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Cowboys' late-season woes? Tougher foes

CHICAGO -- Have you ever noticed when the Dallas Cowboys' December struggles come up it is always branded as “Tony Romo's struggles?”

As the quarterback, the wins and losses go on Romo's record. And he has had poor games when it has mattered most. But in 15 December/January regular-season games from 2009, 2011-12, Romo has 31 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

The folks at ESPN Stats & Information have come up with another nugget on the Cowboys' late-season predicament. The schedule has been harder.

Since 2006, the Cowboys have faced 43 teams that finished the season below .500 before December and 48 that have finished at or above .500. From December on since 2006, the Cowboys have faced 27 teams with .500 or better records and played only 10 games against teams with losing records.

The Cowboys are 7-3 in December/January games against teams that finished below .500 and 9-18 against teams that finished .500 or better. This includes a 3-2 record in 2010 in which Romo did not play because of a collarbone injury.