The Dallas Cowboys have Tony Romo back and are now trying to salvage something out of this season, aka make the playoffs. This means beating the undefeated (10-0) Carolina Panthers. Seems impossible? Not for Romo.
With or without rust, Romo is the only starting quarterback with two wins in his career against 9-0 or better teams, which means that there’s some history to the claim the Cowboys can beat the Panthers, besides the fact that they’re simply a very good team with Romo at quarterback, regardless of their 3-7 record, coming off a win over the Miami Dolphins.
In 2006, Romo and the Cowboys beat a then undefeated, 9-0 Indianapolis Colts (with Peyton Manning). Romo didn’t throw any touchdowns in the game (one interception) but completed 19-of-23 passes for 226 yards in the 21-14 win. The Cowboys got their points from a interception return by Kevin Burnett, while Marion Barber scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win the game.
In 2009, Romo and the Cowboys stopped a 13-0 New Orleans Saints team with an impressive 24-17 victory in New Orleans. Romo threw for 312 yards and one touchdown pass to Miles Austin while Barber himself ran for two more. Drew Brees was outgained and outplayed in that game by Romo.
So we’ve established it won’t be too much of a shock if the Cowboys hand the Panthers their first loss of the season. An interesting point though might be that the Panthers shouldn’t worry if they lose. In 2006, the Colts won the Super Bowl despite their undefeated streak ending against the Cowboys. In 2009, the Saints won the Super Bowl, beating the Colts, with the Cowboys loss not making a difference. So maybe the Panthers should actually hope to lose?