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12) Can Cowboys Continue To Rely On 2nd-Half Comebacks?


IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.

Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.

As we count down the days to camp, the writers of will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.

With 12 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today's question centers on the second-half comeback.

12) Can Cowboys Continue To Rely On 2nd-Half Comebacks?

In 16 games played in 2012, the Cowboys found themselves behind on the scoreboard 16 times.

Not one game went by where the Cowboys led from start to finish. Consequently, there were just two games in which the Cowboys didn't hold the lead at all.

For a team that finished 8-8, it's hard to fathom the Cowboys had to rally in every game last year. Tony Romo led the NFL last season with five fourth-quarter comebacks. Of course, what it remembered most is the regular-season finale against the Redskins when he threw a costly interception in the final few minutes.

Obviously when it comes to rallying the troops, no quarterback for the Cowboys has had as many memorable comebacks as Roger Staubach.

The last player to ever wear No. 12 for the Cowboys, Staubach earned the nicknamed "Captain Comeback" for his miraculous moments in which he engineered late-game rallies, including the "Hail Mary" game in Minnesota or a dramatic win over the Redskins in 1979, his final game at Texas Stadium.

According to, Staubach is credited with 15 career fourth-quarter comebacks. Romo actually has 18, which has him tied for 34th in NFL history.

For argument's sake, Troy Aikman actually had 16 career comebacks as well.

But it's not a stat the Cowboys want to see increase for Romo. Preferably, it'd be nice to take a lead early in the game and withstand it for four quarters.

While it's a good trait to have for a quarterback, fourth-quarter or second-half comebacks are examples living on the edge.

Usually, when games are played that close, that often, it typically evens out at the end of the season. That's exactly what has happened with the Cowboys, who have finished 8-8 for two straight years.

So the second-half comebacks is nice and good for TV ratings and drama, but with this team, it shows a level of mediocrity that has prevented the Cowboys from getting over the hump.

Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let's take a closer look at the number 12:

  • While no Cowboys player has worn No. 12 in a regular season game since Staubach retired in 1979, two players had it before him – quarterback John Roach (1964) and punter Ron Widby (1968).
  • The Cowboys have had nine seasons where the finished with 12 wins in the regular season, and won the Super Bowl three of those years.
  • Troy Aikman played 12 seasons for the Cowboys, owning a 94-71 career record. Aikman has the Cowboys record for most seasons leading the team in passing with 12.
  • Dez Bryant caught 12 touchdown passes in 2012, including 10 in the second half of the regular season.
  • The Cowboys' rookie record for touchdown catches in a season is 12, set by "Bullet" Bob Hayes in 1965.
  • Mel Renfro owns the Cowboys' record for most combined kick returns in a game with 12. In a 1964 games with the Packers, Renfro had eight kickoff returns and four punt returns.
  • The only player in franchise history drafted 12th overall was Danny Noonan in 1987.
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