Dateline: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX, September 26, 2011
It is true that the offense failed to score a single touchdown in the game.
It is true that Tony Romo threw an untimely interception that could have cost his team the game.
It is also true that the low-scoring Monday night game may well have been Romo's finest hour.
His center was mysteriously snapping the ball any time he felt the urge (which never seemed to be a good time), the running game was bogged down for nearly three quarters, his neophyte receivers were lining up in all the wrong places and then running all the wrong routes and his own cracked ribs were jerked and jolted by the abusive treatment of Redskins defenders.
But Romo managed to fight through adversity the whole night, escape enough bloodthirsty pass rushers and complete enough timely passes to position Cowboys rookie kicker Dan Bailey for no less than six field goals.
The oft-debated, much-maligned Cowboys QB also managed to escape an all-out blitz to convert a crucial 3rd-and-21 late in the fourth quarter.
Romo sprinted to his right to buy time and then hit wide receiver Dez Bryant in stride for a 30-yard gain. That was the longest third-down conversion of Romo's career.
It was a night when the offense spat and sputtered, faltered and failed to score a single touchdown. It was a night when Rob Ryan's defense took center stage, mostly keeping the hated Redskins out of the end zone and the Cowboys in striking distance. It was a night when Romo's numbers—22-of-36, 255 yards, no TDs and one pick—were pedestrian at best.
But the star of the team with the star on his helmet was Tony Romo.