Title window closing on Romo

The years are adding up for Tony Romo, who is now in his 10th season with the Dallas Cowboys.

Romo has been a starter for nearly seven years and on many levels, it has been a successful tenure. The three-time Pro Bowler has made a mark as one of the NFL’s classic rags-to-riches examples.

Romo understands his feel-good story is meaningless without a fairytale happy ending.

“That’s because we haven’t won a Super Bowl,” Romo said. “You’re a great leader when you win a Super Bowl. Until then, there are 10 automatic things that you get knocked for and that’s warranted. That’s part of playing this position.

“That’s why it’s about winning. When you win, you get credit for a bunch of stuff you probably don’t deserve. When you lose, it’s the same way. From my perspective, you can ask the guys in our locker room. They know who the leaders are. And we’re taking the approach that we’ve got to bring the rest of the team along with us to get to the next level.”

The Cowboys, who have stars like Miles Austin, haven’t advanced to the NFC title game since winning it all in 1995. They ended a 13-year drought without a playoff victory by winning a 2009 wild-card game, only to be crushed the next week.

Over the past two seasons, Dallas didn’t even make the playoffs, fading to 8-8 last season by losing four of its final five games. Though Romo had a strong year statistically in 2011, passing for 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns, his glaring problem remains a lack of hardware.

“If you play this sport, you always think you have a chance to compete at the highest level. I think we improved this offseason. Now we need to keep getting better every day. If we do that, this team will have a chance to be something.”