Tony Romo returned to action Sunday for the first time since his collarbone was broken two months ago and coincidentally, the Dallas Cowboys won for the first time since his September injury.
Dallas’s 24-14 win over the Miami Dolphins moves the franchise to 3-7 this season — and despite going two months without a win, the Cowboys still have an outside shot at a playoff berth.
It was no surprise that Romo, Dallas’s starting quarterback for essentially the past decade, provided an offensive spark in his return. He completed 18 of 28 passing attempts, threw for 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
His ingenuity was on display as soon as he stepped foot on the field, evading pressure and completing a pass left-handed from his own end zone.
Dallas put up 386 yards of total offense Sunday, nearly 50 yards more than the team’s season average, and scored 24 points after averaging 17 in the seven games without him.
It’s clear that Romo and star wideout Dez Bryant getting healthier will have a positive effect on the team, but Dallas will need to climb its way from its last-place position in the NFC East if it hopes to earn a playoff berth.
Looking forward, the Cowboys are favored in four of their six remaining games.
The margin for error the rest of the way is incredibly slim, but Dallas has the luxury of playing in the NFC East, in which the division leader is the New York Giants (5-5); a catchable team. The race to the postseason can be won if the Cowboys sprint the rest of the way.
Dallas has the second-best chance of winning its remaining games, per ESPN’s Football Power Index, when compared to the team’s division foes.
Winning the majority — if not all — the team’s remaining games is a tall order. But the Cowboys are healthy at the quarterback position for the first time since late September, and have the roster to compete with any franchise. If the offense continues to perform as it did Sunday, Dallas could qualify for its second postseason since 2010.
Josh Planos has been published at the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Guardian, the Pacific Standard and VICE, among other publications. He has been heard on CBS Sports Radio, Fox Sports Radio and ESPN Radio. Planos is currently a Digital Editor at KETV NewsWatch 7 and a freelance writer.