ARLINGTON, Texas – A career-high day that moved Tony Romo ahead of Roger Staubach in team history for all-time passing yardage all began with a chorus of boos for the Cowboys quarterback.
Sunday was a tale of two halves for Romo, who threw three interceptions in the first half before finishing the game with 437 yards passing on a club-record 62 attempts. Had his final bomb to Dez Bryant not been reversed, Romo would have broken Don Meredith's team record of 460 yards passing in a game.
"It's just tough when you think you've won the game, and it switches at that moment," Romo said. "You just put a lot into it obviously every week. It felt like a week's worth in that one game there. It's just hard to think about it right now."
Romo's first half performance was one to forget, finishing with a 50 percent completion percentage, no touchdowns and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Jason Pierre-Paul.
Romo started just 4-of-9 for 37 yards with two interceptions, ending the first quarter with a 16.7 quarterback rating. At one point in the first half, the Cowboys had 62 total yards of offense, while the Giants had 103 interception return yards.
Boos, jeers and taunts rained down on Romo and the stagnant offense.
"I would have booed us, too," Romo said. "We deserved it at that time. We did not start the game the way we wanted to."
Romo said he's typically able to tune out the fans, whom he said eventually turned into as good a home-field crowd he's ever been a part of. The audience began to turn back to the Cowboys' favor toward the end of the second quarter, when the offense turned what seemed like an insurmountable deficit into a two-possession game.
Despite the early rain of criticism, head coach Jason Garrett said he never thought about pulling his quarterback.
"He's an outstanding football player," Garrett said. "I think everybody saw that. He did a great job overcoming a lot of different things in this game. We became one dimensional because of their commitment to stopping the run, and I thought he did a great job giving us a chance at the end."
By the end of the third quarter, after Romo rushed for one touchdown and tossed another to tight end John Phillips, the crowd began to soar. Romo's 437-yard passing performance marked his second career 400-yard game, as the quarterback began to pick apart a Giants secondary that ranked 21st against the pass this season.
Romo, who started so dreadfully, nearly led the Cowboys to their greatest comeback ever.
That comeback would have been sealed on a perfect pass from Romo and a miraculous catch by Bryant, which was reversed. But Romo knows had the turnovers never occurred early on, the outcome may never have come down to a hand a couple inches out the back of the end zone.
"You have to do the little things right," Romo said. "At the beginning of the game, we didn't do the little things right."