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Stephen Jones: Cowboys working to correct “killer instinct”

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the sidelines with head coach Jason Garrett as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Romo hurt his right hand in the first quarter and sat out the rest of the game. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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It feels like we’ve been here before.

The Cowboys enter yet another late season game with questions about their “killer instinct” and “mental toughness.” This is what happens when you blow fourth quarter leads five times in a year, including three double digit fourth quarter leads.

Alex Marvez of and Sirius XM radio asked executive vice president/COO Stephen Jones about the team’s lack of killer instinct this season.

“Obviously, there’s a question mark there and rightfully so. It’s something we’re working to correct. I think we’ll see some of that when we play the Giants on Sunday night,” Jones said.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his own team’s toughness. Can killer instinct be corrected?

Former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith took it a step further saying the Cowboys don’t have enough leaders. Smith questioned the Cowboys’ mental toughness.

Tony Romo, who has quietly had a terrific stretch run, disagreed with the notion.

“We had a big game at San Francisco earlier in the year,” Romo said Thursday via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It felt like a must-win at that time, and we went out there and laid it on the line, and the team won, and we were trailing late in that game. So there was a lot of mental toughness in that game. I think we went up to Washington in a game that was big for us there and showed a lot of mental toughness there.”

Romo’s reputation as someone who comes up short in the clutch isn’t entirely fair, but few reputations are fair.

Romo and the entire Cowboys organization has a golden opportunity Sunday night to change their reputation. At least for a week.