Romo leads Cowboys to victory


Published: Monday 10th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Tony Romo played through the pain to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 31-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third and last of this year’s NFL games at Wembley.

The Cowboys quarterback had been an injury doubt all week with two fractured vertebrae in his back but made sure ‘America’s Team’ put on a show in their first London visit as he completed 20-of-27 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

Dez Bryant deserved a huge share of the credit too, with the burly wide receiver breaking endless tackles to add yards on to the throws Romo was making, finishing up with 158 receiving yards and two scores.

A fortnight ago, the Detroit Lions’ thrilling rally to beat the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 broke a pattern of regular blow-outs in the capital, but while this was a return to that form, the glitz and glamour of the Cowboys ensured plenty of entertainment for the 86,000 on hand.

For the Jaguars, playing the second of four games they have committed to host at Wembley over as many years, it was a second heavy defeat in London on the back of last year’s 42-10 loss to San Francisco.

Their best hope of any other outcome was extinguished before kick-off when Romo was confirmed as the starting quarterback for Dallas.

The Jaguars, 1-9 this season, do not have too much to boast about but came into the game ranked third in sacks in the league.

If anyone could have put pressure on Romo it should have been them but instead the Dallas offensive line – confirming the fears of England manager Roy Hodgson as they chewed up the Wembley turf – stood firm, with Romo and Bryant doing most of the rest.

There were some miscues early on, with Romo overthrowing a wide open Jason Witten before Jacksonville snatched a 7-3 lead on Denard Robinson’s 32-yard touchdown run, but a muffed punt return by Ace Sanders was the break Dallas needed and they took full advantage.

Romo found Witten in the end zone from two yards to take the lead back, and Bryant then provided two highlight-reel plays in the second quarter to distance Jacksonville.

The first came from a short toss from Romo, with Bryant breaking several tackles as he ran most of the 35 yards to the end zone.

Then, after Jacksonville failed to take advantage of a Dallas turnover, Romo showed his arm had plenty of strength in it with a huge throw down the right touchline for Bryant to score on a 68-yard touchdown pass.

When Joseph Randle broke through with a 40-yard scoring run midway through the third quarter, the contest was effectively over, but Romo stayed in the game.

He paid a price for it, finally sacked by the Jaguars close to his own end zone in the fourth quarter, and when a holding penalty was called against Dallas on the following punt Jacksonville were awarded a safety and their first points since the opening touchdown of the night.

They tacked on more inside the final two minutes, capitalising on a pass interference call as Robinson ran in his second score of the night before completing a two-point conversion, but it was mere consolation.

It was yet another Wembley sell-out for the NFL as their London project continues to gather momentum.

A further three games are scheduled for next season, and officials said it might have been more were it not for the logistical problems created by the Rugby World Cup.

Published: Monday 10th November 2014 by The News Editor

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