With a postseason record of 1-3 and haunted by a reputation as a big-game flop, Romo withstood a ferocious Lions defense, tossing a pair of touchdown passes to Terrance Williams, including an eight-yard strike with 2:32 remaining to give Dallas their first playoff win since the 2009 season.
After an 11-5 regular season it was more postseason disappointment for the Lions, who have not won a playoff game since January 1992, losing seven wildcard contests.
But there was a major controversy when the officials reversed an interference penalty decision when the Lions were 20-17 up.
Romo, sacked six times by Detroit’s top-ranked defense, would not be kept down, completing 19 of 31 passes for 293 yards while DeMarco Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher, ran for 75 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions shocked the home crowd at a packed AT&T Stadium, scoring on their first possession when Matthew Stafford hit Golden Tate with a 51-yard touchdown pass, then followed up with a 14-play, 99-yard drive capped by Reggie Bush scampering into the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
Kept in check by a swarming Detroit defense, the Cowboys finally got the big play lift they needed when Romo hooked up with Williams with a 76-yard touchdown strike with less than two minutes remaining in the half but the Lions would answer back with 39-yard Matt Prater field goal to take a 17-7 advantage into the intermission.
Stafford was intercepted by Kyle Wilber on the Detroit 19 in the third quarter but Dallas could not convert the turnover when Dan Bailey missed on a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Having dodged a bullet, the Lions answered immediately with a 37-yard Prater field goal but the Cowboys would not throw in the towel.
Trailing 20-7 Dallas turned to their top guns and another big play, Romo finding Dez Bryant for a 43-yard gain and Murray bulling over from the one.
After a 51-yard Bailey field goal the momentum was squarely in the Cowboys’ corner.
But then came a moment of huge controversy.
Clinging to a 20-17 lead and marching towards the Dallas end zone with about eight minutes left, Detroit looked to have extended the drive when quarterback Matthew Stafford fired a pass towards Brandon Pettigrew that drew an interference penalty on Cowboys defender Anthony Hitchens.
However, instead of getting a crucial first down the Lions were forced to punt after officials reversed the call, determining there had been no foul on the play.
Romo then took over and engineered the game-winning drive.??