Fractured, Separated, & Punctured
Before a players performance is christened an “all-time great” or “legendary”, a certain criteria must be met before they are considered as such. (1) They must have led their team to a come-from-behind fourth quarter victory, (2) they must have been injured…as in broken bone injured, and (3) they must have single-handedly taken over the game.
Although Dallas Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo is far from establishing himself as a legend in Dallas, his gutty performance Sunday against the 49’ers vaulted him towards the top of the list of “All Time Single Greatest Individual Dallas Cowboy Performances Leading His Team to a Come From Behind Fourth Quarter Victory While Injured Really Really Bad”.
The Ledger takes a look at the top three “A.T.S.G.I.D.C.P.L.H.T.t.a.C.F.B.F.Q.V.W.I.R.R.B.”
#3: Tony Romo’s ego took another major hit in Dallas’ opening night loss to the J-E-T-S. Another psychological blow like that would have cemented his soft pretty boy status forever. So when Romo returned from the locker room after taking a blind side hit to his midsection, it was evident he was done for the day. The reported “fractured rib” would have been an easy out for Romo watch another meltdown riding the pine. So after witnessing his back-up Jon Kitna throw two ill-advised interceptions, Romo, grimacing in obvious pain, leaped from the bench, grabbed his helmet and took matters into his own hands. He lead his offense down the field scoring 10 unanswered points, sending the game into overtime. Romo capped Dallas’ stunning victory over the Niners on their first play from scrimmage, connecting on a 77-yard pass that setup the game winning field goal. It wasn’t until the next day that team doctors learned Romo also suffered a punctured lung.
#2: OK, this one is bending the rules a bit because Roger Staubach had been nursing an injury for most of the season. So it wasn’t a “game-time” injury, but it still falls under the “really really bad” injury category. One of the first big comebacks for Staubach occurred in the 1972 season after he had missed most of the year with a shoulder injury. But he relieved an ineffective Morton in the NFC Divisional Playoffs with the Cowboys trailing the 49ers 28-16 late in the fourth quarter. Staubach threw two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the game, rallying the Cowboys to a 30-28 win, thus creating the moniker, Captain Comeback.
#1: Cowboy play-by-play announcer Brad Sham said it best at the end of the game: “Today was the day Emmitt Smith ran for a 170 yards and caught 10 balls against the Giants, and did most of it with one arm!”. Does Emmitt Smith’s 1993 finale against the N.Y. Giants need an explanation? I didn’t think so. That’s why I linked a three minute clip from NFL.com to tell the legendary story. (Emmitt Smith @N.Y. Giants)
Sorry Romo. In order to knock off the greatness of Roger or Emmitt from this list, you’re going to have to go back out there and break a slab of ribs or puncture the other lung.
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