Why are Redskins where they are? Shanahan not sure
In the hyper instant world of Twitter and social media, mistakes take on immediate importance, particularly in sports. A few fourth quarter interceptions from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo begets the “Romo gonna Romo” meme, and a reputation is cemented before the mix can dry.
On Sunday, Romo reversed the recent narrative, bringing his Cowboys team back in the fourth quarter with a late touchdown to keep Dallas’ playoff hopes alive.
“You have to have a stronger belief in yourself than the doubt of other people,” Romo said after the 24-23 Cowboys win over the Washington Redskins. “I think our football team has that.”
Last week, the Cowboys gave up a 23-point second half lead in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. Dallas owner Jerry Jones called that loss “a killer.” Romo threw an interception on the Cowboys final drive of that game.
“Last week didn’t mean I don’t have the confidence in Romo to be the quarterback to take us where we want to go,” Jones said. “I did then and I certainly saw it today.”
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Last December, the Redskins faced the Cowboys with the NFC East title on the line. In that game Romo threw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had three interceptions, with the last of his picks coming on the Cowboys final drive of the season.
“We’re coming out of here with a lot more than we had coming into Washington,” Jones said. “There’s a measure of vindication there when he basically comes in there and makes the plays that cause us to win the game.”
Asked the difference between leaving Washington last season compared to this season, Jones responded, “it’s daylight and dark. It’s winning and losing.”
The Redskins players understand how good Romo can be, even if at times fans don't.
"That's the thing about Romo, he's a great quarterback, especially when you allow him to make those off-schedule plays and buy time," Washington linebacker London Fletcher said.
Fletcher wasn't alone in his praise for the Cowboys signal-caller.
"That's what he does," DeAngelo Hall said of Dallas' game winning touchdown. "That's what makes him a great quarterback."
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who had four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, said Romo's play was no surprise.
"Tony did Houdini," Bryant said, comparing Romo to the famous magician. "He played a hell of a game. We were behind him the best way we possibly could."
The Cowboys trailed 23-14 in the fourth quarter on Sunday, but with under two minutes left Romo connected with running back DeMarco Murray on 4th and 10 for a touchdown that effectively saved their season.
“We started our playoffs today,” the quarterback said.
Romo understands that his team often plays well enough to be in a position to win the NFC East, like they did last season and will have a chance to do this season.
“I think we’re the only team that keeps getting in position to win the NFC East every year,” Romo said. “You just have to keep getting yourselves there and when your team is good enough you knock down that door.”
Asked if this Cowboys team is good enough, Romo paused, and thought for a moment.
“We played like it today.”