Calm, cool Tony Romo delivers again

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There were more than 80,000 people inside MetLife Stadium, but to the Dallas Cowboys, it might as well have been a Thursday practice at Valley Ranch.

With three minutes to play, the Cowboys' season was potentially on the line. Trailing 28-24, they were that close to losing for the third time in four games with a quick Thanksgiving turnaround against the Philadelphia Eagles looming.

The Cowboys (8-3) needed to go 80 yards for a touchdown, and Tony Romo felt at ease.

"It's a calming feeling," the Cowboys quarterback said. "You're almost doing what you decided before the game, if that makes sense. Once you get into the series, then obviously you're going to call the play and going to come up with the stuff that you feel best doing. But more than that, it's just three minutes, you have two timeouts. That's a different situation than one minute and no timeouts. You have to prepare for those situations."

Romo thrived in that situation Sunday night. He completed all six of his passes on the drive for 66 yards. The final throw came after the offensive line gave him enough time to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle before he found Dez Bryant in the back of the end zone with 1:01 to play for a 31-28 win against the New York Giants.

It was as efficient and as cool as Romo has ever been and good for the 23rd fourth-quarter comeback victory of his career, as he continues to excel when others wait for him to fail.

"He is a franchise quarterback," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "He has won big games. He's won them every way you can win them. He's won them using his surrounding talent well. He's won them without using his surrounding talent. He's come from behind. He's done the whole nine yards. So with that on mind, when you've got a quarterback like that, you want to put enough around him so that you can compete for a Super Bowl.

"If we don't do that while he's active, it'll be the biggest disappointment for me."

The Cowboys have five more regular-season games to play before they can think Super Bowl. They have eight wins with five games to go, which is something they have not been able to say since 2009.

The Cowboys run their two-minute drill in Thursday practices. The only noise comes from speakers off to the side of the field. The situations vary each week, but Jason Garrett said there is nothing more critical in practice.

"Those are the situations that win or lose games in the NFL every week," Garrett said.

On first down, Romo hit Bryant for 4 yards. On second down, he hit Jason Witten for 5. On third-and-1, DeMarco Murray ran for 9 yards.

"That was the key play," Romo said.

Cole Beasley went for 21 yards on the same play in which he scored a 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Witten caught a 15-yarder to the New York 21. Bryant caught an 8-yarder along the sideline.

On second down, Romo bounced on his toes as his five offensive linemen kept the Giants' four-man pass rush away for as long as he needed. This was not one of the scrambling moments that Romo has perfected over the years. This was keeping his eyes down the field the entire time.

"Tony's the best at extending plays," Bryant said. "He's the best at it, and one thing that we have to do -- tight ends, split ends -- we have to stay alive. ... We had to show him the target."

Bryant gave him a target in the back of the end zone, breaking away from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie just enough for Romo to fit the ball in from 13 yards.

It was Romo's fourth touchdown pass of the game and second to Bryant. He finished the game with 275 yards on 18-of-26 passing. He has 22 touchdown passes on the season and just six interceptions.

"We've seen him do that a lot, but under that situation, I just thought he was so good with the ball, buying time and making some really good throws," Witten said. "That was a big-time drive by Tony."