DALLAS -- Tony Romo may have gotten a compliment from former Giants receiver Amani Toomer last week, but he's got to block it out, says Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.
"All of us, but especially Tony, have got to be able to block that out, good or bad," Witten told reporters Friday at Dallas Jesuit, where he and three teammates spoke at a 7-on-7 high school football event.
Toomer said on his satellite radio show that statistically, Romo is the best quarterback in the NFC East and ahead of Eli Manning in terms of consistency.
"For me, if I wanted a guy that is going to throw less interceptions, more productive, higher completion percentage, I'm going to go with Tony Romo," Toomer said. "At crunch time, he's not as good as Eli, but every other time, he's pretty [darn] good."
Romo is coming off a 31-touchdown, 10-interception season. He is going into his sixth full season as the Cowboys' starter, but the team is only 1-2 in the playoffs with him.
"He had a really great season, but at the end of the day, we didn't make the playoffs. So we all can do more," Witten said. "I think he's an elite quarterback, and many people have said that. I think it's great that Amani said that. But at the end of the day, Eli's a Super Bowl champ. He's won two out of the last five years. They're doing a lot of things right up there. They're the poster boys of how you do it, not allowing adversity to get in the way."
The Cowboys are two weeks away from the start of training camp in Oxnard, Calif. The first practice is scheduled for July 30, when the Cowboys start preparing for the season opener Sept. 5 at the Giants.
They have had the benefit of a full off-season of OTAs and minicamps, but Witten said the lack of the extra practices last year was not the reason for the Cowboys' lack of success.
"Every other team had the same issue," Witten said. "I'm hesitant to allow that to be a crutch for our football team. We didn't execute good enough, regardless of old schemes, new schemes, anything else. We didn't play good enough. That's it. We need to take that and learn from it and get better, and I believe our team has."
Linebacker DeMarcus Ware, wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end John Phillips also spoke to the high school players at Jesuit.
Neither Jason Witten nor Dez Bryant had much to say about the thought of Terrell Owens re-joining the Cowboys.
"Honestly, it would be indifferent for me," Witten said. "I think it'd be hard for me to make a comment on it, really."
Bryant said Owens is a "great guy" and "it'd be big" if he re-joined the Cowboys, but, "I don't want to speak too much upon that."
DeMarcus Ware, ranked No. 6 on the NFL Network's list of the league's top 100 players, is considered to be at the peak of his career. But he said he doesn't think about it that way.
"I think in anybody's career, there's never a peak unless you want it to be," he said. "I think you've just got to keep playing and keep going. Right now, I'm just trying to play consistent, like I do every year."
Dez Bryant said the off-season weight program, his first as a pro, has left him feeling quicker.
"When I come out of my breaks - faster," he said. "Got in shape. Heal quick. I know all of our guys have been going through the same workouts. I'm pretty sure they feel the same exact way. The team is just getting ready to go. I'm not going to predict anything. But I know for a fact that we're ready to go."
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407