Tony Romo will make his 100th regular-season start Sunday at Philadelphia, and it is very different from when he was making his first start.
“It’s a far different process before a game now than then,” he said. “I don’t mean different — I just mean what I’m looking for and seeing, what I know I need to be very sound with leading up to the game to gain an advantage.”
Romo and the Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers 35-14 in his first start, on Oct. 29, 2006. Romo completed 24 of 36 passes for 270 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a passer rating of 86.6. His yards per attempt was 7.5, and he also ran four times for 18 yards.
“Usually, that means you’re doing something right,” he said of making 100 starts. He said he did not know Sunday was going to be his 100th until he was asked about it. “You’re always trying to get better and improve, and I think that’s from Start 1.”
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Romo is 58-41 in his regular-season starts. He is 31-20 at home and 27-21 on the road. He is 18-9 indoors and 40-31 outdoors. He is 39-28 on turf, 19-13 on grass. By months, he is 16-8 in September, 9-13 in October, 21-4 in November, 11-15 in December and 1-1 in January.
“Start 1, you don’t really know. You’re excited about the opportunity to go out and prove to yourself if you can actually do this,” Romo said. “Start 100, it’s all about getting your team to where you want to go and leading a group of men and trying to take them there. And that would be one difference.
“It’s a little more individual-related starting off, to prove to yourself that you can play. And start 100, it’s about bringing the team there and winning and accomplishing team goals, and that’s really what it’s all about — accomplishment.”
Practice squad defensive end Jason Vega was signed to the active roster to help the defensive line, which will be missing backup Edgar Jones and might be without veteran starter DeMarcus Ware.
Jones was placed on the injured reserve designated to return list with a groin/abdominal strain on Friday. He required sports hernia surgery, which recently was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia. Jones is eligible to return to action in the Dec. 15 game against the Packers.
Vega, signed Aug. 21, had four tackles, one for loss, in his only preseason appearance with the Cowboys, the last game against Houston.
“I just looked at it as an opportunity, one that I definitely am grateful for now and I was grateful for then,” Vega said. “I just wanted to get into the game and see what I could do and let fate take care of itself.”
Vega spent two seasons in the Canadian Football League before signing with the New England Patriots on Jan. 26. He lasted in New England until Aug. 13.
Ware, Murray doubtful
The Cowboys listed defensive end DeMarcus Ware (thigh) and running back DeMarco Murray (knee) as doubtful for Sunday at Philadelphia. Neither practiced this week.
Ware, who has never missed a game, said he will see how he feels before the game.
The Cowboys ruled out running back Lance Dunbar (hamstring), Edgar Jones (groin) and linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck).
Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), receiver Dwayne Harris (hip), defensive end George Selvie (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (neck) are probable. Selvie and Hatcher practiced in full on Friday.
Austin rests again
Miles Austin sat out a second consecutive day of practice Friday, but coach Jason Garrett said it was planned, as was Thursday’s.
“No setback,” Garrett said. “Just watching him and seeing how he’s doing coming off the injury and making sure we’re doing the right things. And rest is part of the equation for him, as it would be for anybody.”
Dez Bryant has tamed the rivalry between him and DeAngelo Hall of the Redskins.
Now he’s got another to work on.
He got called out by cornerback Cary Williams, then with the Ravens, after he dropped a 2-point conversion pass last year in Baltimore. Bryant thought it was interference. Williams said Bryant should take responsibility for a drop.
So the topic might come up again on the field Sunday because Williams is now with the Eagles.
“Hopefully he left that where it was at,” Bryant said this week. “It’s competition, man. That gets some people going — talking. That really don’t do nothing. That really don’t help some people out in certain situations. At that time, it was just the heat of the moment. I felt the same way. He felt the same way. The past is the past. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.”