Irvin: What Romo showed was leadership

Maybe Tony Romo is starting to get some of the respect many feel he deserves. At the very least, the Romo haters can take the week off after his performance in Week 2.

Unless you were hiding under a rock Sunday, you know that Romo channeled his inner Willis Reed in returning from a fractured rib to lead the Cowboys to an overtime win over the 49ers. Romo, who takes his share of heat for his performances late in games and in clutch situations, was 11-of-14 passing for 124 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter for a passer rating of 127.4.

“The win is one thing, but the way the win came is better for the Cowboys,” Michael Irvin said on “NFL GameDay Final.” “It shushes the naysayers about the way Romo plays football and his ability — or lack thereof — to win in the fourth quarter. He showed up and got it done. You saw him on the sideline leading guys. He led with his mouth, and then he went and led with his play. This is leadership. It will kill all that he went through (last) week. Now, he has to consistently do it.”

NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci called the performance Romo’s “defining moment.” It’s early, but Romo might have already provided the defining moment for the Cowboys’ entire season.

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