ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo just finished his 150th game as an NFL player and 122nd as a starter.
But it won't be easy to pinpoint another game – at least in the regular season – that will be more significant than Sunday's win over the Colts.
He became the Cowboys' all-time leading passer, surpassing Troy Aikman, who actually started 160 games in his career. And while Romo's record-breaking pass was a touchdown to his longtime friend and teammate Jason Witten, none of that ultimately compares to the significance of the Cowboys' 42-7 blowout win over the Colts to claim the NFC East title.
The fact that the Cowboys have been so close in recent years – losing the season finale the past three seasons with first place in the division on the line – only made Sunday's win even sweeter for Romo, who has a pretty simple reason for why things changed this year.
"I just think we're a better football team," Romo said after the game. "We are better in both phases and it's just great to see the guys go out and play a really good football game when we needed it. I am proud of them."
Just like the team has to be proud of Romo, who had one of the best games of his career and was just short of having one of the better statistical games in NFL history.
Romo completed 18-of-20 passes for a career-high 90 percent completion percentage, the highest in team history. Romo's started out 18-of-19 before his final pass, nearly intercepted, fell incomplete. A completed pass would've given Romo the
highest completion percentage in NFL history (minimum of 20 attempts). The 90 percent completion percentage is the highest among all NFL quarterbacks this season.
"I just feel very comfortable throwing the football," Romo said. "Those are things that come with age and experience and working your butt off to technically perfect your craft. When you're feeling good in that rhythm throwing it, I always felt like I could read it and see it, but you need that fundamental aspect of the game to take it to the next level. I think I've done a better job of that this year."
Romo set a franchise record with 16 straight completions, the most in a single game. He actually owns the overall record with 17 straight that spanned over two games in 2012.
He finished the game with a 151.7 passer rating, setting an NFL record for six games this season with a rating over 135.0, surpassing Steve Young (1993) and Peyton Manning (2013).
So how good is Romo playing? His teammates, coaches and upper management have the highest of praise.
"I'm confident as we go into the tournament that we're going to have as good of quarterback play as any other team in the NFL," Jerry Jones said after the game. "I think Romo is there. I'm going to say it one more time – somehow, someway he needs to have a Super Bowl by his name. He's that good."
Several of his teammates, including Jeremy Mincey and Dez Bryant, said Romo should be considered for the NFL MVP trophy while his head coach, who actually backed up Aikman in the 1990s, said the two quarterbacks are comparable.
"Tony has obviously been a great quarterback for this franchise for a long time. We've done a good job organizationally making the team better around him," Garrett said. "The way he's played this year is the way great quarterbacks in this league have played for a long time. That's how Troy played. It's hard to play better than he played today. Great decision, great poise, again and again and again he delivered for us. The balance was important in this game. We continued to run the football and Tony cashed in on the opportunities when he had them."