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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo pledges to clean up mistakes

IRVING — There is a perception that Tony Romo has a glib attitude towards ball security and turnovers, which he didn’t help immediately after the Week 16 loss against the Baltimore Ravens when he said one of his two interceptions was like a punt.

That particular interception led to a Ravens field goal at the end of the first half, which was their first lead of the game.

On Tuesday, Romo wanted to clarify the notion that looks at interceptions as glorified punts.

“Don’t get me wrong. They are never a good thing. I’m not trying to make it sound better. An interception is a bad deal, no matter what time it is or frame or whatever,” Romo said. “I think sometimes, against a team like Baltimore, you get into a mode, or you just kind of do stuff off the cuff a little bit. That’s what they do well. There’s probably 20 different throws where you are just kind of off the cuff in that game, which is a really, really high number for a game.

“Obviously, I made two poor choices on those. I have to fix it. I have to go back and decide why I did that, and make sure the next time I get in that situation I don’t. It’s part of the game. It’s part of the learning process. And I will get better, I promise you that.”

Romo's pledge to clean up his turnover problem comes at an ideal time. He has been intercepted five times and lost one fumble in the three games this month — three interceptions and one fumble against the Steelers, two interceptions against the Ravens.

Romo has been intercepted 13 times this season with five fumbles, but has missed three games with injury. In a full-season in 2007, he was intercepted 19 times last season, so the ratio is roughly the same.

It’s the element to Romo’s game, the risk-taking gambler, that the Cowboys appreciate because it enables him to make plays not every other quarterback can. But they acknowledge the mentality has a huge price tag.

“That’s something he’s had a history with,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “That’s part of what Tony has done, if you go back to when he first started playing. He made a lot of plays, but he also made a lot of turnovers. I think he’s made great strides in that area. You learn from those things and hopefully as we go forward into this game, those things kind of register when he’s in a similar situation and he makes a better decision. Fact is, we all have to play better, and certainly he’s a part of that.”

The Cowboys are minus-7 in turnover margin, near the bottom of the league. All of that isn’t on Romo.

But it won’t be easier this week as the Cowboys face a Philadelphia Eagles defense that ranks third in the NFL. In four career starts against the Eagles, Romo is 2-2 with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and he’s been sacked seven times.

Considering what is at stake on Sunday — a playoff berth &mdash: Romo said the turnover issue will be on his mind a little bit more.

“Probably a little bit, yeah,” Romo said. “I think you have to be, in situations.”


Running back Marion Barber (little toe) did not practice Tuesday. Coach Wade Phillips said Barber’s playing status likely will remain a game-time decision Sunday.

Tight end Jason Witten (ankle) appeared to practice in a limited capacity.

Guard Montrae Holland (ankle) is not expected to play Sunday.

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