December and January have not been kind to Tony Romo, wrote Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, who noted that in 12 regular-season games, the Cowboys quarterback has thrown 14 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions while being sacked 30 times.
Romo's record for the two months is 5-7, and 0-2 in the playoffs, with two touchdown passes, an interception and four sacks.
That's why a playoff-producing win against the Eagles on Sunday would go a long way toward helping his reputation, Archer wrote.
"The competitive guy inside of you really enjoys playing in these situations when you know you have to win," Romo was quoted as saying. "You've got to go do it on the road, against a tough opponent in a difficult environment. I suspect our team will be ready to go."
"Here's an easy analogy: Joe Montana wasn't Joe Montana before he won a Super Bowl," Romo said in Archer's article. "Everybody probably questioned them at that time, 'Do they have the quarterback to go win a Super Bowl?' I mean, the Giants, their coach was fired at this point last year, maybe. Eli [Manning] wasn't a great leader, I heard.
"It is what it is until you win. So this team, we don't have anything that you need to win the Super Bowl - until you win. Then you have everything."
But first the Cowboys will have to win in hostile surroundings: Lincoln Financial Field.
While much of the nation has been caught up in the political corruption charges facing Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has turned his attention to other matters: sporting events.
Daley toured the ice rink at Wrigley Field on Monday in advance of the NHL Winter Classic, the Associated Press reported.
The outdoor hockey game on New Year's Day will pit the Chicago Blackhawks, the NHL's hottest team with seven consecutive victories, against the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
There was a different look to the "Friendly Confines" of the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field as Daley walked around the temporary rink, with snow piled high and the traditional ivy on the outfield walls hibernating for the winter.
"As the first hockey game to be played at Wrigley Field, this game is already part of Chicago sports history," Daley said.
The mayor also had an eye toward the city's pursuit of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
"It's really a combination of how people really love their sports in Chicago, a great sports town," Daley said.
"It really shows how we work with transportation, parking, access to and from the stadium, security, how it all works together . . . and handling large crowds as well."
Officials say 240,000 people have entered a lottery for the 40,000-plus available seats. The Blackhawks were in the bottom third in NHL attendance last year but now lead the league in average attendance.
The build-out of the rink is on schedule, according to the NHL. The rink still needs an additional 20,000 gallons of water to create more ice, and some 350 gallons of paint.
Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz on Monday presented Daley with an authentic Winter Classic hockey jersey, which included the number 9 and "Daley" sewn on the back.
The 2009 Winter Classic will be the third NHL game played outdoors.