Romo talks T.O., pinky and much more

From his healing pinky finger to his insights on former 49ers receiver Terrell Owens, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo covers a spectrum of topics as he talks Cowboys and 49ers.

Q: How is getting back into the flow of things last week? Did you have to knock some rust off?
Romo:
I think anytime you're out for an extended period of time you've got to get back to fundamentals and do some things that you may have almost taken for granted that you had down at this point in the year, but I had to go back to the drawing board a little bit. The other part was a little adjustment throwing the ball.

Q: How is the pinky? Can you give us an update on that?
Romo:
It's getting better every day. I think that due to the point that I feel more and more confident each day it's not even weeks now. It'll be pretty good going into the game I'd like to think.

Q: Did you have the same zip against the Redskins that you had pre-injury the other night?
Romo:
Hmm, I wouldn't say I had it all there. Different throws I was able to get different amounts of it on. I don't know that it will be that apparent this week. I suspect this week it'll be back to my pretty full velocity.

Q: How do you feel about where the team is having lost a couple of games when you were out? Playoffs, you guys are sort of walking that tight-wire now. How do you guys feel about where the team is in that hunt?
Romo:
It's about winning now. We understand the situation that we have put ourselves in for whatever reason we are there, and it's not an excuse to [use] injuries and things like that because every team goes through it. For us now it's just a matter of winning and the sense of urgency around here is basically at a high energy level every day right now, because we understand that these games we're playing are playoff games. We need to win and move forward and continue to strive to get better every day right now.

Q: And so, with saying that there's no way that you can take a team like the 49ers lightly I would assume?
Romo:
No way, for multiple reasons. One is you watch them on tape and you wonder how their record is what they are a little bit just because defensively they look like they're playing great football right now. Everyone flies to the ball, they've got good talented players and it's going to be a great challenge for us to try and move the ball on them. We're going to hopefully come up with a few good ideas and do what we can, but they're good and our season, a lot of it going into this game, to get where we want to go we think we have to win this football game.

Q: Specifically when you look at the 49ers defense what sort of jumps out at you?
Romo:
They play really hard; they fly to the football; they've got good personnel. That's the thing that until you watch them on tape you don't know what they do a lot just because we haven't played them a lot in a few years, but they do a good job. They've got them running hard and they run a lot of different stuff too defensively.

Q: Do you remember watching much of Mike Singletary as a player and do you think that some of that intensity is coming from him?
Romo:
I suspect, but I think that they were doing it earlier in the year, too. I think that Mike [Singletary] has obviously put them on notice as far as being held accountable, which I've had plenty of coaches like that, and people are going to do their job. They're going to be fundamentally a good football team, and they're going to play hard and they're going to bring the best they've got every week, and if we don't get prepared and play at our best then I don't think that we can win this game.

Q: As someone who sat around for several seasons before getting his chance, can you relate to a guy like Shaun Hill who did it for six years of waiting?
Romo:
Yeah, there are guys all across the league [like] that. I find it more and more that the number one picks aren't the guys all the time that end up being the guy. Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting for your opportunity. The thing about it is you've got to perform and you've got to play at a certain level for an extended period of time. It's not just about a game or a week, or a month, or even a season. You've got to keep going back to the drawing board, keep getting better. If Shaun [Hill] continues to grow and continues to keep getting better, he's got a bright future.

Q: How does Roy Williams fit in there and what do you expect him to provide for you guys as the season goes on?
Romo:
Roy's a good football player. He's going to provide us with another threat on the other side. He can make all the catches, but he also has the speed to get down the field, which I didn't realize he had the kind of speed he does. He provides us with another deep threat, another guy who can push the top off the coverage and really is just going to allow us, hopefully, to be a little bit more explosive.

Q: Is that a real advantage considering how defenses tend to steer towards T.O. [Terrell Owens] in coverages?
Romo:
Yeah, I would say so. I suspect we're going to see some kind of a roll coverage to T.O. this week. That's what most teams have been doing. If they do it this week, we'll be prepared for that and we'll be prepared if they don't. It'll be fun to watch.

Q: How does T.O. react to…it seems like there's fewer balls maybe not being thrown his way, but…having fewer receptions than in the past? How does he handle that?
Romo:
If T.O.'s not catching a lot of balls, it's a direct result of what the defense is doing. If they're going to take him away out of the game, that's fine. We just allow them to use those two guys and cover him, and we go play with a lot of other guys. And that's a huge advantage to be able to do that as an offensive unit if a team's going to do that consistently. I feel like having the weapons we have in the other positions, he understands that it's a compliment to him when teams are doing that.

Q: When you're talking to friends and family in the offseason, or maybe even during the season, how often do they want to pick your brain about what T.O. is like?
Romo:
Not too much. I think what you see is what you get from my perspective. I know you guys probably have a different idea of him a little bit. But me and him have a great relationship. He works hard. He comes to work every day at practice. It's a great thing to see for the young guys. They've all learned from him. He learned from Jerry Rice; he'll tell you that himself. He goes about it a certain way. Every great receiver wants the football. Just because some either don't call it out in the media doesn't mean they don't act the same way on the sidelines and stuff. But it's just a matter of trying to get your good players the football.

Q: You sort of touched on it but in the past, he has had not necessarily great relationships with some of his quarterbacks – Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb. Why do you think you two have been able to hit it off so well?
Romo:
I think that I don't take what people say in the moments of emotional situations to heart. I don't. I understand that as human beings we all do things we either wish we didn't do or we all just make mistakes in some ways. I don't ever judge anybody or hold anybody to any standard higher than I'd hold myself to. I think it's allowed me to just accept people for who they are and what they are. I think also I understand that he's not a bad person. He's actually a really good person. He wants to be a good person. He tries hard, and he cares about being… He'll say things once in a while that you guys will jump on and things of that nature, but I don't ever let it affect me and it doesn't effect our friendship or quarterback-receiver situation. I'm not a prideful guy. I can accept certain things and you just move on, you just go. He appreciates me as a quarterback. I think we both understand that our success is directly related to each other. If I play well, it's usually because he played well. And if he plays well, it's usually because I might have done something well. So we appreciate each other for having that.

Q: There was of course the situation at the end of the season last year where he sort of tearfully had your back. What did that mean to you to see your wide receiver be so public in his admiration for you?
Romo:
I just think it shows how much he cares about his teammates. He just wanted to see the rest of the guys be successful. It was a selfless act in the sense that he didn't want other people to get ridiculed for certain things. We're lucky to have him on this football team. I wouldn't trade him for another receiver in the league.



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