Cowboys' big win driven by execution at pivotal moments
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 24: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys passes against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Posted on November 25, 2013 at 1:41 AM
Monday, Nov 25 at 1:09 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD -- The Cowboys weren't great on third down against the Giants, but they were good enough when it counted most.
Tony Romo and company converted four-of-11 third downs at MetLife stadium, a 36% clip, which isn't really that good. And in the last two-and-a-half games, it's been even worse - they've converted just four-of-23 third downs.
But did they ever make those four conversions count against the Giants.
"At the critical moments in this game, we call it nut-cutting time, our quarterback stepped up and did a hell of a job and the guys around did a heck of a job," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.
Romo snapped an 0-for-16 streak on third down that spanned back to the Vikings game November 3rd, with a two-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that put the Cowboys in front 21-6, but that wasn't his best work on third down.
After the Giants erased a 15-point second half deficit, with the game hanging in the balance, Romo engineered a 14-play, 64-yard drive, that took the remaining 4:45 off the clock, setting put Dan Bailey's 35 yard game-winning field goal.
Romo was three-for-three on third down on the game winning drive. With the game on the line, Romo delivered.
"He turned it up another notch," said receiver Dez Bryant. "That's what he did. He called in the plays. We executed the plays and we got the 'W'."
Two of the three third-down conversion on that final drive were directed at Bryant. And in both cases, it was perfect pitch-and-catch.
"You either feel comfortable in those situations or you don't," said Romo. "Just through all the experiences, times you've put yourself in that position as a team, you feel good. We've done that a couple times in these last 3 or 4 weeks or whatever, you just go out and do it."
There's a significant portion of Cowboy nation that thinks Romo is destined to fail in the clutch. But this time Romo came through, just like he did in a game winning drive against the Vikings 2 games ago.
"The guy's brilliant man, that's what he does," said tight end Jason Witten. "He continues to do it and put the team on his back. Just what Tony Romo does best - he finds different receivers he gets the ball out quick and makes big plays; proud of him and proud to have him on this team."