Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo confirmed that he will make his preseason debut against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday.
It will be Romo’s first action in a game since the undergoing back surgery in December and missing the 2013 season finale.
The Cowboys have been cautious with Romo during training camp, giving him a day off after every two days of work and holding him out of last week’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers.
Romo has been on board with the delicate approach to camp, but he is looking forward to some game action. He said the only way you get ready for football is by playing football.
“I think you have to play in the preseason,” Romo said after Tuesday’s joint practice with the Oakland Raiders. “Obviously, some people can’t, but I do know from my perspective, this game is not just something where you can show up and think that you can do. I think it’s been proven far too many times that if you take too long of a break or don’t get reps under you that you will be exposed in certain areas.
“I’m a firm believer that you have to play football to get better at football. Football’s a way of life. It’s not just a sometimes thing. It’s an all-the-time thing if you’re going to be a great player, and I think if you have the opportunity to play, you’ve got to play.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said that Romo has gotten better as camp has progressed.
Romo said it’s all part of process and agreed that he was cutting the ball loose a little more now than earlier in camp.
“I think so,” Romo said. “That’s why you’ve got training camp. If you go through an off-season surgery, you’ve got to re-teach yourself small things. The big things are always there. You’ve done them for years. It’s just a couple things tightened up as far as what you want, and it’s been nice to see that.”
The Cowboys haven’t decided whether they will alter their camp plan for Romo.
He will practice Wednesday when the Cowboys go against the Raiders again. But he might take Thursday off before the team breaks camp Friday in advance of Saturday’s game.
“You just take it day by day and keep getting better and stronger,” Romo said “You follow the plan we all talked about and came up with. You just do that”
The joint practice between the Cowboys and Raiders on Tuesday was marred by at least three fights between the two teams.
But a shocking and dangerous incident unfolded when the Cowboys’ defense and Raiders’ offense had an all-out brawl on the sidelines within reach of Raiders fans, who started taking shots at Cowboys players.
Fans were seen pushing and throwing jabs at Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb before one hit him with a game-sized souvenir helmet. Webb retaliated with a couple of swings into the crowd.
“It’s definitely a dangerous situation,” Webb said. “I don’t know why fans would want to jump on this side of the fence. I don’t think they’d like it too much on this side.
“I wasn’t expecting that, but whoever jumped on my back, I had to get them off.”
Webb said he doesn’t expect to hear anything from the NFL about his actions.