Tony Romo’s days as an NFL quarterback are over, as he’s replacing Phil Simms as the lead game analyst on CBS. It was this hit by Cliff Avril during the Seahawks’ preseason game against Dallas that led to Romo being sidelined and Dak Prescott taking over his starting job for good.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane (the good and the bad) and chronicle all of Romo’s regular and postseason starts against Seattle. You will find that he was a pretty damn good quarterback.
January 6th, 2007: Seahawks 21 Cowboys 20
Romo’s statline: 17-of-29, 182 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 1 rush for 0 yards, 1 botched hold
The Cowboys entered the playoffs on a two-game losing streak, having given away the NFC East to the Eagles. Romo earned full-time starter status just before the midway point of the season, replacing the ineffective Drew Bledsoe. The ‘06 Seahawks had no business being in the playoffs, but thanks to a series of close wins and late field goals by Josh Brown, and they got to host Romo and company on primetime TV.
I shouldn’t beat around the bush much longer. This is the play you want to see.
Romo will forever be ridiculed for that play, but if not for Jordan Babineaux’s heroic tackle (which was preceded by Lofa Tatupu heroically stopping Jason Witten short of the first-down marker), Romo would’ve turned disaster into a possible game-winning touchdown. At a minimum, he could’ve gotten the first down without getting into the end zone, which would’ve been even worse. With no Seahawks timeouts left, Dallas would’ve been able run the clock down towards expiration and kick the winning field goal. Romo’s improvisation was brilliant, but Big Play Babs was just better.
It’s often forgotten that the Seahawks did allow Dallas one final shot at victory, as a spectacularly shitty punt by Ryan Plackemeier left enough time for Romo to throw a Hail Mary. The Seahawks defense knocked it down and ended the coaching career of Bill Parcells.
November 27th, 2008: Cowboys 34 Seahawks 9
Romo’s statline: 22-of-34 for 331 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 2 rushes for 14 yards
Thanksgiving Day in Dallas was a day to forget for the Seahawks, who had played fairly competitive football in its three previous losses. Tony Romo calmly led a 5-play, 71-yard drive and capped it off with a touchdown toss to Martellus Bennett. This was an insurmountable lead for Seattle, who were also undone by a Julius Jones fumble right after the Cowboys scored.
Dallas’ first four drives were as follows: TD, TD, TD, FG. Romo’s only blemish was a 3rd quarter interception thrown to Marcus Trufant, but Seattle didn’t capitalize when down 24-9.
Oh yeah, John Marshall had Julian Peterson matched up with Terrell Owens for this touchdown. I don’t understand why.
This game sticks out for Seahawks fans as the final one of Walters Jones’ legendary career. DeMarcus Ware did whatever he wanted, and a broken down Jones looked like a shell of his former self. Matt Hasselbeck was sacked seven times, and just like Big Walt, he was shut down for the ‘08 season. Those were sad times.
Dallas spectacularly collapsed in December-January and missed the playoffs after losing to the Eagles 44-6 in week 17.
November 1st, 2009: Cowboys 38 Seahawks 17
Romo’s statline: 21-of-36 for 256 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 rush for 10 yards
NFL on FOX announcer Dick Stockton famously created a Patrick Kerney-Brandon Mebane hybrid known as “Patrick Mebane.” Seattle took a 3-0 over Dallas after a rare successful opening drive for Jim Mora’s side. Tony Romo gave the Cowboys the lead for good by hooking up with Sam Hurd (yes, THAT Sam Hurd), who embarrassed Aaron Curry and everyone else involved in this play.
Romo completed passes to ten different receivers, while the Seahawks offense sputtered after halftime. There’s not much else to report from this one, other than a reminder that Jim Mora was a horrible head coach.
November 6th, 2011: Cowboys 23 Seahawks 13
Romo’s statline: 19-of-31 for 279 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 3 rushes for 13 yards
This was Romo’s first game against the nascent Legion of Boom. The Seahawks defense valiantly held Dallas to a 6-6 halftime tie, largely thanks to Richard Sherman causing Dez Bryant to fumble at the one-yard line.
