Tony Romo was only half right.
After the New York Giants had scored to notch the game at 21-21, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback had a simple message for his teammates in the huddle.
“He said, ‘We’re about to go down here, and we’re about to score this touchdown. And we’re about to win and go home,’” receiver Dez Bryant repeated afterward. “That’s what it was. It wasn’t nervousness. We stuck to our game, and what we felt is what happened.”
All except the touchdown part.
A Dan Bailey field goal, though, was good enough.
Romo had an up-and-down game to that point in completing 17 of 29 passes for 213 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was nearly perfect on the last drive, chewing up all but four seconds of the final 4:45 in going 6 of 9 for 67 yards.
“You either feel comfortable in those situations or you don’t,” Romo said. “You feel all the experiences and times you’ve put yourself in that position as a team, and you feel good. We’ve done that a couple of times in these last three or four weeks. You just go out and do it.”
The Cowboys’ last victory — on Nov. 3 against the Minnesota Vikings — ended similarly. Romo drove the Cowboys 90 yards in the final 2:44 with a touchdown to Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left, marking his 19th career fourth-quarter comeback.
“I’d rather not have him have to have that opportunity to have to make that drive that he made,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “We didn’t need to lose that football game. With all due respect that we have for the Giants and everybody else, the Dallas Cowboys needed to win that football game.”
Romo wouldn’t let the Cowboys lose.
He found four different receivers on the final drive, including three passes to Bryant. Gavin Escobar, Miles Austin and Cole Beasley, who had combined for 45 catches this season before Sunday, also contributed.
Austin made his first catch since Week 3 with a 17-yard reception to the New York 28, which came a play after he dropped a pass.
Beasley made the biggest catch with a 13-yard reception to the New York 15 with 1:17 remaining that allowed the Cowboys to run the clock down and kick the game-winning field goal on the final play.
“They just called the empty package,” Beasley said. “We had two good routes on both sides. Then Tony just had enough faith in me to come my way, and the line held up. It was just a good play, perfect throw by Tony.”
It was one of three third-down conversions by the Cowboys in the drive.
They entered the game 0 for their last 12 on third down, missing on their final three third downs against the Vikings dating to the third quarter of that game, and then going 0 for 9 against the Saints.
Dallas was only 1 for 7 in the game on third down before the final drive.
“I don’t think the third downs were great today,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “They were good at the critical moments.”