For the first time in almost five years, two of our own started an NFL game at quarterback.

Mark Sánchez and Tony Romo shared the primetime stage Sunday night for the Jets and Cowboys, respectively, putting on a display on an emotional night in which firefighters, police officers, military personnel and first responders were honored along with the thousands who died in the September 11th attacks.

"It was great. He had a heck of a game," said Sánchez of his matchup against Romo. "We both made our share of mistakes, but this team really rallied. We are trying to represent our community well."

It's been a while since the NFL had two Hispanic quarterbacks going against each other in a game since Romo went head-to-head against Jeff García and the Philadelphia eagles on a Monday night Christmas game in 2006.

Fast forward five years, Latinos have something to be proud of with these two quarterbacks: both have a great shot of leading their teams to the Super Bowl.

Latinos in the NFL have lined up on offense and defense, kicked field goals and punted balls. It reaches a new level, however, when two quarterbacks – in the sport's most demanding position – star in the national spotlight.

Baseball has been dominated by Latinos throughout the history of the game, and the presence in the NBA has been increasing over the years. But Sunday was special a special night in the NFL, beyond box score, statistics and the winners and losers.

It marked two Latinos leading their powerhouse teams – and their race, though important to Latinos, wasn't worth of headlines.

Romo, undrafted out off Eastern Illinois in 2003, is remembered by many as the quarterback who botched a hold during a field goal in the 2007 playoffs against Seattle. His playoff career since has been underwhelming.

Sánchez, meanwhile, has shined so far early in his career. Out of USC, the Mexican-American was the Jets' fifth overall pick in 2009 – and has led his team to the AFC Conference finals in his first two years.

On Sunday night, both were great in their own ways. Romo, also of Mexican descent, was hot, making 23 of 36 passes for 342 yards. He stumbled, however, twice in crunch time.

Sánchez was just as good, completing 26 of his career high 44 passes; he, too, committed his share of mistakes.

After the game, which the Jets won, 27-24, Sanchez subtlety captured the importance of his presence in the primetime matchup – he conducted postgame interviews with Spanish-language media. 

Social media was abuzz about the quarterbacks' performances. There was no mention, though, of the impact Sanchez and Romo had on a Latino community that's crazy about the game. 

Maybe an appearance in next February's Super Bowl game will change that around.

Adry Torres, who has covered MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball games and related events, is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. He can be reached at elpiloto137@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @adrytorresnyc.

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Adry Torres, who has covered MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball games and related events, is a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. He can be reached at elpiloto137@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @adrytorresnyc

 

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