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Cowboys say Romo deserves MVP

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IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys say quarterback Tony Romo should be a front-runner for the MVP award.

What’s to argue after his record-setting performance in the Cowboys’ 42-7 NFC East title clinching victory against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday?

Romo completed 18 of 20 passes for 218 yards, with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 151.7 passer rating.

His 90 percent completion rate was the highest in team history.

Romo also became the Cowboys’ all-time leader in passing yards in the game, surpassing Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion Troy Aikman in Cowboys history. Romo, a former undrafted free agent, has 32,971 passing yards. Aikman had 32,942 in his career.

What’s most important is no one has been more valuable or playing better as Romo has led the Cowboys to their first playoff berth since 2009.

“He’s got to be up for it,” tight end Jason Witten said of Romo as MVP. “I know there are other quarterbacks that have played well. We’re a little bit biased, but if you take that first game out of the season and really the first half, he’s been remarkable the way he’s done it.

“He just makes big play after big play, and he creates a lot of those. I definitely think it’s his best season. His name needs to be mentioned. I know some of those other guys have played well, but with this team and what he’s done, he would get my vote.”

Romo has been great all season, throwing for 3,406 yards, 32 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

But he has been even better during the team’s December surge to the NFC East title.

The Cowboys are 3-0 in December. Romo has completed 79.2 percent of his passes for 688 yards, with 10 touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 143.5.

That’s MVP-like play.

“He is the MVP,” receiver Dez Bryant said. “Look at the performance. You give him hell in December; he goes 3-0 in December. That’s icing on the cake. Give it to him. He is doing a hell of a job.”

A case can be made for running back DeMarco Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher.

But even owner Jerry Jones said Romo is the one who makes it all go for the Cowboys.

Romo leads in the NFL in completion percentage (70.3), yards per attempt (8.49) and passer rating (114.4).

“He certainly is in my book,” Jones said. “He is for me. Yes, he is, because Murray has certainly carried his share, but Tony’s quarterbacking this year was indispensable. We couldn’t have had the team, and we have a team that probably right now is in the top four or five teams in the league. That’s pretty good qualification of the vote.”

NOTES: RB DeMarco Murray didn’t have a vintage performance against the Colts, rushing for a season-low 58 yards on 22 carries. But his presence on the field, six days after surgery to repair a fractured bone in his hand, made a difference for the Cowboys. Coach Jason Garrett called it his best game of the season. … RT Doug Free didn’t play against the Colts because of a sprained ankle. He will also miss the season finale against the Redskins.

REPORT CARD VS. COLTS

–RUSHING OFFENSE: C — The Cowboys rushed 40 times for 127 yards, including just 58 yards on 22 carries for DeMarco Murray, who played just six days after having surgery to repair a fractured bone in his hand. Joseph Randle had 13 carries for 37 yards and fumbled.

–PASSING OFFENSE: A — Tony Romo was flawless, completing 18 of 20 passes for 218 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 151.7 passer rating. His 90 percent completion rate was the highest in team history.

–RUSH DEFENSE: A — The Colts got so far behind that they gave up on the run, but the Cowboys also shut them down at an historic level. The Colts had 1 yard, setting a Cowboys record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a game and ranking ninth in the NFL history.

–PASSING DEFENSE: A — The Colts came into the game with the league’s most prolific pass offense, but the Cowboys shut them down. Quarterback Andrew Luck threw two interceptions and had a career-worst quarterback rating of 41.7.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: B — The Cowboys almost got beat for a fake punt in the first quarter but the Colts dropped the ball. The Cowboys were flawless thereafter. Chris Jones had two punts for 92 yards, with a long of 56. Dwayne Harris had a 14-yard punt return. Dan Bailey had five touchbacks on kickoffs.

–COACHING: A — Jason Garrett has the Cowboys peaking at the right time and playing their best football in December. The 42-7 victory against the Colts was their best game on both sides of the football.


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