Tony Romo admits he wasn’t himself Thursday. His back didn’t respond the way he expected in a short week, and the Cowboys quarterback had his worst game since the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
“Yeah, it’s a first time that we had a short week [this season], so we had to figure out what we thought was best,” Romo said Sunday. “When I look back, I think I would change a couple of things. Saying that, I don’t think we have any more short weeks this year, so that will be a benefit going forward.”
Romo participated in the team’s walk-through practices last week leading up to the Thanksgiving game against the Eagles. He went 18-for-29 for 199 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions and a 53.7 passer rating.
On several throws, Romo wasn’t firing on all cylinders. He threw the ball 10 yards short of Devin Street on a deep route in the third quarter. Two plays later, Eagles defensive back Cary Williams intercepted Romo on a pass that was behind Terrance Williams, according to Jason Garrett, on a comeback route.
“The one to Street doesn’t happen to me very often,” Romo said. “That’s why I go back and look at the tape, which is disappointing just in some throws that I wouldn’t normally miss. The natural things that take over weren’t as exact as they normally are, and I need to do a better job at that. I’ll make sure of that this week.”
Things are back to normal — or as normal as they can be playing back-to-back Thursday games. Romo didn’t practice Sunday, the first full practice day of the week, which has been his routine since Week 3.
“Getting back into what feels like the normal routine will help this week,” Romo said. “The little things that help you get to where you need to be.”
Romo, 34, has a history of rebounding from a bad performance. In the season-opening 28-17 loss to the 49ers, he was 23-for-37 for 281 yards with one touchdown, three interceptions and a 60.8 passer rating. But in a 26-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 2, he completed 19 of 29 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown and a 93.5 rating.
“He’s just a mentally tough individual,” Garrett said. “I think he does a really good job within games, dealing with success and adversity and focusing on the task, and I think he does that from week to week.”
Romo didn’t have one of his better games against the Bears in Chicago last December. He completed 11 of 20 passes for only 104 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-28 loss in the bitter cold.
But the Bears aren’t the same defense, and the Cowboys insist they aren’t the same team. With an 8-4 record, Dallas needs only one more victory to break a three-season string of 8-8 records.
The Cowboys, though, have hopes of more.
“More than anything, it’s a time to start playing your best football and our football team needs to understand the sense of urgency is now,” Romo said. “I think that it’s time to take the next step, and I think our guys understand the sense of urgency of right now, and what’s available and what’s ahead of them if they can go on and play their best football.”