The Cowboys didn’t achieve their ultimate goal and with that, it’s hard to deem the season a success, especially with the same 8-8 record as last year. All the same, here are the 2012 RapidReports MVPs for the Cowboys.

Offense -- Tony Romo: Despite the three-interception game in the season finale against the Redskins, which kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs for the third straight year, it’s easy to see how valuable Romo is for this team. When he plays well, they win. When he struggles, they can’t win. There’s no player who exemplifies value better than he does. Romo takes a lot of criticism but with the offensive line struggling all year and no running game once again, he engineered an offense that finished sixth in the NFL. WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten were both worthy with big seasons, but considering Miles Austin was probably an ankle injury away from a 1,000-yard season, the Cowboys would’ve become the seventh team in NFL history to have three 1,000-yard receivers. The common denominator there is Romo.

Defense -- Anthony Spencer: It’s usually an outside linebacker in this spot, and this year is no exception. But this year, Spencer gets the nod over DeMarcus Ware, who struggled to stay healthy. For Spencer, it was a career season with 11 sacks, including several in clutch situations. And Spencer picked a great time to have a breakthrough season personally, playing in a contract season in which he was given the franchise tag. Spencer not only was a playmaker for the defense, but often a play-caller as well. With inside backers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter placed on IR this year, Spencer had to take over as the defensive play-caller and wore the helmet with the coaches audio for most of the second half of the year.

Special Teams -- Dan Bailey: No one other than Bailey comes close. The second-year place kicker was just as good this year as his rookie season when he made 26 straight. This season, he made 29 of 31 attempts, including all 26 kicks inside of 50 yards. Bailey was 3 of 5 beyond 50 and made three game-winning kicks, including two in consecutive weeks against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Newcomer -- Brandon Carr: This is another easy call as free-agent acquisition Carr was everything the Cowboys could’ve asked for and more in his first season with the team. Carr led the defense with three interceptions, but all three were clutch plays. The biggest occurred in overtime against the Steelers when he picked off Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 36 yards to set up the game-winning kick. Carr showed versatility by playing safety at times early in the year and matched up with bigger receivers such as Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall and Hakeem Nicks throughout the season.

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