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When Romo got to camp in 2007, before a 13-win season, he was entrenched as the starter and Garrett had arrived as the offensive coordinator.

“He’s won a lot of games, he’s lost some games, and I think when you go through that process, if you go about it the right way, you’re going to get better and Tony certainly goes about it the right way,” said Garrett, who took over as head coach midway through the 2010 season. “He wants to get better as a player technically, understanding our scheme, defensive schemes and certainly how he interacts with his teammates as a leader of his team. I think in all of those areas, he’s gotten much, much better. We’re really lucky to have him as a quarterback.”

Romo has a 47-30 record in the regular season as a starter. He has been to the playoffs three times, but his only postseason win came in a wild-card game in 2009.

Still, he said he’s definitely having more fun now because “it’s more fun when you’re a little bit better than when you’re a little bit worse.”

His current career quarterback rating of 96.92 is more than 10 points higher than any other Cowboys quarterback. That includes Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.

But Staubach and Aikman have the big piece Romo is missing and what matters most _ a Super Bowl championship.

“You feel the onus to produce and to get your team to play in big games and to ultimately win the Super Bowl,” Romo said. “That’s part of playing the position, that’s why you love playing the position, that’s why you compete as hard as you do, and for me, I just, I want that for a lot of different reasons.

“It excites me to know that one day we’ll have a chance and the ability if we just keep continuing to get better,” he said. “When I sit in bed and think about that at night, it’s a great feeling to be able to hopefully experience that with the fans and the people who root for us.”

Notes: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the afternoon practice that he has finally talked with Dez Bryant about the receiver’s July 16 arrest for allegedly assaulting his mother. Jones said they talked extensively, calling it a great visit without elaborating on details. Jones said he had been too mad and emotional before then to talk to the former first-round draft pick. … Bill Nagy, who was expected to compete for the starting center job, is out after sustaining a high left ankle sprain on the first day of practice. When asked how long Nagy would be gone, Garrett said they were in the early stages of evaluating it, but added, “He’s not going to practice anytime real soon.” … Four-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff is able to take part in walkthrough periods, but the Cowboys are being cautious with him otherwise because of a foot problem that has hampered him throughout the offseason.


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