Tony Romo made a bold prediction back in training camp that he felt his best years were ahead of him. It seemed almost comical at the time for a quarterback returning from back surgery for a second consecutive season.
But, outside of his three-interception game in the season opener, Romo has impressed by leading the Dallas Cowboys to five consecutive wins. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones believes Romo is fulfilling his preseason prediction.
“I don’t know that I can say that I’ve ever seen him play better,” Jones said Friday on his KRLD/105.3 FM radio show. “We’ve seen him certainly do what Romo does. That is instinctively make plays. We’ve seen him basically protect the ball, and I know for a fact that he’s bought into his working and the coordination that he has to have with [play-caller Scott] Linehan.
“I would agree that that statement that he made during camp, that certainly these last three or four ballgames are starting to basically ratify that statement.”
After the opener, the 34-year-old Romo guided the team to a pair of road wins at Tennessee and St. Louis. Then he had a three-touchdown, no-interception game in a 38-17 thrashing of New Orleans.
Romo followed that up with his first — and so far only — 300-yard passing game against Houston, and turned in another impressive performance Sunday against Seattle’s strong defense.
On the season, Romo is 131-of-191 passing (68.6 percent completion percentage) for 1,510 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
He has a 100.5 quarterback rating, which would be his best rating since 2011 (102.5). It’s also the fourth-best rating in the league this season behind only San Diego’s Philip Rivers, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Denver’s Peyton Manning.
Linebacker Rolando McClain was back at practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday to handle personal matters.
McClain said he has some catching up to do over the next day or so, but will be ready for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.
“I had some personal business to take care of, took care of that and back at work today,” McClain said. “I stayed in contact with the coaches. I had my iPad and watched the film.”
McClain also spent time rehabbing a nagging groin injury that has been around since Week 2.
“It feels better than it did last week,” McClain said.
That’s good news for a defense that looks to McClain to lead with his words and his play. He leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss and interception in addition to physical and mental intimidation of the other team.
McClain has played so well that the Cowboys already decided they want him to be a part of their future. Any contract extension would likely come with a big raise from the $700,000 he’s making this season on a one-year deal.
McClain said all he cares about right now, though, is Sunday’s game.
“We haven’t talked about it and I’m not worried about it,” McClain said of his future. “I’m getting ready for the Giants.”
As expected, linebacker Bruce Carter and right tackle Doug Free have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Carter is dealing with a quadriceps injury and is hopeful to play next week. Free has a foot fracture and could be out for another 2-3 weeks.
Defensive end Jack Crawford (calf) is listed as doubtful.
The rest of the Cowboys on the injury report are all probable.