Sorry if its a repost. I never saw it.
NFL Dallas Cowboys: Romo doesn't buy practice squad talk
BY BRIAN NIELSEN, Sports Editor
IRVING, Texas -- Sure, Tony Romo has heard the bad news/good news speculation.
Web sites and other reports are saying that Romo cannot surpass three bigger names for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys' roster but that the former Eastern Illinois quarterback has made enough of an impression to stick with the practice squad.
"That's pretty funny," Romo said. "The only thing about that is that you have to make it through waivers. I'd have to make it through waivers to do that. If I go out and perform the way I can, I think I'll be OK"
So even though Romo won a big amateur golf tournament recently back home in Wisconsin, he wants to be too busy on Sundays this fall to be playing any golf.
He would like to think that if the Cowboys, now well stocked with quarterbacks, do not want him, some other NFL team would grab him before the Cowboys would use him only for practice.
But his immediate focus with the Cowboys, who begin training camp Thursday at Oxnard, Calif.
Sticking with Dallas for a second season is not going to be easy.
In fact, it probably got harder when during the off-season the Cowboys picked up Drew Henson, the former Michigan quarterback who ditched his pro baseball career for a chance with Dallas, and Vinny Testaverde, a 17-year NFL veteran considered a safety net backup for returning starter Quincy Carter.
Last year Carter was the full-time man for the Cowboys who leaped from losers to the playoffs in their first year under coach Bill Parcells.
Romo and Chad Hutchinson stood the sidelines, and now Hutchinson is to be released.
But just showing a more encouraging future than Hutchinson has not been enough for Romo, who now has to contend with the new guys.
"I don't know what's going to happen in camp," Romo said. "The bottom line is I have to take care of business when it counts. I can't lay an egg.
"In a game you have to go out and let them know you're ready and you're better."
Romo figures he has gotten better.
After all, he came to Eastern as only a partial scholarship player before becoming a three-year starter who as a senior received the Walter Payton Trophy as the top player in NCAA Division I-AA.
Still, he was not chosen in the 2003 NFL draft and had to earn a roster spot with Dallas as a free agent.
So he is not resting on just-making-the-team laurels.
"I've had such a good off-season," Romo said. "I threw the ball so well in mini-camp. I've taken my game to another level than in the past.
"We have a good coaching staff and trainers, and they put you in the right direction."
But the staff, including former EIU star Sean Payton as quarterbacks coach, has only steered Romo into the competition for a job.
"I'll get time in preseason for sure, but it's all dictated by what you do in practices," Romo said.
As a rookie Romo had mixed success in preseason games. In one contest, he lost a fumble but then threw a 60-yard touchdown pass.
That got him on the Cowboys but not in any regular season games.
Now he has that experience plus an off-season focused on the Cowboys' system.
"Last year you had 18 different things you thought about," Romo said. "Now it's just more natural.
"Last year I thought about it and I felt older than a rookie. Now it's to where I can't wait to get out there and perform. Now I feel I'm on another level than in the past."
So far this year, the versatile athlete has topped his past performances.
After settling for some finishes that looked impressive considering his main game was football, Romo this summer won the Racine Tri-Course Amateur golf tournament.
"That was the one I always play for but I never had a shot to win it," Romo said. "I was never really in contention to win. I'd make a move on the final day."
This time Romo survived the first-round cut with a 79, got himself in contention with a 73 and then fired a 70 on the final day to win by six strokes.
This was without much practice time on golf courses.
"I get to play a little bit on the weekend, but it was one of those things where I got on a roll and made my putts," he said.
Now, the idea is to be too busy with football for any weekend golf.
"I've be waiting for this for quite some time," Romo said.
Contact Brian Nielsen at email@example.com