IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo has now directed decisive fourth-quarter drives in the past two Dallas wins.
The Cowboys don’t even want to think about where they would be without the latest successes from Romo, whose resume is also filled with some notable late-game failures.
Dallas just knows this: With Romo’s winning drive to Dan Bailey’s 35-yard field goal on the final play at the New York Giants on Sunday, the Cowboys are back in control of the NFC East with five games left, starting with a short week before their Thanksgiving game against Oakland.
“I’d rather not have him have to have that opportunity to have to make that drive that he made,” a relieved Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the game, three days removed from declaring that coach Jason Garrett would return in 2014 even if Dallas missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. “We didn’t need to lose that football game.”
Just as he did against Minnesota two games earlier, Romo went to the huddle for a critical late possession with a simple message: The Cowboys were going to get a touchdown.
He needed points in some form against the Vikings because Dallas was down 23-20, and got it with a 7-yard pass to Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left to finish a 90-yard drive in just 2:09.
The Cowboys weren’t behind against the Giants, but had blown a 15-point lead in the second half and let New York get even at 21-21. Romo was 80 yards from the end zone on a frigid field, and got the Cowboys in position to run out the clock before Bailey’s kick for a 24-21 win.
Combine those two winning drives, and Romo was 13 of 17 for 157 yards. And instead of tumbling toward another potentially tumultuous offseason, Dallas is tied with Philadelphia at 6-5, has a 4-0 division record and gets the Eagles at home to finish the regular season.