CBS Sports NFL analyst Steve Beuerlein gets paid to give opinions, and his opinion on Tony Romo over the years has been a mixed bag, at best – and highly critical at worst.

“I’ve been very openly critical of Tony Romo for the last several years because of his inability (to step up in crunch time),” Beuerlein admitted on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Even though I think he’s a fantastic quarterback and I’ve been a big fan of his, until you step up in those big moments, I don’t really believe that you establish yourself as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.”

Romo stepped up in a big way against Detroit on Sunday, finding Terrance Williams for touchdown throws near the end of each half. The first, a 76-yarder, got Dallas on the board just before halftime, and the next, an 8-yard toss, gave Dallas a 24-20 win.

“This whole year has been one of those magical years for Tony Romo,” Beuerlein said. “No doubt there’s a lot of reasons why he’s had (a good year). I think DeMarco Murray is as responsible as anything for Tony Romo’s success.”

Murray ran 19 times for 75 yards and a score on Sunday.

When the Cowboys throw the ball fewer than 30 times, they’re undefeated.

“They threw it 31 (times against the Lions), but it shows (that) Romo is not carrying this ball club,” Beuerlein said. “But what I loved about that game (Sunday) was that he had to step up and make the plays at the end of the ball game. He had to do it, and he did it. And I felt so good for him to finally get that monkey off his back – to silence critics like myself, who have not been sold on the fact that he can get it done in those big moments. I was really happy for him because he has had an incredible career. And now he can put his feather in his cap and move on to this next challenge against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.”

And it will most definitely be a challenge.

Dallas went 8-0 on the road this year, but the Packers went 8-0 at home, where they averaged 39.8 points per game. In fact, they were held under 30 points just once.

Can the Cowboys keep up?

“As great as the Cowboys defense has been playing this year, they haven’t been faced with a challenge like this,” Beuerlein said. “Going up to Lambeau in an environment that Aaron Rodgers has just thrived in for his whole career, and especially this year, the way he’s played at home in the cold weather and the elements – I really believe that it’s going to come down to defense in this football game. You’ve got two very, very high-powered offenses and two spectacular, special quarterbacks. It’s going to come down to which defense can step up and play the most sound football game. And truly, I believe the team that gives up the fewest big plays is going to win this game – because both these offenses are very high-powered.”

Sunday’s kickoff is slated for 1:05 p.m. ET.


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