IRVING, Texas – On Sunday morning, a few hours before the game with the Eagles, I would've thought Tony Romo had a slim chance to win the NFL MVP award.
After the game, heading into Monday morning, I bumped up those odds a little, giving him maybe a solid chance of taking home that hardware.
On Tuesday morning, I'd now upgrade those chances to pretty good. Now, let's make that clear. I'm not saying he's going to win the NFL MVP, but I think his chances are good, obviously depending on what happens here in the next two games.
So what has changed in 48 hours?
Obviously beating the Eagles like Dallas did on Sunday night with the entire world watching was a big step. The perception of Romo and the Cowboys choking in December is starting to dwindle, especially when you factor in another three-touchdown, no-interception game on the road to claim first place in the division.
More than that, factor in the injury to DeMarco Murray. Whether or not he plays Sunday against the Colts, he's undoubtedly going to be impacted by his broken left hand.
If Murray isn't Murray-like, then even more pressure will be placed on Romo to make sure this offense remains functional.
There has been a healthy debate all year about the MVP of this team. Some say it's Murray, who was on pace for a 2,000-yard season until a few weeks ago. Some say it's always going to be the quarterback and can see how important Romo is to this team.
Obviously, if I'm giving Romo a chance to win the league MVP then I'm taking the side of Romo being the most valuable for the Cowboys.
And really, the key word here is "value." The value that Romo has for the Cowboys is undeniable. All you have to do is look at the common theme in the four losses this year.
Now, no one likes excuses, but at this point in the season, we're really just dealing with facts. And the facts are, when Romo has a full week to prepare for a team, and plays a full game, the Cowboys haven't lost.
The one exception to that might be the 49ers game in Week 1. He had a full week, a full month really, but we all know he wasn't himself. He hadn't played much in the preseason and the Cowboys had yet to figure out the best approach for him leading up to a game.
Since that loss to San Francisco, Romo has seemingly gotten better and better about getting his body ready for each game. And it's pretty simple – when he's healthy, the Cowboys play better and win.
That's the definition of an MVP. Now, is he better than Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, or maybe Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck? That'll be a tough sell for longtime writers and voters – some of whom probably have a negative opinion of Romo in the first place.
Romo has that going against him always, but who knows, maybe it might work in his favor. The perception of Romo has been one thing for so long, and now he's changing it.
The stat I saw this week that Romo is the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions in four straight road games is amazing, especially considering the fact we're talking about November and December games – against Jacksonville in London and then true road games to the Giants, Bears and Eagles.
Romo ranks second in the NFL right now in passer rating at 110.5, just behind Rodgers. Keep in mind his 28 touchdown passes to eight interceptions is pretty great, but how about an 18-1 ratio in road games?
Again, I'm not saying Tony Romo will win the MVP award – probably a better shot at Comeback Player of the Year. But even with that, there's a big number of fans and pundits waiting for the bottom to drop out. With two games to play, all it takes is one misstep for his critics to say, "here we go again."