Romo helps Lions to 4-0

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo passes against the Detroit Lions in the first half of their...

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo passes against the Detroit Lions in the first half of their game in Arlington, Texas on October 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Ryan Wolstat, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 PM ET

Something special is going on.

How else to explain the Detroit Lions’ past two victories?

The latest, a 34-30 road stunner over the Dallas Cowboys was even more improbable than last week’s rally from a 20-0 halftime deficit against the Minnesota Vikings, a game that saw the Lions outscore the Vikings 26-3 in the final two quarters and overtime.

With Tony Romo and the Cowboys rolling against an invisible Detroit defence and Matthew Stafford sleep-walking through the first half, nobody believed the Lions would end the day at 4-0 for the first time since 1980.

But the mercurial Romo again turned into a pumpkin, the best receiver in the NFL Calvin Johnson surely converted a couple more of his few remaining critics with a pair of pretty touchdown catches and the most unexpected story of this young football season continues.

Coming off a poor effort against Washington — an 18-16 win nonetheless — Romo started brilliantly, leading his club to a 17-0 lead going 23-for-28 with three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Stafford, playing where he grew up in front of dozens of family and friends was seemingly unaware that the game had started, passing for just 88 yards through two quarters.

The Lions were held to a field goal in the first half and went to the break trailing 20-3. Romo then hit Jason Witten in the end zone to start the second half — Dallas’ fifth drive for points on seven possessions — and the blowout was on.

Except, it wasn’t. Romo, who has alternated between brilliant and shockingly awful so far this season, completed just six of his next 13 passes, with three of the incompletions being interceptions.

How Romo went from pinpoint accurate — throwing a pair of touchdowns to Dez Bryant and picking out Witten and Laurent Robinson consistently — to all over the place is a big mystery, though the fact that the Lions’ vaunted defence finally started to put some pressure on Romo had something to do with it.

Romo’s first pick was taken into the end zone by ex-Cowboy and Romo chum — though perhaps not anymore — Bobby Carpenter and not five minutes later, Chris Houston returned another miscue 56 yards for a touchdown.

At that point, Johnson went to work, ironically tying a record set by one of his most vocal critics, ex-Viking Cris Carter. Johnson and Carter are now the only players ever to haul in two touchdown receptions in four consecutive games. Johnson is the first to do it to open a season.

Already the owner of the undisputed catch of the season, Johnson’s first touchdown was another doozy. “Megatron” made two defenders look silly taking to the air to haul in the bomb.

Lions kicker Jason Hanson cut the lead to three with a 51-yard field goal with 4:22 remaining and then things got even crazier.

Instead of choosing the ground game to run off some clock, Romo hurled a pass on first and 10 and Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch stepped in front of Witten for another interception.

Johnson completed the comeback, hauling in another tough touchdown reception on first and goal with 1:39 remaining.

It was the largest blown lead in a loss in Dallas history.

“Today and over the next week or two, it’s going to be difficult to look back at it, but at some point here, we’re going to move on,” admitted Romo.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had made the mistake of taking a shot at Johnson earlier in the week, stating that Dallas receivers Miles Austin (out with an injury) and Bryant were better.

“We (Dallas’ defence) work against better receivers,” Ryan had said.

It seems the more people try to knock Johnson down, the more ridiculously he performs.

“He got a lot of respect for him for not being the best receiver on their team,” Stafford joked afterwards about Johnson.

“(Ryan) throws a couple of guys on him here and there.” Johnson was double-covered for much of the game.

So, blame Romo’s ailing ribs or questionable decision making. Blame Ryan if you want.

Or … maybe just give Johnson and these Lions credit.

It appears they are for real, though that offensive line still could use some work.

QUICK HITS

The Lions made a bit of history, becoming the first team to win consecutive games after trailing by 20 or more points in both games. They also became the fifth team since 1990 to start 4-0 a year after beginning 0-4 … Romo had his 20th career game with at least three touchdown passes, which tied Dallas’ team record, previously held by Danny White … Dallas lost safety Gerald Sensabaugh with a concussion, Detroit counterpart Amari Spievey exited with a sore hamstring and backup Erik Coleman injured his ankle … Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert struggled, completing just 16-of-42 passes against New Orleans … Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in 31-straight game, passing Dan Marino for third-longest ever … Minnesota has been outscored 67-6 in the second half and overtime this season … Cleveland lost cornerback Joe Haden to a sprained knee and receiver Mohamed Massaquoi to a banged up shoulder … Browns quarterback Colt McCoy completed 40 passes, five fewer than Drew Bledsoe’s NFL record … Tennessee safety Chris Hope broke his arm … Matt Forte joined Walter Payton and Gale Sayers as the only Chicago Bears to rush for 200 yards in a game.


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