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Tony Romo couldn't have scripted a better start to his season through the air.

Romo's first pass in game action since offseason back surgery was a 22-yard strike to Dez Bryant over the middle. He showed mobility stepping up in the pocket, let Bryant's route develop and threw a bullet downfield to bail the 'Boys out of a 2nd-and-19 spot.

Romo topped that throw with a 31-yard strike to No. 88, putting a deep ball on the money for Bryant to go up and grab near the goal line.

The 31-yard strike capped a nine-play, 83-yard drive.

'He looked good,' Bryant said. 'His mind was right. He was poised and went out there, knew what he wanted to do and did it. He wanted to show the world he is '9', and he's a baller.'

Romo came out of the game after going 4-for-5 for 80 yards and that score, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. His only incompletion came on a dropped ball by James Hanna, who Romo found wide open in the flat after buying time in the pocket.

'I thought he looked comfortable,' Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. 'I thought he looked like himself and moved around in the pocket. He made some good throws that looked like he saw the field well.'

Brandon Weeden replaced Romo, ending his preseason debut.

Romo couldn't have asked for much worse of an end to his first drive, however, as he was credited with a fumble on a botched handoff that Raven linebacker Courtney Upshaw took 26 yards for a touchdown. Romo missed a tackle on the play.

The surgically-repaired back didn't seem to impair No. 9 in his limited action. He was able to spin away from pressure in typical Romo fashion, move throughout the pocket, and put plenty of zip on his throws.

'It felt good,' Romo said at halftime. 'I thought it was great to get out there and help the football team and go through the checks and balances you have to do to get your team in a position to compete.'

One test he didn't face Saturday, however, was taking his first hit at game speed. He went untouched by the Ravens defense through his two possessions.

Bryant finished with three catches for 59 yards.

Email: lhaaf@wfaa.com

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