Jerry Jones: For this to be Romo’s best season, it must include playoffs

IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo has played well enough this season that he’s starting to garner MVP talk — perhaps not a loud conversation, but at least some chatter.

That’s hardly surprising given the Cowboys’ record, and the role Romo has played in it. 

If the season ended today, Romo’s current quarterback rating of 110.4 would be the best of his career by a solid eight points. His completion percentage of 69.3 would be the second-best — trailing only 2010, when he only played in six games.

"I think I continue to grow as a football player and doing things differently than I did in the past and I think it’s showing in certain areas," Romo said Wednesday.

He’s not racking up yards. In fact, he may well finish with the lowest yardage output of any season in which he’s started more than 13 games. DeMarco Murray’s league-best rushing tally of 1,687 yards is surely a large factor in that stat.

"That’s a quarterback’s best friend is a reliable running game like we have," said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

But while Romo benefits from the best rushing attack of his entire career, he’s also not making mistakes. In the Cowboys’ 10 wins this season, he has completed 72.6 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns and three interceptions. 

In two of Dallas’ four losses, Romo was either absent or left the game due to back injury. In the other two, he was coming off a light preseason work schedule and a quick turnaround ahead of a Thanksgiving kickoff.

All of this leads to the understandable line of questioning to Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Thursday, when he was asked if Romo was having the best season of his career.

"Oh, I don’t want to say that, because we’re not through. But it has the potential to be his best season," Jones said.

Jones didn’t exactly shy away from what that potential was. Despite a 10-4 record, the Cowboys are not yet guaranteed to make the playoffs. The quality of Romo’s season largely depends on whether it results in his first trip to the playoffs since 2009.

"I guess the factor that would impact the most in my mind would be if we do have the kind of season that we’re all dreaming about here, then it would be his best," Jones said.

That’s going to require just a bit more work on Romo’s part. Even with the NFC East lead, the Cowboys are almost in a must-win situation against Indianapolis on Sunday — especially if Murray is unavailable with a broken metacarpal.

Jones said those extra factors will ultimately help determine this season’s placement in Romo’s illustrious career. That said, it ultimately comes down to wins and losses.

"Of course, he’s played well at the position. He’s played well as a quarterback, all of his percentages are certainly qualified to be one of his best," Jones said. "The way he’s doing it is really getting, and should get, a lot of weight as to comparing his seasons. But we’d all say let’s see how many wins we’ve got, and let’s see what the wins get for us."

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