Opening of training camp has “been a great week” for rejuvenated Romo

Posted Monday, Jul. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Tony Romo feels fine.

His arm is good. His back is good. His weight is good. His conditioning is good.

“It’s good,” Romo said Monday. “I think more than anything just getting back into it, getting the body to start, stop, go, quit, all that football entails. … So, it’s been a great week.”

Romo, 33, missed the off-season after undergoing a minor procedure on his back to remove a cyst. More than a week into camp, Romo said it’s like he hardly missed a beat.

“I feel very comfortable right now,” he said.

The Cowboys play their first exhibition game Sunday in Canton, Ohio, and Romo might not play. Coach Jason Garrett has said sitting out Romo is a consideration, with the Cowboys playing five preseason games, but they have made no final decision.

“I always like to play,” Romo said. “But we’ll do whatever the coach says. That’s part of being a team. We’ve got to get some guys some looks and do some things.”

The last time the Cowboys played in the Hall of Fame Game, in 2010, Romo played one series. He completed 5 of 10 passes for 59 yards, leaving after leading the Cowboys on a field-goal drive.

He doesn’t agree with the theory that he needs more playing time because of his absence this off-season.

“If I did play, it would be a series,” Romo said. “Whether you went eight plays or three plays, I’m not sure how much that is going to affect that. Saying that, I still want to play every time I suit up. Every time I step out there, your juices are flowing, and you want to compete. From that perspective, yeah, but whatever the coaches want.”

Hatcher leading

Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher went onto the field from the sideline at one point during Sunday’s scrimmage, admonishing the team’s backup defenders.

He strongly encouraged them to do better.

It was only a little over a year ago that Hatcher went on local radio and questioned the team’s leadership. He’s now answering by being one.

“I’m just serving my purpose, man,” Hatcher said. “Whether or not I’m a leader, if somebody gets out of line, I’m going to put them back in line.

“I’m not here to try to take over this whole team or whatever. But I’m just doing my job, and that’s a small part of this team. If everybody does their job, we’ll be OK.”

Leary returns

Ron Leary practiced for the first time in training camp and hopes to compete for a starting job despite missing practice time with a calf injury.

“I got a lot of mental reps, so that helps a lot,” Leary said. “Nothing like live reps, actually being in there. So I have to do a lot of catch-up.”

Leary was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis in 2012, getting $9,000 in a signing bonus and another $205,000 guaranteed. It was evidence of their high interest in him despite a potential knee problem that could give him trouble later in his career.

“He’s making progress, and we’ll mix him in there,” Jason Garrett said. “We’ll see how he does.”

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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