QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
HT: 6-2, WT: 219, Born: 4-21-1980, College: Eastern Illinois, Drafted: ---
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Stats and Week 21 Projection
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He was not listed on Friday's injury report.
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Game SummariesWeek 1 vs NYG - In a game where the Cowboys racked up 36 points and got the win against their division rival New York Giants, surprisingly Romo and the offense was mostly held in check. The offense squandered early turnovers by the Giants, converting three of them in the first quarter alone into just three total points. The Giants took away any deep opportunities in the passing game and double-teamed Dez Bryant throughout the game, turning Romo into a game manager close to the line of scrimmage. Miles Austin and Jason Witten were the main benefactors as Romo was in-sync with them over the middle and on out routes. The offensive line held up well as Romo did not need to extend plays or scramble behind the line of scrimmage, one of his trademark skills in recent seasons. One of his few mistakes, a red zone interception early in the game, was a clear miscommunication between Romo and rookie receiver Terrance Williams. The play appeared to be a receiver screen with blockers out in front as Williams did not locate the incoming pass. The Giants nearly returned the interception for a touchdown on the pass, one of Dallas’ missed opportunities early on. Right before the half, Romo took a pair of big hits, leaving him down on the field and pulled for Kyle Orton for a single snap. As the third quarter started, Romo was back under center. Late in the game, Romo left the door open for a potential Giants comeback as he took back-to-back sacks to stall a drive. That gave Eli Manning the ball with six minutes left and down by six points. While the big plays were not there this week, Romo was efficient and led a touchdown drive in the second half when the Cowboys needed it to secure the victory.
Week 2 at KC - Tony Romo started out hot against Kansas City as Dallas got out to the early lead, mostly a result of a stellar first quarter between himself and Dez Bryant. The chemistry the duo was building last season that eluded them against the Giants in Week 1 was back in full effect. Romo was bold and confident, throwing back-shoulder and over-the-top to Bryant with Brandon Flowers in single coverage most of the day. Outside of the dominant day with Bryant, Romo and the offense struggled. Timely pressure from the Kansas City rushers led to a handful of three-and-outs and promising drives turned into field goals. While Romo completed a high percentage of his passes, the missed opportunities were glaring when the game was on the line. In the second half, Dallas stalled in the red zone when Romo did not target Bryant in single coverage on two occasions, prompting Bryant to confront Romo on the sidelines following the field goal. Romo and seldom-used Lance Dunbar contributed fumbles in the final 30 minutes as well. With Dallas down by four in the closing minutes, Romo was off-target three straight times to Jason Witten, his usual safety blanket, forcing a field goal. The defense could not hold Kansas City as Dallas got the ball back one final time with just seconds remaining at their own goal line.
Week 3 vs STL - In a game against St.Louis that the Cowboys controlled from the outset, Romo and the high-flying passing attack was not needed for the most part. Romo led three straight scoring drives to open the game, building a 17-0 lead that put the offense on cruise control. DeMarco Murray was the centerpiece of the offense, but Romo was sharp with his limited opportunities, just 24 attempts. Romo found Dez Bryant early in the first quarter on a goal line fade route that is unstoppable outside of a poor throw by Romo at this point in their careers. During the first half two-minute drill, Romo eluded interior pressure with a spin move to keep the offense moving along. In the second half, Romo iced the game with two beautiful touchdown throws down the seam, finding Gavin Escobar and Dwayne Harris. It is not often that Dallas accumulates more rushing than pass attempts like this one. The Rams had difficulty stopping the run all game, making Romo’s day an easy one as they got the home victory.
Week 4 at SD - It was a slow start for Romo in San Diego as he missed his first four passes and was consistently pressured in the pocket en route to three straight punts. He rebounded with a perfect touchdown drive, going six-for-six through the air, including a fade route to Dez Bryant to cap off the drive. Dwight Freeney, one of key pass rushers on the Chargers, was injured late in the second quarter. Romo had far more time in the pocket with Freeney out of the lineup for the rest of the game. In the second half Romo and the offense struggled to sustain drives. Between tight coverage and ill-timed drops, Dallas found themselves down 30-21 with seven minutes to play. Romo led a tremendous drive down the field, including a red zone scramble by Romo himself, only to have the drive come up empty. Terrance Williams fumbled at the goal line, which effectively ended Dallas’ chances for a late comeback. With Miles Austin out of the lineup and Dez Bryant contained outside of a couple receptions, it was an efficient but lackluster game for Romo. The Cowboys defense could not stop Philip Rivers, especially in the second half, as Dallas struggled to keep up.
