Romo wants to play simply because there's a game to be won Print
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Wednesday, 26 December 2007 13:41
NFL Headline News

 IRVING, Texas (AP) -If it was up to Tony Romo, he would play the entire season finale Sunday in Washington, even though it means nothing to the Dallas Cowboys.
It's not because he wants to work on timing with returning receiver Terry Glenn or the young receivers filling in for the injured Terrell Owens.
It's not because he wants to nail down all the team records he's approaching.
His reasoning is far more simple: There's a game to be won.
``That's who I am,'' Romo said Wednesday. ``I'm competitive.''
Having already wrapped up the division, a first-round bye and home games all the way until the Super Bowl, Romo and the Cowboys (13-2) hardly have anything left to play for Sunday.
Maybe they could get fired up about getting a club-record 14th win and keeping the Redskins (8-7) from clinching a playoff berth all in one afternoon. Or maybe they'll want to end a two-game losing streak in Washington.
Would you settle for hoping to end a seven-game skid in season finales?
Come to think of it, maybe it would be better just to rest some starters to make sure no one joins T.O. on the injury list.
``Our ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl and anything that threatens that is, in a small way, probably a negative,'' Romo said. ``But I learned a while ago you can't take the competitiveness away from individuals. If you do that, that's when people get hurt.''
Coach Wade Phillips continued to be evasive Wednesday about details of who will play and how long they'll go. About the only specifics are that Owens is out and Glenn should be in.
Phillips threw out that he's likely to err on the side of caution with the other four guys on the post-practice injury: center Andre Gurode (knee), nose tackle Jay Ratliff (knee), cornerback Terence Newman (knee) and safety Patrick Watkins (ankle). Add in Owens (ankle) and there are only three more players to make inactive.
A bruised thumb could be an excuse for Romo getting a day off. Phillips isn't using it, but there was one near-admission that Romo will have only a cameo appearance Sunday.
Asked how snaps are being divvied up in practice, Phillips said it would be similar to how they'll be used in the game. Then he smiled, sang a circus-like tune and said, ``I can't tap dance.''
Folks in Las Vegas apparently don't believe Romo will play much, if at all. That explains why Washington opened as a 7 1/2-point favorite, then moved to 9 1/2.
``We've got to be smart about it, but at the same point, we're not laying down,'' Romo said. ``We're not coming out to say, `Hey, let's take a week off. Let's treat it like the preseason.' We're going to try to win this football game. We're going to try to execute every play, like we do all the time. Really, the most important thing is, we're going to try to get better.''
Romo's perspective on playing time might be different from other Pro Bowl quarterbacks because he spent his first 3 1/2 seasons on the bench. This is actually his first full season in charge. Considering how memorable it's been, perhaps he should just finish it off.
He's signed a $67.5 million contract extension and become an A-list celebrity, dating singers and actresses and judging the Miss Universe pageant. A biography about him even hit the shelves in time for Christmas. He's been pretty good on the field, too.
Romo has set club records for yards passing (4,125 and counting), touchdown passes (36) and 300-yard games (seven). He could set the completions record with seven more against Washington and would set the attempts mark with 30 throws. His 99.3 passer rating is second to Roger Staubach's best and 0.3 better than Troy Aikman's best. His 65.3 completion rate is tied for second-best.
``I'm not going to sit up any one night and be like, `Wow, I got the completions record,''' Romo said. ``It's a neat accomplishment, but for me ... that just doesn't do it unless you accomplish the other stuff.''
Perhaps the most important thing he could accomplish Sunday is throwing to Glenn, which he hasn't done since the playoffs last year. Glenn has missed this entire season with two knee injuries, but is working with the starters in practice and should be ready Sunday.
``I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it, really,'' Romo said. ``He has a way of getting in and out of cuts. Speed, experience - he's got a lot of good things. He's just phenomenal.''
 

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