Romo would break the game open by finding a wide open Jason Witten for the tiebreaking touchdown. After a Tarvaris Jackson interception, Romo threw a touchdown to Laurent Robinson, who got past Kam Chancellor across the back of the end zone, and Dallas won fairly comfortably.
This game wasn’t all that bad for the Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch’s transformation into the team’s superstar running back began with this game, as he rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries and got Seattle’s only touchdown.
Oh yeah, Steven Hauschka had a field goal blocked on a play that I’m pretty sure is now illegal.
Dallas spectacularly collapsed in December-January and missed the playoffs after losing to the Giants 31-14.
September 16th, 2012: Seahawks 27 Cowboys 7
Romo’s statline: 23-of-40 for 251 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 rushes for -1 yards
This was unquestionably Romo’s worst game against the Seahawks. In his first ever regular season game at CenturyLink Field, Romo went three-and-out on Dallas’ opening offensive possession (leading to a blocked punt for a TD and a 10-0 Seahawks lead), then threw an interception to Brandon Browner on the next possession. This was back when the Seahawks actually generated interceptions off of the pass rush.
He did engineer a 95-yard touchdown drive, culminating in a 22-yard strike to Miles Austin, who beat Browner for Dallas’ only points of the game.
After the TD, the Seahawks defense put the clamps on the Cowboys. Punt after punt after punt after punt. When Dallas was on defense, well... you know ...
Other notables from this blowout win: Russell Wilson picked up his first win as an NFL starter, Anthony McCoy caught his first NFL touchdown pass, and Bruce Irvin registered his first career (half) sack.
Dallas collapsed in the final two weeks of December and missed the playoffs after losing to the Redskins 28-18.
October 12th, 2014: Cowboys 30 Seahawks 23
Romo’s statline: 21-of-32 for 251 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 2 rushes for -1 yard
Seahawks score on their opening possession, then get a blocked punt for a touchdown to go up 10-0. Sound familiar? You would think that the defending Super Bowl champs wouldn’t relinquish the early double-digit lead, not after Bobby Wagner did this to Romo.
Romo returned with a vengeance, but not before Byron Maxwell nearly shut off Dallas’ comeback right at the goal line.
The Cowboys scored 17 unanswered points, racking up 231 yards, and taking an unlikely halftime lead. Seattle’s offense recorded zero first downs for the remainder of the half. Romo also wasn’t shy about attacking Richard Sherman, who was matched up with Dez Bryant.
Truth be told, the Seahawks really should’ve had a blowout loss here. By every statistical measure except turnovers, they got their asses kicked. Byron Maxwell and Bobby Wagner left the game with injuries. The offense was a disaster, with Bryan Walters getting the plays designed for Percy Harvin, Russell Wilson looking staggeringly inept, and Marshawn Lynch just not getting the ball. Despite all of this, Seattle held a 23-20 lead late in the 4th quarter, poised to improve to 4-1 on the year. It was 3rd and 20 at Dallas’ own 31. Bruce Irvin is ready to get the drive-killing sack and give Seattle a chance to run the clock out and win the game. There’s no way Romo can esc-—wait, what?
DeMarco Murray broke Seattle’s exhausted defense for the go-ahead touchdown. Russell Wilson had one final chance to answer. The answer wasn’t a good one.
Romo’s final start against the Seahawks was a dramatic road win, and just the second time a Russell Wilson-led team had experienced defeat at the CLink. Percy Harvin would be jettisoned to the Jets only a few days later.
We could’ve seen the Seahawks rematch Dallas in the 2015 NFC Championship Game (which I wanted no part of), but apparently Dez didn’t catch it.
Romo’s career statline vs. Seattle (6 games): 123-of-202 for 1158 yards (7.7 YPA), 12 TDs, 2 INTs, 2 fumbles lost, 11 rushes for 35 yards, 6 sacks incurred, 100.2 QB rating
Romo’s career statline vs. LOB-era Seattle (3 games): 63-of-103 for 780 yards (7.6 YPA), 5 TDs, 1 INT, 1 fumble lost, 7 rushes for 11 yards, 2 sacks, 96.7 QB rating
The Romo era is now officially over in Dallas, and starting next season, it looks like we could be in for a great quarterbacking rivalry between Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott. I’d rather Prescott not put up numbers as good as Romo consistently managed against the Seahawks defense.