Week 5 vs DEN - In a game that escalated quickly into a shootout, Romo matched Peyton Manning point for point until the final minute. Romo matched a career-high with five touchdown passes and eclipsed his previous high of 436 yards by 70 when it was all said and done. He was hot from the outset as the Cowboys scored 17 points, with Romo throwing for 167 yards, on their first three drives alone. Romo dazzled with his pocket movement and accuracy for much of the game. When it was not Jason Witten and Cole Beasley moving the chains on short-range targets, it was Romo finding Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant deep down the field. In the second half with the Cowboys down by two scores, Romo was at his best in the comeback effort. Deep in Cowboy territory, Romo found Dez Bryant on a huge gain on third down and finished off the drive with a touchdown to Beasley. With the game tied in the final three minutes, Romo took an ill-timed sack and followed it with a game-changing interception that ultimately ended Dallas’ chances for the victory. While the late interception will be remembered, this game was one of Romo’s finest efforts for the first 57 minutes.
Week 6 vs WAS - Romo had his most non-descript game of the season as the Cowboys controlled things with their defense and special teams play. DeMarco Murray was the centerpiece of the Cowboys offense early in the game as they drove straight down the field for a touchdown to open the game. Romo was the game manager as he threw the ball short and kept the chains moving. His interception, a tipped pass by Miles Austin, stalled Dallas’ second drive which ended near field goal range. Romo struggled at times until the third quarter, which kept Washington in the game despite their own offensive struggles. As Dallas pulled away for the comfortable win, Romo made one of his patented plays that changed the game. He escaped initial pressure from the defensive line then threw a perfect pass into the corner of the end zone to Terrance Williams. It was a play of pinpoint accuracy despite pressure in Romo’s face. That play put Dallas up by two touchdowns, a lead they never gave up in the second half. Dallas used the run game in the fourth quarter to milk the clock. It was a week where Romo’s gaudy production like last week against Denver was not needed.
Week 7 at PHI - In what was expected to be a high-scoring affair against the Eagles, it was a very slow start for the Cowboys offense. The Romo-led offense had five straight punts to open the game, stretching into the middle of the second quarter before stringing together successful plays. Romo took untimely sacks during that stretch and did not look comfortable in the pocket when time allowed for a pass attempt. Joseph Randle was not much help on the ground other than keeping the defense somewhat honest, adding to the Dallas struggles. Romo and the offense finally got on the board in the late second quarter with a field goal an Romo was intercepted on a hail mary attempt, which Dez Bryant had a chance to convert, on the final play of the first half. As Philadelphia produced next-to-nothing on offense the entire game, Romo put the game away with two touchdown drives in the second half. There was a concerted effort to get Bryant the ball, including two goal line targets, neither of which was converted into a score by the pair. Romo misfired on a deep pass down the sidelines to Bryant, which made it a near-impossible reception when Bryant had room to make a play. Accuracy still eludes Romo, including an interception on a target to Philip Tanner over the middle, but strong throws to Jason Witten and a touchdown to Terrance Williams iced the game late. Not one of Romo’s best efforts this week, but outside of a plethora of turnovers Dallas was bound to get the win against the Eagles.
Week 8 at DET - The theme of the game for Romo against Detroit was pressure. Romo was consistently moved from the pocket by the Lions front seven, especially after Brian Waters, Dallas’ starting guard, left the game in the mid-second quarter. The Cowboys offense started the game with four successive punts and just 57 total yards on those drives. Terrance Williams was open on two early deep routes, but pressure did not allow Romo to make a balanced and accurate throw. As the defensive affair turning into a legitimate shootout in the final quarter, Romo’s accuracy improved, hitting Williams for a long catch-and-run touchdown on a slant route as well as finding Dez Bryant between defensive backs en route to another long score. On a crucial third down with three minutes to play and a three-point lead, Romo was once-again pressured into an incompletion. Outside of the few occasions Romo had time to find receivers downfield for big plays, it was a non-descript day for the Dallas offense. They were aided by four Detroit turnovers, but still could not put the Lions away with a timely first down or two late in the game as drives too often stalled in field goal range.
