LANDOVER, Md. – There wouldn’t be any excessive dancing and celebrating from quarterback Tony Romo after his game-winning touchdown pass, given how he looked physically at the time.
Romo, who gingerly jogged back to the Dallas Cowboys sideline after a brief moment of jubilation following the successful fourth-down pass to DeMarco Murray, had been fighting through a back injury throughout the final quarter.
“I tweaked it in the game,” Romo said. “For whatever reason, just the twist or whatever that was, definitely just made it not feel comfortable.”
Romo’s back wasn’t 100 percent entering the game, but he said he didn’t feel like it was going to be a major problem going in.
The injury was noticeable and looked more like a leg problem than a back injury, as he limped around following one of his patented spin moves to evade a sack. It appeared his back injury was at its worst after he made the move, threw an 8-yard pass to Miles Austin and converted a crucial third down in the fourth quarter.
Romo said he took a hit earlier in the game that first triggered the back pain, and then late in the game had that play which aggravated it worse.
“I felt it after that play the rest of the game,” Romo said. “You just play through it just like anything – it’s football.”
Even simple handoffs to DeMarco Murray looked painful as the quarterback struggled to meet the running back in the backfield. Romo said it didn’t feel comfortable, but the bright side is the pain is in a different spot than the back problems he had last year.
Head coach Jason Garrett said it looked as if Romo got leg-whipped or kicked somehow.
“He certainly was hobbling around a little bit and you just suck it up, pull your sock up, spit on it and keep going,” Garrett said.
Romo didn’t leave the game. In fact, the quarterback played better than he had all game after the injury, as the Cowboys put up 10 points in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys scored just seven points in each of the first two quarters and went scoreless in the third quarter.
Though the pain was noticeable, Romo was still able to maneuver around the pocket and buy enough time for Murray to get open along the sideline on the game-winning touchdown pass.
“We knew Tony was hurt, but he got right back in there the next play,” said Dez Bryant. “He never went over there to the trainers or anything. He knew how important that drive was and we went down there, executed and scored.”
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Romo’s getting “special treatment” for the back, and it won’t keep him from playing going forward.
“We think it’ll be OK, but it was a tightening – it wasn’t a contusion,” Jones said. “It was a little tight, but they’re working on him and we’ll work on that all week. He really had a little of it in practice, to give you an idea, this past week – just a little tightness.”