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Tony Romo unfairly blamed for Dallas Cowboys' woes

It almost doesn't matter what Tony Romo does on the field. He's among football's better quarterbacks statistically, but his critics are never far behind.

You hear it all the time: The Dallas Cowboys' starting signal-caller is a bumbler down the stretch. However, Jonathan Bales, from the team's official website, has crunched the numbers to counteract this line of thinking.

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The anti-Romo movement was launched in earnest after a mind-bending playoff gaffe against the Seattle Seahawks in January 2007. Romo hasn't been perfect since, but he shapes up as a guy unfairly pegged for the franchise's troubles. Let's take a look:

• Romo's career passer rating of 96.9 is the second-highest in NFL history, behind Aaron Rodgers (104.1). The rest of the top five includes Steve Young, Tom Brady and Philip Rivers. Solid company.

• Romo's a bust in the clutch, right? Wrong. His passer rating of 97.1 shoots up to 102.9 in the fourth quarter in games since 2008, according to Bales. Romo has thrown 30 touchdown passes and just eight interceptions in the fourth quarter over the past four seasons.

• In the game's final minutes, Romo only improves. With less than two minutes to go in the half since 2008, Romo's 91.7 passer rating places him among the game's best:

Aaron Rodgers: 94.5
Drew Brees: 93.6
Tom Brady: 92.7
Romo: 91.7
Eli Manning: 91.5

It's time to think twice before leaning on the lazy assumption that Romo has somehow failed as an NFL quarterback. One lingering problem for Romo is that he remains the only figure on this list without a Super Bowl title.

The way we see it, this is as much a Cowboys problem as it is a Romo problem.

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