Week 9 vs MIN - Romo and the Dallas offense had a juicy matchup with the struggling Minnesota defense this week. It turned into a late-second victory as Romo led a touchdown drive with under a minute to play. The game script was very pass-heavy, despite trailing for only a small portion of the game and DeMarco Murray returning to the lineup. Dallas was passing at a 75% clip in the first half despite a tight low-scoring affair on the scoreboard. In the second half, the Cowboys leaned even more on the passing game. Minnesota’s secondary was depleted coming into the game in addition to losing starting defensive back Xavier Rhodes along the way. Romo saw a fair amount of pressure in the pocket, which he managed with efficient movement and a short passing game. The Cowboys abandoned the run shortly after the first drive as Romo targeted Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and Cole Beasley often on underneath routes. Romo’s occasional inaccuracy left some production on the field. Romo threw behind Dez Bryant twice and overthrew an end zone pass towards him as well. A late-game interception nearly lost the game for Dallas as Romo floated a pass to Terrance Williams on a tightly-covered out route. As Minnesota failed to score on that possession, it set up Dallas 90 yards away from a game-winning touchdown. Romo came through when it mattered most, marching down the field in the final three minutes. Romo found Bryant on their largest gain of the day in addition to the touchdown to Dwayne Harris on a slant route in the red zone.
Week 10 at NO - The Cowboys offense had little success in New Orleans in the blowout loss with the passing game and Tony Romo at the forefront of those struggles. The Dallas defense offered little resistance, putting the offense into catch-up mode early, but Romo could not establish much of a rhythm in the pocket. The theme for Dallas was going three-and-out four times in the first half, running just 20 offensive plays in that span. Romo was pressured to move from the pocket often and his feet rarely were set when delivering off-target passes. Finally in the third quarter Romo led a scoring drive with two solid throws. For the only time in the game Romo found Dez Bryant between two defenders for a long gain and then finished off the drive with a high-arcing touchdown pass down the sidelines to Terrance Williams. The Saints blanketed Dez Bryant with double coverage on nearly every snap and Romo struggled to remain efficient with Jason Witten and Cole Beasley gaining less separation than usual. This road game at New Orleans marked the toughest test for the passing game this season to-date. Romo has a bye week to regroup and a closing slate of games that features six straight opponents in the bottom half of the league in pass defense.
Week 12 at NYG - Romo was solid, especially late in the game, as the Cowboys won a tough divisional game on the road in the elements against the Giants. The wind was definitely a factor as a pass rare traveled more than five yards from the line of scrimmage without wobbling or changing course in the air. The Dallas defense rebounded from being shredded two weeks ago to keep the Cowboys in the game as the offense mustered just seven points in the first half. Romo was in ball-control mode for most of the game, including the lone offensive scoring drive in the first half. Romo used the screen game and finished it off with a perfect touchdown throw to Jason Witten between defenders in the red zone. A bobbled well-thrown pass to Dez Bryant accounted for Romo’s interception on another potential scoring drive in the opening 30 minutes. After struggling on third down in the first half (failing on all four attempts), Romo and the receivers got hot in the second half. On the opening drive, Romo drove straight down the field and found Witten for another touchdown. With plenty of time in the pocket, Romo hit Witten as he sat down in an open area between defenders in the end zone. After surging to a 21-6 lead early in the third quarter, the offense bogged down outside of a near circus catch by Dez Bryant as Romo rebounded from a wild snap over his head. With five minutes to play and Dallas suddenly in a tie game, Romo was in the spotlight was a chance to win the game. Romo was at his best when it counted the most, converting three straight third downs on the game-winning drive. Romo and Dez Bryant were in-sync for two of those completions and Cole Beasley converted the pass that ultimately set up the field goal. While the big plays down the field were not in the game plan this week, Romo was efficient when it mattered most for the crucial divisional win.
Week 13 vs OAK - It was a slow start for Romo against the Raiders. Tipped passes at the line of scrimmage, sacks, and tight coverage across the field led to punts in the first quarter and trailing from the outset. Romo found Jason Witten with a perfect pass down the seam for a big gain that got things moving in the second quarter. Despite a relatively ugly 11-for-20, 124-yard stat line at the half, Romo brought Dallas back to just a seven-point deficit. In the second half, Romo found his rhythm by eluding pressure when necessary and converting key third downs. Romo finished off a touchdown drive with a back-shoulder throw to Dez Bryant for the goal line score. Like against the Giants a week ago, Romo was at his best late in the game. Romo reeled off 12 straight completions to end the game, including an impressive long drive to milk the clock. While not the strongest game statistically for Romo, it was another impressive performance in the second half for the win.
