NFL notes: Cowboys QB Tony Romo runs scout team at practice
FRISCO, Texas — Tony Romo stretched alongside Jason Witten early in practice for the Dallas Cowboys, just as they’ve done for most of the past 10 years.
Then the 36-year-old quarterback went off to run the scout team, and his trusty tight end joined the first-teamers along with rookie Dak Prescott, who has a seven-game winning streak filling in for Romo.
The Dallas starter for a decade, Romo was a full practice participant Wednesday for the first time since breaking a bone in his back in a preseason game in August, his fourth back injury in less than four years.
That didn’t change his spot in the pecking order, which includes veteran Mark Sanchez, the backup to Prescott the first eight games. There’s no reason to change with Dallas (7-1) surging to the best record in the NFC.
“He’s champing at the bit,” coach Jason Garrett said . “But you know, we’ll watch him today at practice and see how he does.”
Garrett said the starter usually gets almost all the reps with the first team in practice.
The next step is determining when Romo will be active on game day, with the first opportunity coming Sunday at Pittsburgh (4-4).
Even Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who went 13-0 in the regular season as a rookie starter in 2004, doesn’t see that the Cowboys have much choice.
“Taking nothing away from Tony,” said Roethlisberger, who has won two Super Bowls and been named to four Pro Bowls. “He’s been doing it, Pro Bowl, like you said, at a high level. But when you’re winning football games, it’s really hard to replace that one spot.”
Romo hasn’t spoken to reporters since he was injured Aug. 25 at Seattle. Prescott, who has 12 touchdowns and two interceptions and the fourth-best passer rating behind Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees, made his usual Wednesday appearance and said all the same things on the Romo front.
“I don’t really think about if I’ve done enough or what I’ve done,” Prescott said.
Garrett said Romo rejoined the quarterback meetings last week, and Prescott said Romo is “nothing but help” when he’s around, which is more often now that he’s mostly moved beyond rehab from the injury.
“Kind of the same stuff he was doing on the field [on game day]. It’s just that I’m getting it earlier in the week,” Prescott said.