Romo was 6 of 9 passing for 67 yards, including two crucial third-down throws, on the winning drive that covered the final 4:45. It came right after New York (4-7) tied the game on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Louis Murphy Jr., and a 2-point conversion run by Andre Brown, who rushed for 127 yards.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant, who kept the drive alive with a 19-yard catch on third-and-7 from the Dallas 23, said Romo had one message entering the final huddle.
"We're about to do down there and score this touchdown and win," Bryant recalled Romo saying.
It was about the only mistake Romo made in the closing minutes. However, a field goal was just as good.
"Everyone understood how important the game was for both teams," said Romo, who finished 23 of 38 for 250 yards. "They won four in a row to put themselves back into position. They had a home game. I could tell by their words leading up to it that they were confident. That's what makes the game great. It was a big buildup, but we understood that the game was going to be played on Sunday."
Romo said his only thoughts on the final drive were scoring.
"You've got to go get a field goal or touchdown and win the game," he said. "You either feel comfortable in those situations or you don't. I've been in that situation the past three or four weeks. You just have to go out and do it."
"This is tough," said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, whose roughing the passer penalty set up one of Romo's TD passes to Jason Witten. "This is the NFL and all the teams are pretty evenly matched. Obviously we have our work cut out, but until we are mathematically eliminated, we're not going to pull off the gas at all."
Eleven of the 16 teams in the NFC have better records than the Giants, so their chances of making the postseason are dim.
Romo hit Witten on TDs of 20 and 2 yards, and Dallas got a defensive touchdown on a 50-yard fumble return by Jeff Heath.
The Giants, seeking to become the second NFL team to win five straight after losing the first six, rallied over the past month to get into position to challenge for a playoff spot. They knew this was a must-win game because they had lost to Dallas in the season opener after turning over the ball six times.
True to form, New York tried another comeback after falling behind 21-6 in the third quarter.
With the wind howling, a long field goal would have been tough. Instead, that play gave Dallas a first down at the 15 and Bailey converted after Romo took a couple of kneel-downs.
Cruz caught a pass near midfield and had the ball stripped by Orlando Scandrick. Heath picked it up and had a clear-path to the end zone. The fumble return started a run of four straight scores.
NOTES: Manning finished 16 of 30 for 174 yards. ... Murphy's catch was his second of the season. ... Dallas S Barry Church had a game-high 13 tackles. ... Giants DT Cullen Jenkins had two of New York's four sacks. He had a half-sack in the first 10 games. ... Giants WR Hakeem Nicks did not play because of an abdominal injury. ... Giants C Jim Cordle left early in the second quarter with a knee injury. ... Dallas CB Morris Claiborne and PR-KR Dwayne Harris both left with hamstring injuries.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press