It was reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett told Romo to lose weight so he can be in better condition for the 2009 season.
In response, Romo denied any such meeting with Garrett and said no such decree was laid down by the Cowboys.
"There was no such meeting," Romo said. "We live in a world where it's sensationalized. When you see something or hear something, you write it. That's completely false. If there's anything those guys tell me, it's to throttle back sometimes just because I do a lot of running playing soccer and basketball and stuff to stay in shape, plus the stuff we do. So when you hear stuff like that ... people don't know."
Romo, however, did acknowledge that he wanted to be in better physical condition during the season so he can play as well in December as he does in September. Whether told by the Cowboys to lose weight or not, the admission is significant considering the struggles Romo and the Cowboys have had winning games in December and January.
"One was to be the same in September as you are in December as an individual and as a team," Romo said of his conditioning goals. "I know, specifically, it's hard when your body is beat down on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from the game to continue to do certain things. But I think that cleaning and squatting (in the weight room) is a very important side of this and I noticed it starts to waver as the season goes on as your body gets hurt -- you get a sprained ankle, you have this, your hand is broken, your finger, whatever it is.
"It's difficult to continue to do certain things. But if you can maintain it and somehow you can keep yourself in a position where it's still the same as it was then at the end, I think that will help us and help me as the season progresses."
Romo said last season's 9-7 finish made every player take a closer look at what every individual could do to avoid a repeat. He naturally has done the same and trying to fix his weaknesses.
"I don't know why you wouldn't look at yourself from an honest perspective every time you go into the offseason and say, 'What do I need to do?' Back in February, when we started going at this thing, you look at tape, you look at yourself and you say, 'What did I not do successfully or what hurt me this season when I was out on the football field?' You have to be really harsh sometimes on yourself, and you ask questions from people you trust."
According to Romo, that includes trying to cut down on turnovers.
He said he is working hard on accepting that throwing the ball away is better than throwing it up for grabs.
"Highlight reels don't win championships," Romo said. "They don't. The boring plays win championships -- checking it down to your back, sliding in the pocket and overthrowing a guy that looked like, 'Oh, he almost threw it to him and could have got a completion,' but it was really a smart, safe spot with the ball, punting the ball from your own 15-yard line instead of giving it to them.
"Those are the things that win championships, and those are the things that we're going to try and do better next season."
Notes and Quotes
* RB Felix Jones suffered a quad contusion in minicamp and was held out for the final two days but he should be ready for training camp.
* WR Miles Austin and WR Sam Hurd were held out of minicamp for precautionary reasons with minor muscle strains. It was a setback considering how much the Cowboys are counting on them to have breakthrough years in 2009. Both should be ready for training camp.
* WR Roy Williams and quarterback Tony Romo are looking better and better in practice. But they remain a work in progress and probably will be throughout the 2009 season.
"It's one thing to run routes and know where someone is going to be," coach Wade Phillips said. "But it takes time to earn that trust. That happens in games and in the heat of the battle. Williams is a guy you can throw to when he's covered because he is so big. Romo has to learn that.
"You continue to grow with the understanding of when they're going to look," Romo said. "Sometimes when they're covered and you can't win on a route, there is a certain side, if you have that size, the quarterback and the receiver can understand, hey, he's giving me the back shoulder. Throw the ball and I can go up and get it over this 5-9 or 5-10 guy.
"It takes time, I know that. But I definitely can see, in the future, getting to that point. I think Wade is right. We're slowly developing that chemistry together to do that."
* Coach Wade Phillips has talked about being tougher on the Cowboys this season. He plans to hit them in the wallet for being overweight in training camp. Each player will be given a target weight. If a player is above the reporting weight, he will be charged the league maximum of $453 per pound per day.
"I expect them to be in the best shape they've been in," Phillips said. "That's part of being accountable -- not only to their teammates, but to themselves."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Just catch the ball when he throws it to me, any way I can. And buddy him up -- bring him some food, let him borrow some money if he needs some, just be his best friend. I've just got to continue to be his best friend. Put my arm around him and hug him, tell him that his girlfriend looks good, and we'll go from there." -- WR Roy Williams on what he's doing to get close to quarterback Tony Romo and get more passes.
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