Week 14 at CHI - Romo and the Dallas offense got off to a hot start in the frigid Chicago conditions with two touchdowns on their first three possessions. Romo took advantage of solid pass protection, showing pinpoint accuracy on third down conversions to Cole Beasley and DeMarco Murray. Romo and Dez Bryant were on the same page with a goal line back shoulder fade for an early touchdown as well. The run game was working well, which kept Romo’s passing volume low in the first half. When Dallas had their two-minute offense on the field to close the first half, they struggled. Romo overthrew Murray, sandwiched in between two drops by receivers to kill the drive. The third quarter turned into a disaster for the Cowboys as the defense could not stop Chicago all night and Dallas’ offense stumbled. Romo overthrew Bryant and the defensive pressure took away Romo’s previous comfort in the pocket. Romo’s lone highlight in the second half came on a broken play in the red zone. A floated pass to the back of the end zone found Cole Beasley for an inconsequential score late in the game. Ultimately, Romo was pulled for backup Kyle Orton in the final minutes with the game already decided. Outside of the strong start, fueled by the run game, Dallas struggled on both sides of the ball. Despite the three touchdowns, Romo averaged less than six yards per pass attempt for the second time in the last four games.
Week 15 vs GB - Romo was sharp early against the Packers, operating from a clean pocket and delivering accurate passes with regularity. Despite moving the ball at will throughout the first half, Dallas bogged down in field goal range more often than finishing drives in the end zone. The Cowboys amassed 332 total yards in the first half, racing out to a 26-3 lead with scores on six-of-seven drives. Romo was not without his missed opportunities; however, as he underthrew Dez Bryant on a deep route and lead him too far on another sideline pass. Despite building a huge lead, Dallas stuck with a pass-heavy offense in the second half. Romo saw more pressure in the pocket as the game progressed. In addition to another stalled drive in field goal range early in the third quarter, converting third downs was a persistent issue. Before a fourth quarter touchdown in the red zone, Dallas missed their first seven third down chances. On a broken play, Romo eluded pocket pressure then found Bryant in the back of the end zone. Bryant corralled the pass over a defender while getting both feet just inside the boundary. With eight minutes to play, that play looked like the dagger as Dallas led 36-24 over Green Bay. Romo and the offense struggled from that point forward and the defense offered little resistance. Another underthrow of Bryant on a deep route and two interceptions eventually sunk Dallas’ chances to salvage a victory. Romo’s play faded down the stretch as the Hekyll-and-Jekyll nature of the Cowboys offense was in the full effect this week.
Week 16 at WAS - After a heartbreaking loss last week, Romo rebounded to play one of his better games of the season against Washington on the road. Romo was outstanding with his pocket movement and most of his bigger plays of the day came against pressure. In the first half, two highlight plays for Romo came against pressure. On the first, Romo stepped up in the pocket finding Dez Bryant between the cornerback and safety down the sidelines for more than 20 yards. Later on the same drive, Romo spun away from a free rusher and hit Dez Bryant on third down in the back of the end zone. While Dallas had just 120 total yards in the first half, a big special teams play and Romo’s situational excellence led to a lead at the break. Romo had an interception in the third quarter as Deangelo Hall read Dez Bryant’s comeback route all the way and Bryant slipped down out of his break. Romo’s pass was easily intercepted. After only 30 total yards in the third quarter and facing a deficit, it was up to Romo to lead the comeback effort. Romo led two scoring drives in final quarter and most of that time he was nursing a back injury he sustained while eluding pressure. Romo converted a fourth down to Cole Beasley before narrowly missing a touchdown pass to Bryant on a slant on third-and-goal. On the final and ultimate game-winning drive, Romo connected with Terrance Williams on three occasions including a huge gain on a broken play. After three unsuccessful running plays near the goal line, Romo converted fourth-and-goal as he found DeMarco Murray in the flat. Romo’s ability to manage pocket pressure and make his biggest plays on third and fourth downs was the key to Dallas’ victory. After the game, it was updated that Romo’s back injury was significant enough to rule him out from Dallas’ remaining games, including their win-or-go-home Week 17 matchup against the Eagles.