Romo trades gaudy stats for a Cowboys victory

Posted Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Tony Romo didn’t have nearly the stats he had last week.

The Cowboys quarterback passed for 336 yards less than he did last week and had four fewer touchdowns. His passer rating was only 72.9 Sunday, his lowest of the season.

But Romo left AT&T Stadium much happier than he did last week against Denver as the Cowboys beat the Redskins 31-16.

“When you win, it’s much better,” Romo said. “That’s all that matters. When you play the game long enough, that’s all you care about. It’s about getting the ‘W,’ and we did that. That’s it.”

Romo went toe-to-toe with Peyton Manning last week, throwing for a team-record 506 yards and five touchdowns. But his interception on his 36th and final pass of the day was his lone interception, allowing the Broncos to kick the game-winning field goal on the final play.

Romo’s defenders and his critics debated his play all last week.

Romo answered with a victory, his 58th in his 99th career regular-season start. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 170 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His yards per attempt was only 5.7, and it marked the first time since 2011 that Romo had less than 200 yards passing in a game.

“He was taking what the defense gave him,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “Obviously, they had a good game plan for us and got some pressure on us with some blitzes and had him throwing the ball quicker and that type of thing. But I thought he managed the game well.”

The Cowboys had been expected to have as big of a day as they did last week, considering they were facing the league’s 32nd-ranked defense. But they played most of the game without starting running back DeMarco Murray, who had seven carries for 29 yards and a touchdown before leaving early in the second quarter.

Dallas had only 127 yards in the first half and finished with only 213. It was enough thanks to returner Dwayne Harris and the defense.

Harris returned a first-half punt 86 yards for a touchdown and had a 90-yard kickoff return in the second half to set up Romo’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. Cowboys defensive end Kyle Wilber, subbing for injured starter DeMarcus Ware, had a sack-strip of Griffin midway through the fourth quarter, and the Cowboys converted with a clinching touchdown on rookie Joseph Randle’s first career score.

“I would normally ask you which [touchdown],” Romo said when asked about his touchdown pass. “They sent a pressure that actually broke us down. It was one of the few times we didn’t have that pressure protected. In doing so, he came free, and we had a couple of things up that we liked. I just had to buy enough time to get the ball to certain spots.

“Terrance did a great job on his guy. [Josh Wilson] was blitzing at the time. As I was making him miss, I could kind of see out of the corner my eye the receiver and the DB. As I got just enough momentum getting away, I knew where I was going with the ball.”

Charean Williams 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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