Tony Romo made no bones about it - broken or otherwise - in his postgame press conference Sunday. His success was a direct result of being fully healthy for the first time since Sept. 18.
In the first game in which he did not wear a heavy flak jacket or receiver a pain-killing injection, Romo posted a QB rating of 148.4. He was flawless for much of the game, definitely the best he has been over any such stretch this season. In the seven game stretch when he wasn't healthy, dating back to the win at San Francisco, Romo and the Cowboys went 4-3, and he threw 11 touchdowns against six interceptions.
Maybe it was his ability to play fairly well with the broken ribs that made the injury easy to dismiss. Now we'll see what effect the same injury has on another quarterback, one within the division, Philadelphia's Michael Vick.
As if dropping to 3-6 on the season weren't bad enough, the Eagles QB suffered two broken lower ribs in Sunday's home loss to Arizona. Vick finished Sunday's game, but did not play well. Will he be able to continue to play through the injury? Will it continue to cause problems for him going forward? Will the injury be an oft-cited excuse in the press, or an afterthought?
If Vick can't play at least as well as Romo did, Philadelphia has no chance to run the table and get into the playoffs. The odds are remote, anyway. The two players have different styles, but it's worth comparing how the same injury affects them both.
And it's worth drawing a line in Romo's season, starting with Sunday, the point when he became fully healthy.