Eli Manning, who knows a little something about commercials, enjoyed Tony Romo’s “Arts and Craftsy” DirecTV ad.
“His was good,” Manning said. “He seemed very creepy, so he did a good job portraying that role.”
Manning also is a big fan of quarterback Romo, his counterpart in Sunday night’s NFC East battle at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback holds a 9-7 record, as a starter, in head-to-head meetings against Manning’s Giants.
“These last nine years, he’s had great seasons and big-time games,” Manning said. “So I have great respect for him. I think he’s a very smart player but just also his playmaking ability, extending plays and doing things that might not be drawn up in the book to be executed a certain way, but he executes and makes a lot of outstanding plays.”
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It’s probably one of the things that I’m most proud of, that I always kept improving ... Hopefully, this season will be no different.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
Romo, 35, goes into 2015 seeking what Manning already has two of — a Super Bowl ring. Romo finished his best NFL season by nearly getting the Cowboys to the NFC Championship Game in 2014.
He has produced seasons with more than the 3,705 yards and 34 touchdowns he passed for last season, but it ranked as a career year. He led the league in completion percentage (69.9), passer rating (113.2) and yards per attempt (8.5), while leading the Cowboys to a 12-4 record.
“I’m just a much different player than I was before, so when you look at it, your goal is to be a better player than you were the year before,” Romo said. “I think that has taken shape. It’s probably one of the things that I’m most proud of, that I always kept improving, and I like to think that I’ve continued to do that.
“Hopefully, this season will be no different.”
For the first time since 2012, Romo fully participated in the off-season program. He missed only four training camp practices. That has him even more ready for this season.
“I think anytime you’re able to have an off-season, I think it makes you feel as though you’ve been able to improve,” Romo said. “I try to improve every year. I think when you get the practice reps, and the time that I’ve had out on the field, I think it allows you to take your game up a notch if you’re working on the right things.
“So I’m always excited about that. I feel comfortable about that.”
113.2Tony Romo’s NFL-best passer rating in 2014. Aaron Rodgers (112.2) was second, Ben Roethlisberger (103.3) a distant third.
Although Romo’s surgically repaired back feels good, his in-season schedule will remain unchanged, at least for now.
He went through full practices the first two weeks of last season but didn’t look like himself. So the Cowboys gave him the Wednesday off before the Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams and found that the rest alleviated some of the irritation in his back.
That became his normal schedule the rest of the season.
On Wednesday, Romo went through the morning walk-through but worked in the weight room during practice. He calls the practice plan for the season “fluid,” but he will probably stick to the same routine that served him so well last season.
“The ultimate goal is to be your best every Sunday,” Romo said. “There’s a routine that we do on Wednesdays that I think is very beneficial that helps me build throughout the year when otherwise it’d be difficult to. I think you’d always be trying to maintain.
... the less torque I have to throw during the week is going to allow me to be a little bit better on Sunday ...
“In some capacity, being in that weight room and spending those couple of hours in there goes a long way to ensuring that you’re at your best each week. It’s been a process that we’ve looked at and analyzed and went over and over.
“Obviously, you always want to be out on the football field, but the less torque I have to throw during the week is going to allow me to be a little bit better on Sunday, plus the ability to build in the weight room helps a lot.”