The Dallas Cowboys can only hope their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers goes as well as the last meeting between these perennial NFC powers, a 27-24 overtime thriller in which quarterback Tony Romo engineered a gutsy come-from-behind victory.
While the Cowboy faithful would love to see a similar outcome this Sunday in Arlington, Texas, Romo could do without at least one similarity to that late September of 2011 Week Two thriller – this time he’ll pass on the order of ribs. More specifically, a fractured rib with a punctured lung on the side.
Now you remember it, don’t you? That’s the game Romo was beat like a rag doll in the first half of the game and did not initially answer the bell in the second half. The word spread on the sidelines that Romo was done for the day.
The game would quickly start to slip away from Dallas as backup quarterback Jon Kitna tossed up two third quarter interceptions. Dallas was staring at an 0-2 record to start Jason Garrett’s first full season as head coach of the Cowboys.
Romo, fresh off playing the lead roll in a Sunday night season opening collapse against the New York Jets where he threw a late back-breaking pick to Darrelle Revis, could have chosen to just play it safe and ride it out from the sidelines.
Instead, Romo sucked it up (aided by a few pain-killer injections) and was able to hook up with wide receiver Miles Austin on a 25 yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to pull Dallas within three points of the 49ers.
Romo and company would then chew up the last four minutes of regulation with a 10-play drive that would set up a game-tying Dan Bailey field goal.
Romo, no doubt eager to get out of Candlestick in one piece, decided to end it quickly in overtime. The wincing quarterback took the first Cowboy snap of the extra period and hit a wide open Jesse Holley in stride for a 77 yard connection that would set the stage for Bailey’s 19-yard game winning tap-in.
That game will go a long way in defining Romo’s legacy in Dallas. Let’s hope that history can repeat itself this Sunday.
Dallas/San Francisco Series Side Notes:
- Overall record versus 49ers: 16-16-1
- Last Game: September 18, 2011 (Cowboy overtime win)
- Streak: Cowboys have won the last three meetings