A video shot on Sunday by KDFW shows Romo holding up three fingers following a fourth-down incompletion that sealed Dallas' loss to Denver on Sunday. It is an indication he thought there was another down left.
The tape shows Romo appearing to tell his offensive linemen to get ready for another play, then signaling to refs that the last play was third down. He is told it was fourth down, and then he swears.
The Cowboys had burned their second down by spiking the ball to stop the clock. On third and fourth downs, Romo threw to Sam Hurd in the end zone, but Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey broke up both tries, denying the Cowboys of a potential tying touchdown.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said Monday he didn't know of any confusion Romo might've had about the number of downs. But on Tuesday, the team issued a statement to try to explain the quarterback's confusion.
"As Tony was walking off the field after the fourth down play, he saw that the down marker on the Dallas sideline read '3.' As it turned out, the marker was in the process of being changed, sequentially, from the number `4' to the number '1' for the Broncos ensuing possession," according to the statement. "The marker on the Cowboys side read '3' temporarily. When he saw the '3,' he thought there might have been the possibility of an error on the down count.
"After asking the officials (holding up three fingers), he then saw the down marker move through the progression from 3 to 2 to 1. He told the offense it was fourth down in the huddle prior to the last play."