The defining moment in the Dallas Cowboys season took place late in the game Sunday night in Carolina. Already up two scores with little time for the Panthers to come back remaining, a TV camera on the sideline caught head coach Bill Parcells giving a playful punch to new starting QB Tony Romo. The emotion, considering what the Cowboys, Parcells, and Romo had been through since a 36-22 loss to the Giants Monday night at home – spoke volumes. It almost felt like Parcells was giving his seal of approval for Romo, an unknown QB that saved the Cowboys season with a monster road win in Carolina.
Off in the distance there was then a shot of former starter Drew Bledsoe. Gripping his jersey, wearing his usual eye black and visor, Bledsoe showed little emotion throughout the night, and it had to be a mixed bag of emotions watching Romo lead the Cowboys to victory. At one point late in the game, the cameras caught Bledose rubbing his eyes. While the shot was not meant to portray this – one had to think that Bledsoe was wiping away tears, knowing in his heart that he may have started his last game in a Cowboys uniform.
For Dallas, Romo’s stunning 24-for-36 for 270 yard outing with a TD and interception showed that this undrafted QB has what it takes to get it done in a tough spot. The Boys were on the road, national TV, tough pass rush. Despite that, Romo was sacked just twice, and the running game of Julius Jones and Marion Barber combined for 141 yards and three touchdowns. Where Bledose was getting no help against the Giants, the Cowboys as a team stepped it up to help out their new starting QB, playing with fire and determination to help him get the job done.
Season saving? It wasn’t like winning a playoff game or a game for the division title, but Dallas’ win cemented the fact that putting Romo in there was the right decision, and now that he has that all important first win under his belt, the team can now focus on the division once again, and that includes a huge game at Washington this upcoming Sunday. There will be bumps in the road for the new Cowboys QB, but he showed poise and confidence on Sunday night. Something that Bledsoe barley showed the entire season, even when he was not under intense pressure with the hook coming.