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Tony Romo has rightly been praised for his courage in playing hurt, and for his leadership skills. He also needs to be lambasted for his penchant to turn over the ball, with both Dallas losses directly attributable to his interceptions or fumbles.

And maybe, just maybe, the Cowboys have been overrated, in great part thanks to their front-and-center owner’s willingness to cast them as something more than they really are.

Not that Jerry Jones should be downgrading the roster he has put together. But asking this group, which would have trouble covering Jones himself on a pass route, to be exceptional might be nothing more than, well, hype.

Regardless, Jones isn’t abandoning his quarterback and longtime pet project.

“I view the success we have, I view what he does well and I put the mistakes right in with what he does well and don’t in any way get discouraged about our future with Tony,” Jones said. “There’s no issue about faith in Romo, any place in this organization, period. … If you’re going to try to make plays, then you’ve got a chance to have some bad plays. But however we go, we’ll go with Tony. As Tony goes, we’ll go.”

There’s no such angst over the quarterback in Atlanta, where Matt Ryan is a lot steadier than Romo. What has been the problem in the ATL is too much average football, and in a division with the Saints and Buccaneers, that’s treading dangerous waters.

With the monster trade to move up for playmaking receiver Julio Jones on draft day, the Falcons dived headfirst into the hype machine. Jones would be the missing link in the NFL’s most competitive division, and would keep the Falcons at the top of the conference, a Super Bowl favorite.

Jones had a breakout game at Seattle with 11 catches for 127 yards in Atlanta’s 30-28. But the Falcons (2-2) had to sweat out a last-minute 61-yard field goal try to win against an inferior opponent.

Finally, there are the struggling Steelers (2-2), who don’t look anything like the club that lost to Green Bay in last February’s Super Bowl. All that talk about veteran outfits with well-established regimens surviving the lockout best has, in Pittsburgh’s case, been a bunch of hype, compounded by injuries. Considering the Steelers’ blue collar history, that’s strange.

Of course, it’s already been a strange season.