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.

Romo suffered a fractured rib after this hit against the 49'ers.

#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.

Although not the hit discussed, Staubach endured similar blows which resulted in separating his shoulder multiple times.

#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 to tell the legendary story. (Emmitt Smith @N.Y. Giants)

Smith was tackled awkwardly on this play, resulting in the most famous separated shoulder in Cowboy history.

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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Posted on September 20, 2011, in Dallas Cowboys and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I must admit, I was ready for them to bench him at least one game to let him know that the meltdowns HAD to stop but he gained a little more leverage in my book……not quite all the way Romo yet but moved forward instead of backward this game.

  2. All the hype over Romo ? This is like watching a train wreck repeatedly , as we all know what the end result will be ! Jerry Jones needs to come off his crack pipe get a dose of reality ………. Tony Romo ain’t that good !

    tophatal ………………..

  3. @anonymous: It’s a tough poison pill to swallow when deciding if you should jump on or off the Romo bandwagon.

  4. @tophatal: Not much JJ can do w/Romo even if he wanted to get rid of him. I’m sure Indi, Jax, Seattle, Fins, KC, Broncs, and a handful of other teams would fair better w/what they have. Like it or not, Romo is a Top 10′ish QB.

  5. Romo’s hyped up when he does good, and beaten down when he chokes. I think we need to lower expectations for him. But that was one great comeback after a Week 1 defeat.

  6. After watching that game and listening to the conversations over the past few days about Romo’s injuries I want to rewatch the first half. Romo’s may have come back drugged and consequently performed well in the second half. But if the injury was initially that sever why did it take the entire first half of poor play to realize something was wrong. Was this Romo? The medical staff? The

    Cows should have destroyed the Niners, but instead were forced to sqeeze by.


  7. @sportsglutton Whatever it was, it was pretty dang fun to watch!

  8. @thenewsofsports Totally agree!

  9. What does the flag of Switzerland have to do with US sports?

  10. It’s a ‘medic’ symbol that happens to resemble the Swiss colors. But to answer your question: Nothing!

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