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If the Cowboys win the NFC East, Romo will be the main reason why.
Perhaps no player in the NFL is as heavily scrutinized as Tony Romo. The Jets' backup quarterback may be in the news more, but Romo is the target of an unrivaled amount of criticism despite being an established NFL star.
In many ways, Romo is to football what LeBron James was to basketball. No, Romo isn't an imposing lion among small kittens like LeBron on the basketball court, but both have been doubted due to their failure to lead a team to a championship.
Even when the Anti-LeBron and Miami Hate trends were at their peak, one could not ignore that James was and is the most talented basketball player on the planet. Similarly, regardless of Romo's postseason shortcomings, the truth cannot be ignored—he is a very, very good quarterback.
Buried under the earth-shattering 2011 numbers produced by Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, Romo quietly put together the best season of his career.
Throwing for 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions, Romo registered a career-high 102.5 passer rating. If not for a couple of late-game blunders, the Cowboys would have been in the playoffs.
With the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles in the same division, not many people are talking about Dallas as a serious threat to win the NFC East. But if the Cowboys are able to come out of the division, Romo will be a big reason why.
And the tested 32-year-old quarterback just may find himself in the thick of the MVP race.
Marques is a Featured Columnist for the NFL at Bleacher Report and a Packers columnist at Jersey Al's AllGreenBayPackers.com