IRVING – “I feel personally like I’ve just started to come into the player that I wanted to be six, seven years ago,” Tony Romo said back at training camp, promising, “you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my career.”
His season season ended with a loss, which is the way this thing works for 31 of the 32 teams. But Tony Romo’s season was also brilliant, in virtually every possible way, justifying the Joneses’ financial belief in him as “the big ticket” and justifying Romo’s own confidence in his predicted 2014 ability to be the “best version of myself.”
It ended in the playoffs in Green Bay, where in the wake of 26-21, Romo said, “Just to lose in general is disappointing. I have played long enough to understand that you don’t have these kinds of teams on your side to play in these games consistently. When you have that opportunity you want to take advantage. It just doesn’t feel very good right now because you feel like you let one slip away and that you had an opportunity with a good ballclub that had a chance to win this thing.
“That is going to eat at you for a while.”
But if one loss has staying power, so should 13 wins, a total that includes a gutsy comeback victory over the Lions in the first round of the playoffs. Those wins and this season also include a bevy of milestones that belie the ridiculous Romo memes that paint him as other than something shy of Pro Bowl-worthy (he’s been voted in again this year) and now, even MVP-worthy (we’ve predicted for a month that voters will see him at least deserving of runner-up status to Aaron Rodgers).
Promise fulfilled. Check out Tony Romo’s Cowboys milestones for 2014, as complied by Jordan Ross of CowboysHQ.com:
*Led the NFL in QB rating, passer rating, completion %, TD %, 3rd down conversion %, 1st down % and YPA (yards per attempt).
*Extended his NFL record of most consecutive road games with a touchdown pass to 41.
*Became one of three QB’s in NFL history with 9+ consecutive seasons with a 90.0+ passer rating. The other two QB’s are Steve Young with 10 and Peyton Manning with 11.
*Became the first QB in NFL history with a 140.0+ passer rating and a 78.0+ completion % in a road playoff game.
*Became the only QB to lose a playoff game with a 125+ passer rating. The others were 68-0.
*Became the only QB in NFL history with a 113+ passer rating in the regular season and a 120+ passer rating in the playoffs in the same year.
*Set the NFL record for the highest passer rating in the month of December (133.7) – winning him the NFC Offensive Player of the Month award.
*Set the franchise record for highest passer rating in a postseason game (143.6 vs Green Bay).
*Had a streak of 38 consecutive games with a TD pass, which moved him into 5th place all-time – behind only Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
*Became the first QB in NFL history with four straight road games with 3+ TD’s and 0 INT’s.
*Became the first QB in NFL history with 4+ game-winning drives in 4 consecutive seasons.
*Became just the 9th QB since 1960 to lead the NFL in completion %, YPA and passer rating in a single season.
*Became the first QB in NFL history with 6 games in a season with a 135.0+ passer rating. Peyton Manning and Steve Young are the only QB’s with 5 in a season.
*Tied the longest streak of his career for consecutive games with a 60+ completion % at 17, which is the 3rd longest streak in NFL history. Also became the only QB in NFL history with 2 streaks of 17+ games with a 60+ completion %.
*Tied the NFL record for most games in a single season with a 60+ completion % (15). 6th quarterback to do so – the others were Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers.
*Tied NFL record for most consecutive games in a single season with a 60+ completion % (15). 2nd quarterback to do so – the other was Philip Rivers.
*6th highest single season completion % of all-time (69.9). Only QB’s ahead of him are Drew Brees (twice), Ken Anderson, Steve Young and Joe Montana.
*6th highest single season QB rating of all-time (113.2). Only QB’s ahead of him are Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning (twice), Nick Foles and Tom Brady.
*Moved into 2nd place in in NFL history with a 97.6 career passer rating – behind only Aaron Rodgers.
*Set a new franchise record for career passing yards – passing Troy Aikman.
*Set a new franchise record for career game-winning drives – passing Roger Staubach.
“I just believe it so much in my heart that Tony Romo’s greatest traits are his physical and mental toughness,” coach Jason Garrett said. “All the great players in this league have those traits. Tony certainly exhibits them week-in and week-out. … he’s just a helluva football player.”