It’s no secret that the New York Giants have had the Dallas Cowboys number over the past few seasons. Last season alone the G-Men derailed the Cowboys shot at a postseason birth by beating them two times in the last four weeks. Tony Romo has taken the brunt of the criticism for the Cowboys struggles naturally given the position he plays and the team he plays for.
The Cowboys were on the road playing the defending world champions in the 2012 season opener and Romo was excellent. No.9 shook off an early interception and poor pass protection to lead the Cowboys to a 24-17 win at MetLife Stadium. Romo finished with 307 yards and 3 touchdown passes. The Cowboys signal caller is ready to move past the first win and onto the next opponent.
Tony Romo joined KTCK in Dallas with The Hardline to discuss the Cowboys season opening win over the Giants, the Cowboys defense being much more improved this season, the Cowboys having great locker room chemistry, Ryan Cook doing an outstanding job in relieving Phil Costa as the Cowboys starting center last week and Jason Witten galvanizing the Cowboys by playing against the Giants.
Many people were surprised with how the Cowboys played against the Giants. I’m guessing you weren’t surprised after what you guys did in training camp?
“I am naive to know when you are going on the road to play the world champs that is a tough environment and a tough situation especially a team that has gotten us as many times they have recently. That was a big win for us obviously and I told the guys today though that it is easy to kind of enjoy the moment and make sure you savor the win. They are important and it’s fun when you are able to do that especially with all the work and commitment you put in. At the same time you gotta toss that aside now. We gotta start on Seattle. The games come by fast. Once the season gets going it’s boom the next ones come up fast. Win, lose or draw you gotta have that mental approach to be able to move that game and learn from it, take how you can execute better, what you can do mentally to be better and then go out and be ready for this next game. You can’t just build…I don’t like the term and I told this to the guys today. I don’t like the term, ‘Hey we are just trying to pick up where we left off last season or even last game.’ Start over every time and that’s not just from season to season. It’s from week-to-week in the NFL. You gotta get back and committed to what you did to prepare for the last game and have that same approach. If we keep doing that we’ll have a great chance at success.”
It had to be comforting to know that the defense may be able to hold a lead this season right?
“No question. When you are in training camp you gain an understanding that our defense…I did quickly that they are going to be around the ball. Yeah you may complete some passes. You may do some things, but our defense is going to have guys around the ball and I think that is a great thing to see. There’s a certain trust level knowing no question from my end to be able to know that our defense is going to be able to know that and win some games this year. I am just proud of the commitment and what they’ve been doing. It’s exciting to see. It really is.”
Do you notice any difference in chemistry with the team and how they act in the room?
“I think we’ve taken…there’s been a good approach as far as getting guys who want to…guy who love football. If you get a bunch of guys who love football and love to compete that alone is going to give you a great shot to have a great locker room because you want to hang out with people with similar interests. I think when you get a lot of people who really love the game and want to talk about it. The craziest thing is guys want to talk football after football when they are done it’s a great thing. Sean Lee. Dez Bryant. After the game or the night before or at dinner. Wherever we are at and you sit there and you are just talking football. I think it’s a great thing to see from a quarterback or from a coach or whatever. It just means the guys love it and the love to compete and they love trying to get better and they just want everything. That to me is what makes a great locker room is a shared commitment.”
Backup center Ryan Cook did an amazing job filling in on Wednesday and he was just traded to the team last week. What did you think of his performance?
“Oh no question. I would say it was probably a week ago he was on another football team. I could be off a day or so. That really is incredible when you look at it. The ability to come in and have poise and still communicate the way he did during the game. Obviously not everything went perfect, but that’s rare. That just shows you how someone must have studied and taken the game seriously even in a backup position leading up to the game. That’s outstanding and that’s the kind of guys you want on your football team. I was proud of his effort and what he did.”
What did it mean to have Jason Witten out on the field and in pads with you guys. Did it galvanize the team?
“Oh yeah you couldn’t…it takes all the doctors in the world to keep him off the field. That guy was going to find a way to play in that football game and honestly the approach was right. The way he did it. The right way throughout the week. Jason is an old school football player. He loves the game. He loves it. I love hanging out with Jason just because he wants to be football, football, football 24-7 and I love that aspect about him. When you have a guy as talented as he is, who also loves the game like that and doesn’t miss that just trickles down to the rest of your team. You can’t have enough guys like that and he’s the ultimate with that perspective. I love the guy. I think he’s a phenomenal football player obviously and the fact that he showed up and did what he did it did made more of a difference than people know in that football game.”