When the Dallas Cowboys get into a room to make the game plan this fall, Tony Romo will bring his ideas.
“We’re just putting together some ideas that we love,” he said. “I feel strongly about certain things that are going to help us.”
Romo, speaking to reporters Tuesday as the Cowboys began a three-day minicamp at Valley Ranch, said he didn’t want to talk specifics — competitive disadvantage, he said — about the new “12” personnel package, but he likes the collaboration that has many people contributing to the offense.
“It’s just a bunch of guys going to work every day and figuring out ways to be better as a football team,” he said. “Lot of different capacities for players and coaches all the way up, so it’s exciting.”
He said the change in play-caller from head coach Jason Garrett to offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan won’t be “a huge change from the quarterback perspective.”
“This is Jason’s system, and it’s been Jason’s system since he’s been here,” Romo said. “It’s going to stay that way.”
Romo said play-caller matters less than game plan, anyway.
“I think the game plan itself is an important aspect that matters,” Romo said. “I think that’s a collective effort. I think we’ll be doing some similar things you guys have seen and some new things, just like we do every year.”
Romo again missed practice Tuesday as he recovers from surgery to remove a cyst on his back.
He said again that he could play if he had to, that his throwing motion hasn’t been affected, and that he’s been throwing. Asked who in the organization had the task of convincing him to sit out this week, he said, “Just about all of them.”
He said he was “pretty amped up” to practice last week but that it was not a good idea to risk anything.
“I feel ready to go. I was running. We were pushing it on the treadmill good last week,” he said. “I think as a player, you’re always trying to push through it. It’s just this time of year, it’s intelligent to really be patient with it any time you go through something like that and be smart and make sure you don’t do anything dumb.”
But he said sitting out has provided an unexpected benefit — being able to help teammates see and correct mistakes on the field instead of having to wait and watch tape.
“You can kind of get with them quickly, right after the play, and let them assess why their leverage was here and what they needed to do to get themselves in the right position, or why they needed to widen or take a step — whatever it might be,” he said. “I think that’s part of me growing as a player and understanding what needs to be done to help the team win.
“Yeah, that can be a small positive that helps, and we’ve been doing that.”
Romo said he is not losing ground in working with new center Travis Frederick because he does work with the team during walk-throughs before practice. He said that helps Frederick get an understanding of his cadence and line calls.
“I do a little bit more stuff at the line and some other stuff,” Romo said. “It just comes down to a point where they’ve got to get used to your voice fluctuation and just the different things that you’re going to say and use. That part, you can do that in walk-through just the same as you can in the practices.”
Romo, entering his 11th season, said the same thing continues to motivate him — the Super Bowl.
“I enjoy a challenge. Winning a Super Bowl is a challenge. I think it’s the ultimate challenge,” he said. “I think it’s something that wakes me up and gets me excited in the morning, continuing to find a way to make that happen for the fans, for the organization and these players in here. It’s something that sits there, and you just constantly are trying to figure out a way to do that, through different ways. I mean, I feel like there’s a couple ways to beat people. You out-work them and you out-think them. Those two things allow you to get the best chance to succeed, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Romo said he feels no more pressure than he ever has, despite owner Jerry Jones’ comments that the Cowboys will benefit if the quarterback puts in “Peyton Manning-type” time on the job.
“Pressure and fear are just in your own brain,” he said. “To me, it’s nothing more than you going out and just competing your butt off every day and trying to win every day. So I don’t allow outside influences to affect my psyche or what my mental makeup is. It’s about this room, this team, and how I’m going to get myself and my teammates ready to play. So outside influences don’t directly affect how your emotional state is, I guess. To me, an easy way to say it is, it’s not real. Pressure is, if you’re telling yourself or if you’re saying you should be scared or saying this is a lot of pressure, you’re losing already.
“To me, that’s not the right frame of mind or thought.”