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Thu, 29 Dec 2011 03:56 PM EST

Tony Romo tends to turn philosophical when the subject is in the direction of whether the Dallas Cowboys eventually will become successful enough for him to be regarded as a winner. Basketball scores

It’s definitely not a matter of desire. This is a man who fought his way from undrafted afterthought to franchise quarterback. He’s the football version of a gym rat, consistently looking for an advantage by studying film and working on complicated details of his game. He is doing everything he can to give himself a chance to win the kind of games that will be remembered for generations.

“At some point,” Romo says, “you’re either ok or you’re not.”

Tony Romo has a career-best 102.2 passer rating this season with Twenty-nine touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Unfortunately for Romo, whose team faces the New York Giants with the NFC East title and a playoff bid at stake Sunday night, that is not unavoidably right. NFL scores

Just look at the most recent Giants-Cowboys game for proof. Romo’s 321-yard, four-touchdown, no-pick performance wasn’t sufficient to prevent a 37-34 loss Dec. 11 at Cowboys Stadium.

According to, there had been 71 prior quarterback performances since 1960 that featured at least 300 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and a passer rating of 140.0. Those quarterbacks played on the winning team on all 71 occasions.

Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys became the lone exception. Quarterbacks who put up those eye-popping stats are now 71-1.

Yet a few individuals pointed to Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys’s doubtless overthrowing receiver Miles Austin by a foot as proof that Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys shriveled under pressure. (Austin admitted he made a poor change to a catchable pass on the key play with the Cowboys adhering to a late lead, but never let the facts get in the way of a good “Romo choked” angle).

Forget about being ok. Just about perfect was not enough that night.

If Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys is good, the Cowboys likely will be playoff spectators for the second successive season. Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys has to be superb for the Cowboys to feel better about their chances to beat the Giants — and actually to do any damage if they reach the postseason.

The Cowboys are counting on Romo more and more. They need him to be impressive to beat a defense which has appeared out matched against quality foes since Rob Ryan’s early-season smoke-and-mirrors effect wore off. ( See the Giants’ 510 total yards Dec. Eleven. ) They need him to make up for mistakes by a spotty offensive line and mask an inconsistent running game that has lacked depth since greenhorn DeMarco Murray’s season-ending smashed ankle.

Romo, whose bruised throwing hand suffered last week is not regarded as a major concern by the Cowboys, has replied with potentially the best season of his career. He did not receive an invitation to his fourth Pro Bowl, but he has a career-best 102.2 passer rating regardless of playing several weeks with a fractured rib, throwing for 3,895 yards with Twenty-nine touchdowns and only nine interceptions entering the NFC East title game.

Not that Romo avoids all bonafide blame for the Cowboys’ current win-or-the-end difficulty. His second-half turnovers were the main reason they blew massive leads in losses to the Manhattan Jets and Detroit Lions in the 1st month of the season.

Since that time Nonetheless, only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and New England’s Tom Brady have played quarterback as well as Romo. He has a 22-4 touchdown-interception ratio since his three-pick catastrophe of a second half against Detroit.

Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys has been stupidly effective since a pain-killing injection for his ribs stopped being part of his pregame routine. He has finished 68.2 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards and Nineteen touchdowns with just two picks in those seven games, plus the one distressing series in last week’s loss against the Eagles.

Add four game-winning drives to Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys’ rsum this season and it’s apparent he is the main reason this team has an opportunity to claim the NFC’s final playoff spot.

Romo, a professional American football quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys customarily has been among the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season. He can only hope that’s sufficiently good to beat the Giants this time.

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