IRVING, Texas – The last two weeks, Tony Romo has had two of the longest runs from scrimmage of his career, including a personal-best 21-yard run last week against the Saints.
Romo halfway joked it was "pathetic" that he didn't have a run longer than that in his career. But he certainly wasn't joking when asked if these runs are a sign he's feeling much better from his back injury.
"Oh, it's a night and day change," Romo said, comparing his back now from Week 1 against the 49ers. "I wouldn't have even tried that (running the ball) then. It's just getting better and better each."
Photos from the Cowboys Thursday practice at Valley Ranch.
Night and day change? Better and better each week?
That's in reference to Romo's back. It could also be the way to describe the entire team, which started out 0-1 but has reeled off three straight wins, including a convincing 38-17 victory over the Saints last Sunday night.
One of the biggest differences for Romo has been his practice schedule. After practicing all week before the San Francisco opener, Romo has since sat out of Wednesday's practice the last three weeks. It certainly shouldn't be called a "day off" for the quarterback, who attends the walk-through and meetings all day. He even gets on the field for practice, observing the installation of the plays and offensive game plan for that week.
Overall, the benefit of sitting out seems to outweigh the lack of reps Romo is getting on Wednesdays.
"You want to feel healthy," Romo said. "You want to feel good. You want to feel like you're maximizing your opportunities to be at your best within each day and obviously within each week and start over and do it again."
Romo has seen a major improvement each week since the start of the season when he threw three interceptions in a 28-17 loss to the 49ers. Romo had a 60.8 quarterback rating that day and completed just 62.2 percent of his passes.
Since then, his passer rating has improved each week, going to 93.5 against the Titans, 116.8 against the Rams and 137.4 in a win over the Saints last week. Just as important, after Romo's 1-3 touchdown to interception ratio in Week 1, he's improved it to 6-1 in the last three games.
Romo is back on the practice field Thursday at Valley Ranch and will look to lead the Cowboys to a fourth straight win, and perhaps a fourth straight game with a higher rating. Then again, the only perfect rating Romo has ever scored in a game occurred in his first action back in 2006. Relieving Drew Bledsoe at the end of a blowout, Romo was just 2-for-2 passing, with a touchdown strike to Terrell Owens. The 158.3 rating might be skewed because of a small sample size, but it was the first glimpse of what has turned out to be a stellar career.