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Romo Excited To Play, Thinks Preseason Is Crucial


OXNARD, Calif. – Tony Romo should get his first preseason action this weekend.

Romo said he thinks players have to play in the preseason if they're able to, and after a couple strong practices, he's feeling good about where he's at physically.

"I'm excited about Baltimore on Saturday," Romo said. "Just kind of getting ready to get out there and play some football."

Head coach Jason Garrett said Romo's looked more like his old self the last couple days, and that's been evident with more accuracy on the deep ball. Romo said there's no perfect guideline to go with as he returns from his back surgery, but he's just been going as hard as his body's telling him to.

As days go by and his core continues to get strengthened, Romo continues to do more and more. He said after an offseason surgery, a player has to get back on the field to relearn some of the smaller things of the game.

Because of that and to get the speed of the game down again, Romo believes getting work in the preseason is crucial.

"I do know that from my perspective this game is not something you can just show up for and think that you can do," he said. "I think it's been proven far too many times that if you take too long of a break or don't get reps under you that you can be exposed in certain areas.

Photos from Tuesday's afternoon practice with the Raiders in Oxnard.

"I'm a firm believer that you have to play football to get better at football, and football's a way of life. It's not just a sometimes thing. It's an all the time thing if you're going to be a great player, and I think if you have the opportunity to play, you've got to play."

This will be Romo's first game since the Week 16 tilt against the Redskins that ended his season early, but not before some late heroics in a win. Despite that, he said there's not much more eagerness this week as there would be for any game he suits up for.

"They're always exciting," Romo said. "The first time you play, your first game, your first road game…every game that you play, you're not guaranteed anything. So it's special just to play football. It's special to play for the team that I get to play for. It's special to get out there and put that helmet on. To me, I don't take that for granted. It's a great feeling when you do get out there."

Some people believe Romo needs more work after missing a lot of time in the offseason. Others may believe he needs less time to protect his back. Romo said it's not really one or the other. [embedded_ad]

"You need as much as you need to get ready," Romo said. "Obviously, the older guys and the guys that have been through it probably don't need as many reps as some of the younger guys. But at the same token, I think you always want to be that guy who wants the reps. As soon as you stop wanting reps, you're in trouble."

If and when Romo gets in this weekend, it'll be the first look at what happens when he deals with some contact. Although, according to Romo, he's not concerned with that.

"I took a hit from DeMarco actually the other day when I was dropping back, so I feel like I got that out of the way," he said with a smile. "The second hit's just nothing."

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