Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said quarterback Tony Romo is playing so well as of late thinks the team is a must for the upcoming NFL playoffs.

At the end of the day, [Romo's play] is why we can't not get in the tournament, because he is playing so well, Jones said, according to the Star-Telegram. 

On Saturday night in Tampa, Romo led the Cowboys to a resounding 31-15 win over the lackluster Tampa Buccaneers. Romo three for three touchdowns and ran for a another score in leading the Cowboys, now in first place in the division, to the win.

The Cowboys now have a 1/2 lead in the division over the New York Giants, who play the Washington Redskins today.

One year ago, Romo was out injured for the Cowboys. And, while he has shown fleeting moments of greatness on the field, he has yet to lead Jones' Cowboys to the Super Bowl, much less win a playoff game.

This time last year, he wasn't playing. With him playing at the level he is playing, it would be a real serious career disappointment for us not to get to the playoffs, Jones said. 

Romo understands the Cowboys needed to win after two consecutive heartbreaking losses.

This was an important game, Romo said after beating the Buccaneers.

He said the playoffs effectively are already underway for the Cowboys.

Really the playoffs started for us; that's the way we approached it. Guys came out with great energy and it was a great week of practice. We just had to go forward. 

Rom was 23 for 30 for 249 yards in the game passing with no interceptions. The Cowboys have remaining games against Philadelphia at home before closing out the regular season on the road at the New York Giants in what is shaping up to be an important game.