Tony Romo was back under center at practice Wednesday, once again zipping passes to Terrell Owens.
Expect him to be doing so the next time the Dallas Cowboys play, too.
Romo’s return from a broken pinkie on his throwing hand is coming along as expected. The clunky cast he wore the last three weeks has been replaced by a small splint covering only the pinkie. It’s as much for support as protection, and he wasn’t even wearing it between a walkthrough and a practice Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s still not all the way healed, but it’s getting there,” Romo said. “I can definitely grip the ball much better.”
Romo was hurt during a loss to Arizona on Oct. 12. He practiced a little that week and tried to play in the following game, but realized during warmups that his bulky bandage prevented him from properly controlling the ball and sat out ever since.
Dallas went 1-2 without Romo, scoring no more than 14 points with Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger running the offense. The Cowboys scored at least 24 all six games that Romo played.
Romo also has the NFL’s third-best passer rating and averages the third-most yards passing per game. His 14 touchdown passes are sixth best, even after missing three games.
However, the Cowboys were only 1-2 in his last three starts. So the notion his return will cure all that ails them might not be accurate.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of him coming in and trying to be Superman and really saving this team,” Owens said. “We have more than enough capable guys in the locker room to make plays for him”
Still, Romo’s return is a source of optimism for a team that’s gone from preseason Super Bowl favorites to last place in the NFC East. Even team owner Jerry Jones has said Dallas (5-4) needs to aim for just making the playoffs.
Romo also thinks he’s figured out some things during his time off.
“I’m not going to tell you what they are, but I think this team is going to have its best football in front of it,” he said.
The Cowboys will practice again Thursday, then have a three-day weekend. They’ll return to the field Monday, then get back to their regular routine Wednesday.
“I suspect I’ll be a little rusty this week in practice, but I also think that I will have felt like I’ve been doing it a while by next week’s gametime,” Romo said. “I like to think that I am going to be playing at a decent level (against Washington). I just know I am excited to get back out there. I am excited to help this football team.”
Since Romo went down, the Cowboys have added receiver Roy Williams. Their on-field relationship was supposed to begin Wednesday, but Williams missed practice dealing with a family issue. He’s expected to return Thursday.
“We’ll catch on really quickly,” Romo said. “I like a lot of things he does.”
Cornerback Terence Newman and left guard Kyle Kosier practiced Wednesday and are expected to play against Washington. So is rookie running back Felix Jones, although he was still working out with the training staff Wednesday.
Romo said he can do most everyday things with his hand now that he’s gotten the cast off. He can’t totally make a fist, though, the pinkie curling over but not totally closing.
“We don’t know what is going to happen in two weeks,” he said. “I do know I am going to use (the splint) and pretend like I have to use it (against Washington). If I don’t, it’s just a positive.”