and their 41.1 points per game and 492.6 yards per game there were the second-highest such home totals in NFL history.
Dan Graziano | ESPN Dallas
Phil Costa’s tenuous hold on the starting center position was not strengthened by his latest MRI.
No definitive timeframe has been established for his return. Costa will be considered week to week as he recovers from a lower back strain, leaving his status for next week’s game against Seattle in doubt.
This is the position the Cowboys center was in for the majority of training camp. Costa played only 12 snaps during the pre-season, all of them coming in the finale against Miami. He started against the New York Giants in Wednesday night’s opener but was forced to leave the game after only three snaps because he back tightened up.
Ryan Cook, who joined the Cowboys only five days earlier, played the rest of the game at center.
The Cowboys like Costa. But he is an undersized center with a bad back that has missed the majority of practice time since camp began in late July. Cook must be considered a threat to take his job.
“I don’t want to get into that right now,’’ head coach Jason Garrett during his Thursday press conference. “We want Costa to get back.
“Costa’s been our starting center for a reason. We like him a lot. But at the same time, we want to make sure he’s healthy.’’
It’s unsure how long that will take given the results of the latest MRI.
The radio station 105.3 THE FAN is reporting that Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is close to a plea deal after his arrest on a family violence charge amid accusations he assaulted his mother.
PHOTO: Dez Bryant and his mother, Angela, appeared with attorney Royce West in July.
The Dallas Morning News has previously reported that his mother, Angela Bryant, signed an affidavit saying she did not want her son to be prosecuted.
According to THE FAN:
Lawyers representing Dez Bryant met this week with the Dallas County District Attorney’s office and, according to a source familiar with the case, are extremely close to a plea bargain in which the Dallas Cowboys’ receiver will plead guilty to a reduced charge of a Class C misdemeanor for Family Violence.
Bryant was arrested by DeSoto police July 16 after a dispute with his mother, Angela, and originally charged with a Class A misdemeanor. That could have come with a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
The proposed deal, mandates Bryant’s guilty plea on a diminished charge in exchange for reduced punishments of no jail time, no probation, a fine, and anger management classes.
Even without a guilty plea, Bryant would have been subjected to the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The district attorney’s office could not be reached comment.
Bryant’s attorney, state Sen. Royce West, could not be reached for comment. His office said he is in Houston attending a meeting.
Tony Romo said the Dallas Cowboys have a bunch of players who like football and like to talk about football.
“The crazy thing is those guys want to talk about football after football,” Romo said in a radio interview Friday on 1310-AM The Ticket. “You know, when we’re done, it’s a great thing. Me, Sean Lee, Dez, we’re after the game or the night before at dinner, wherever, you sit there just talking football.”
Romo said that has the Cowboys on a good start toward a good locker room.
“You just get a bunch of guys who love football and love to compete,” he said. “That alone is going to give you a great shot to have a great locker room. Because people are going to want to – basically, you want to hang out with people who have similar interests.”
Romo said it is one of the reasons he and tight end Jason Witten are close.
“I love hanging out with J just because he wants to be football, football 24/7,” Romo said. “I love that aspect about him. When you have a guy who is talented and as good as he is who also loves the game like that and doesn’t miss, I mean, the trickle down to the rest of your team … I mean, you just can’t have enough guys like that.”
Romo continued, “It’s great. It’s a great thing to see from a quarterback, from a coach, whatever. It’s just guys love it. They love competing, they love trying to get better. That to me is what makes a great locker room, it’s a shared commitment.”
RELATED: Tony Romo calls 1310 The Ticket in Dallas – Check out the interview
Editor’s Comment: Duration is about 16 minutes. Tony talks football and also family life. Enjoy!
Jerry Jones has an idea – start the season over right now. With Seattle as Game 1.
That might be a good way to get over the euphoria of the win over the Giants.
“Let’s start the season now, and we’ve got the first one on the road,” the Cowboys owner said on his Friday morning radio show on 105.3 The Fan. “This will be the Seattle Seahawks’ opener. I am concerned. I think they’ve got one of the better teams. They’ve gotten a lot better than they were predicted to have.”
After playing five games in 24 days, including the build-up to the NFL’s kickoff game against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants, the Cowboys could likely use a mental break.
“We’ve played a lot of football in a short period of time,” coach Jason Garrett said at his Thursday press conference. “We played four preseason games in 16 days. We finished one up. We cut our team down, we were practicing like a Monday practice two days later, so I think our team really handled that part of it really, really well.
“There were some challenges that we had, kind of transitioning back from training camp, playing a lot of games in a short period of time. I thought our guys just kind of came to work every day, got themselves prepared, went up there and played well.”
Jones said he’ll break the 24-hour rule this weekend to think about the win for more than one day.
But he still wanted to be careful not to make the win into more than it was.
“We’ve got to be careful about making this the fingerprint of the team,” he said. “On the other hand, that took something for our team to go up there – that’s pretty intimidating – and pull that win off the way we did. In spite of our foibles, we pulled it off.”
COMPROMISING POSITION: Jerry Jones laughs about glasses cleaned, says he wouldn’t sit by him at a game
Jerry Jones is laughing about it now, and he’s glad he can – the moment the NBC cameras caught his son-in-law, Shy Anderson, cleaning his glasses for him.
“Had you told me last week that we’re going to be able to laugh and smile about this and it be something fun and notable to talk about, I would have taken that in a minute,” Jones said happily on his Friday morning radio show. “I was about to die up there. About to swallow my tongue.”
Jones said his glasses were just dirty, and that Anderson – the husband of Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson – offered to clean them.
“Listen, those things were fogged over, dirty, they had all kinds of prints on them,” Jones said, still chuckling. “He just reached down there and said, ‘Hand me those. You need some help.’ ”
But then, anything done near the Cowboys owner during a game is likely to wind up on TV, also.
Jones said with a laugh, “One of the things that I would do if I were another human on this planet is not sit near me at a ballgame because you could get compromised by what really is happening.
“And, of course, that was Shy Anderson, my son-in-law, he’s a vital part of our organization. trying to just help his father-in-law where he could see the ballgame. He reached down and said those things need cleaning. He’s paying the price on it.”
Jones laughed again, heartily.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said. “I heard that somebody might need to be shining my shoes up there. Somebody else serving me hors d’oeuvres in between the huddle.”
Jones said Anderson is enjoying the attention.
“We’re having fun with it, too,” he said. “And one of the great things about him, he does have a big-time sense of humor. We’re having more fun about how ridiculous it is. But it’s fun. Let’s keep it going.”
RELATED: AUDIO – Listen to The Jerry Jones Show
Editor’s Comment: This portion of The Jerry Jones Show comes in the last few minutes. Enjoy!