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Tony Romo adds to his legend

LONDON -- Tony Romo has had more touchdown passes in other games. He has had more yards. He has been more accurate. He has made more plays out of nothing. He has had more highlights. He has had more important wins.

But what he did Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Dallas Cowboys' 31-17 win was significant.

Playing with two transverse process fractures in his back, Romo threw for 246 yards on 20-of-27 passing. He had three touchdown passes. He was sacked once.

Things were so good that before the game finished, Romo was able to untie his shoes.

The next time he has to lace them up is Nov. 23 against the New York Giants.

"I think this will be an important week just for me," Romo said of the upcoming bye. "Just having this one to kind of get back on track a little bit and help heal up some stuff."

There really wasn't a question whether Romo would play after practicing twice leading up to the game. But would he be able to be Romo? Could he move well enough? What would happen if he took another hit on his back?

The Cowboys made sure to protect Romo. The offensive line was whole again with right tackle Doug Free, who missed the previous three games with a foot injury, and left guard Ronald Leary, who did not play last week because of a groin strain. The scheme called for a lot of quick passes and screens, especially early.

"I just went through the progressions and took what they gave you and hit the spots and just happened to do some good things sometimes," Romo said.

Don't let Romo undersell what he did. He has fractured bones in his back. When he played with a punctured lung and broken rib against the Washington Redskins in 2011, he didn't throw a touchdown pass and was intercepted once. The Cowboys needed six Dan Bailey field goals to beat the Redskins.

He took a Toradol pill to cope with the pain Sunday, but did not add much extra padding to protect his back.

"Tony is a competitor," wide receiver Dez Bryant said. "And us, talking about our teammates, including myself, whenever you see that, it just makes you want to get out there and work just as hard. And we all know the deal, man. A lot of times he plays like it doesn't even faze him. So we just got to try to do that too."

Romo missed a touchdown on his second pass of the game, overthrowing Jason Witten. After the Cowboys were gifted a muffed punt, Romo hit Witten for a 2-yard touchdown pass to give the Cowboys a lead they would never lose.

It was the 37th straight game in which Romo has thrown a touchdown pass, the fifth-longest streak in NFL history. It was also the 37th straight road game in which Romo threw a touchdown pass, extending his NFL record.

In the second quarter, he hooked up with Bryant for touchdowns of 35 and 68 yards. Bryant showed the determination to finish those plays the way Romo showed determination to even play Sunday.

"It's unbelievable to do that after one week and he doesn't complain," Witten said. "He just goes to work. He minimized those distractions and I thought he did a good job coming from that injury and I think just shows it's one thing to compete and come back from it, it's another thing to play as well as he did. I think that shows a lot about what he is and how he prepares and just how much toughness he has."

Romo's last snap came on a 6-yard sack in the fourth quarter. Brandon Weeden took over with 6:42 to play and the score 31-9. Romo's night was done. His back was sore, but OK.

"A lot of guys are banged up, a lot of guys played," Romo said. "At the end of the day nobody cares when you step on the field. It's all about winning."