Romo earned his 24th career fourth-quarter comeback in spectacular fashion as the Dallas Cowboys edged the New York Giants 27-26 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night.
Romo, who finished the game going 36/45 for 356 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions, threw an 11-yard pass to tight end Jason Witten to carry the Cowboys to tie the game at 26-26 with seven seconds remaining in regulation. Kicker Dan Bailey booted the extra point through to insure a 27-26 Dallas victory.
On the game's final drive, Romo found backup running back Lance Dunbar for two catches for 40 yards, along with receiver Witten across the middle for 13 yards. On second-and-10 from the Giants 19-yard line, Terrance Williams caught an eight-yard pass and hopped out of bounds to give Dallas two chances to score a game-winning touchdown.
With 13 seconds to go at the New York 11-yard line, center Travis Frederick didn't snap the ball cleanly to Romo in the shotgun formation. The ball bobbled on the ground for a second until the 35-year-old passer gathered the ball to zip it down the middle for Witten for the game-tying score.
Dallas was fortunate to win the game. In addition to the 17 points New York scored off of three Cowboys turnovers, the Giants mismanaged the game clock on their last possession. With a third-and-goal from the Cowboys 1-yard line, New York quarterback Eli Manning rolled out to his right and threw the ball out of the back of the end zone with 1:37 remaining. A sack would have burned off an additional 40 seconds from the game clock since Dallas had no timeouts left. Instead, after a 19-yard Josh Brown field goal to put the Giants up 26-20, Romo and the Dallas offense had 1:29 remaining to go 72 yards as opposed to under a minute.
Dallas got on the scoreboard first with a 21-yard Bailey field goal that capped off a 10:24 opening drive to make it 3-0 in the first quarter.
New York responded with a nine-play drive that saw two consecutive loose balls ruled as down by contact or incomplete passes. Brown connected on a 50-yard field goal to knot the game up at 3-3.
On the Cowboys' third drive, the offense had a third-and-three from the Giants 14-yard line. Romo threw a pass to receiver Dez Bryant that was dropped that could have led to a short first-and-goal if not a touchdown. The Cowboys settled for a 32-yard Bailey field goal to go up 6-3.
The Cowboys' ball security issues helped give the Giants free points to make an Opening Day loss at home for a second straight year seem probable. With the Cowboys leading 6-3 with 1:12 remaining until halftime, Beasley fumbled the ball after a 15-yard reception. Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie scooped up the ball and returned it 57 yards to put the Giants on top 10-6.
On the first play of the Cowboys' next drive, Romo threw a pass behind Witten that was intercepted. The Dallas defense was able to stop the bleeding and prevent New York from only adding a 40-yard Josh Brown field goal to give the Giants a 13-6 halftime advantage. New York will also receive the ball to start the third quarter.
Brown connected again on a 30-yard field goal to give New York a 16-6 advantage. The Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar scored the first Cowboys touchdown of 2015 with a two-yard touchdown catch to cut the Giants lead to 16-13.
More Cowboys mistakes were trying to seal the team's fate as defeated in Week 1. Romo threw a pass to receiver Devin Street that was tipped and intercepted by defensive back Trumaine McBride, who returned the interception to the Cowboys 1-yard line. Running back Rashad Jennings punched it in to make it 23-13 Giants in the fourth quarter.
Romo and Witten began to atone for their previous mistakes as Romo found Witten for a one-yard touchdown strike to cut the lead to 23-20 Giants with 5:11 to go.
Running back Joseph Randle started the game as the lead running back for the Cowboys. He carried the ball 16 times for 65 yards and fumbled the ball on his second carry, though it was not lost. Darren McFadden had six carries for 16 yards, and Dunbar led the team in receptions with eight and reception yards with 70.
Manning went 20/36 for 193 yards. Jennings finished the game with 13 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. Backup running back Shane Vereen led the team with 46 receiving yards on four catches, while receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. led the team in catches with five for 44 yards.
Rookie defensive end Randy Gregory left the game with a right ankle injury, and Bryant left the game with a right foot injury. Neither returned along with left guard Ron Leary who was sidelined with a groin injury. Fish will bring the latest news on all those injuries to CowboysHQ as they developed, so keep it bookmarked.
FIVE FUN FACTS
*Romo earned his 24th career fourth-quarter comeback, the most since 2006. Only big brother Peyton trails Romo with 21.
*Romo's game-winning toss to Witten with seven seconds to go was the latest that a Cowboys quarterback has scored such a touchdown in regulation.
*The Cowboys are now 8-0 against the New York Giants on Opening Day, the best against any NFC East opponent.
*Romo's 103.3 passer rating was the fifth-highest Opening Day passer rating for his career.
*Tyrone Crawford now has all his career sacks against Mark Sanchez and the Eagles and now Eli Manning and the New York Giants