The Dallas Cowboys knew that their matchup with the New York Giants in week 12 of the 2013 NFL season, was going to be a tight one because it always seems to be. More than that, though, the Giants came into the game with a four-game winning streak and looking to tie the Cowboys in the division with a win.
Largely the matchup was a pretty solid performance from both teams that just didn’t result in many points. In the end, though, it was a Dan Bailey field goal for the Cowboys as time expired that ended up giving Dallas the 24-21 victory, moving their record to 6-5 on the season and tying them with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East.
Though Bailey’s 35-yarder was unmistakably clutch and the single play that sealed the game, you can’t disregard Tony Romo’s effectiveness on the Cowboys’ final drive of the game. For a player that can’t seem to escape the rap of shrinking in big moments, he was a rock for Dallas late in the fourth quarter when they needed him to be.
On that final drive, Romo went 6-9 on passing attempts, including three big third down conversions that kept the drive alive. He accounted for 70 yards passing on the drive and it was a 15-yard pass on third and 10 that put Bailey in field goal range so he was able to net the game-winning kick.
I fully understand that Romo has deserved and put himself in position for much of the criticism that he receives for his play in the clutch. However, as much as we dog him for his mistakes in those moments, he deserves to be praised for moments like the one on Sunday against the Giants. You might not be able to trust him consistently, but Romo’s still proving he’s and upper-tier quarterback in this league.