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History Lesson: Tony Romo vs. the Bills

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Cowboys and Bills aren't a classic rivalry, but they do have some historical links thanks to the two Super Bowls between the teams.

    They weren't good games, mind you, but they were the icing on the very tasty cake that Jimmy Johnson, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and company baked a couple of decades ago. And they gave us Leon Lett getting stripped by Don Beebe, a moment for which we'll be forever thankful. A couple of epic blowouts and a fantastic blunder are nice, but the most useful bit of history for this Sunday's game came in 2007.

    That was the first and only time that Tony Romo met the Bills in his career. It was his first full season as a starter and by the end of the game we got a pretty good preview of what the rest of his career was going to look like.

    The first Cowboys drive of the game ended when Romo was picked off for a touchdown by George Wilson and the second one ended with another interception. Romo got picked again in the second quarter for another Bills touchdown and then followed that up with his fourth pick of the game on the next drive. 

    All of those mistakes put the Cowboys in a 24-13 hole with a little under nine minutes to play in the third quarter. And then Romo led the Cowboys to a field goal to cut the lead to eight before a fifth interception and a fumble slowed down thoughts about a comeback.

    Temporarily, anyway. The Cowboys got the ball back on their 20 with 3:45 to play and Romo led them on a 12-play drive (11 passes) that resulted in a touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton with 20 seconds left to play. A two-point try was unsuccessful, leaving the Cowboys to try an onside kick which they recovered with 18 seconds left to play.

    A big completion to Terrell Owens on the first play was overturned on replay, but Romo hit two passes to give Nick Folk a shot at a 53-yard field goal. Folk hit the kick, the Cowboys won 25-24 and Romo turned in his goat horns for a little bit of hero credit.

    It was one game and yet it contained shades of just about everything Romo has done in his entire career. You had the bonecrushing errors and the dizzying late-game comeback, you had certain defeat and unexpected victory and a million other things in between.

    The only thing that's missing is a blonde starlet and an ill-timed trip to Mexico to make those four quarters a microcosm of everything that Romo's yin and yang career has come to represent. 

    The Cowboys will need more yang than yin (or is it the other way around?) if they are going to go from 4-4 to the playoffs this season. A better performance against the Bills than the last one would be a pretty good place to start, although they'll take a replay if they get the same result all over again.