Dirk Nowitzki cheers up Tony Romo. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP / Getty Images)

Dear tony romo. Don't worry abt all the critics. I heard that same garbage for a long time. Keep working hard and keep improving.

Nowitzki was often ripped for being a choker before leading the Mavs to the title this spring. Five years ago, Dallas blew a 2-0 lead in the NFL Finals, then the Mavs were were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the next four years.

So maybe the breakthrough will come for Romo, who has gone from goat to hero to goat in head-spinning swiftness, as it did for Dirk. But on Sunday, after a historic Cowboys collapse against the Detroit Lions, owner Jerry Jones was the most vocal person in Romo’s corner after the QB threw consecutive pick-sixes and the Lions rallied from a 24-point deficit.