IRVING, Texas – It's bound to come up, even if no one has a great way to explain it. The Cowboys play a critical game at home this weekend, and, given how the season has gone, that doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.
The Cowboys returned home from Philadelphia on Sunday night with a 7-0 road record. They're undefeated as the visiting team, despite trips to imposing venues like CenturyLink Field, Soldier Field and Lincoln Financial Field.
Conversely, they face Indianapolis in what is practically a must-win game from the confines of their own building, AT&T Stadium, where they're just 3-4 on the year. It's a trend that no one at Valley Ranch has had an easy time explaining.
"I don't have a good answer for you," said Tony Romo. "More than anything, you just go and do all of the things that it takes to win."
AT&T Stadium hasn't been great to Romo in 2014, for the most part. The Cowboys have enjoyed big wins there this season – New Orleans and Houston, most notably, as well as a win against New York.
Their four losses have been brutal, though. He combined for 480 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions in losses to San Francisco and Philadelphia. He broke two bones in his back in the loss to Washington, and as a result he sat out and watched the Cardinals dominate the Dallas offense on Nov. 2.
"We've played well on the road. We've played some games well at home, too," he said. "We just need to do better as a whole and execute better and I look forward to doing that this week."
Plenty has been made about the lack of a true home field advantage when the Cowboys play in Arlington. The large percentage of fans representing the 49ers, Saints and Texans in the first three home games of the year. Romo said he felt that the Cowboys' home support has been fantastic over the past two months – up until the Cowboys didn't give fans much to cheer about on Thanksgiving.
"You could really feel the energy, excitement and just the passion behind the fans and I expect to see that again this weekend," he said. "I think it's going to be a real special place. And everyone who is at that game, I think it's going to be loud."
The past two home games the Cowboys have played – Arizona and Philadelphia – speculation has centered on Romo's health and availability. He was a week removed from the broken transverse processes when the Cardinals came to town. For the Thanksgiving game, he was trying to prepare his injured back on three days' rest.
This time around, the speculation centers on his partner in the backfield, DeMarco Murray. The NFL's leading rusher is just two days removed from surgery, and he did not participate in the meat of Wednesday's practice.
"He's had a great season. I think he's going to do everything he can to play," Romo said. "We're just going to do what we do and go from there."
If Murray can't play as a result of his broken hand, Romo could find himself in the familiar position of trying to carry the Dallas offense. It's a challenge he's proven up to in the past, but there's no denying Murray's career year has opened the door for perhaps Romo's most efficient season throwing the ball.
"When you're called upon to do what you have to do, you've got to go out and execute it and do it to the best of your ability. If you have the ability you'll do it," he said.
The questions – about Murray, or the home field woes, or whatever else – will likely continue, whether they get answered or not. Romo said the Cowboys can only afford to have a singular focus as they try to maintain their playoff push.
"Well I think everyone's job is to go out and do their job regardless of circumstance," he said. "That's weather, home, away, whether I was playing or not. I think that's the approach everyone has to take. I suspect that DeMarco is going to get himself in position to try and play. We'll see what happens, but we've just got to go out and do our jobs."