The Dallas Cowboys quarterback said he will make his preseason debut Saturday.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo announced he will make his preseason debut in the game against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, almost eight months after undergoing back surgery that ended his season in 2013.
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"You're not guaranteed anything, so it's special just to play football," Romo said after Tuesday's practice against the Oakland Raiders. "It's special to play for the team I get to play for, and it's special to get out there and put the helmet on. For me, I don't take that for granted. I know that it's a great feeling when you do get out there."
Romo isn't expected to play for long in the preseason home opener against the Ravens on Saturday night, but will be the starter going into the game after missing the their first exhibition game against San Diego.
"I think you have to play in the preseason," Romo said. "Obviously, some people can't, but I do know from my perspective, this game is not just something where you can show up and think that you can do it. 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 will be exposed in certain areas. I'm a firm believer that you have to play football to get better at football. Football's a way of life. It's not just 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."
Training camp was limited for Romo at the beginning, but has geared up to lead two joint practices with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week. Dallas broke camp and returned home from California on Friday.
''I felt like this was a big week for Tony,'' tight end Jason Witten said. ''I felt like this was a really big week for our team and felt he's done a really great job setting the tempo for us.''
Romo was injured in the game against the Washington Redskins last December, but managed to finish the game with a winning drive before sitting at home when the Cowboys lost to Philadelphia in the final game of the season.
It will be Joe Flacco's second game with first-year Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. He brings the West Coast offense to coach John Harbaugh's staff after being fired in the middle of last season with the Texans on their way to 14 straight losses after a 2-0 start.
Both defenses have work to do. While the Cowboys struggled to stop the Chargers, the Ravens let the 49ers march to a field goal on Colin Kaepernick's only drive. Because of injuries, Baltimore's focus is on the defensive line and secondary.
"We have to start faster now," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "I think we were a little hyped up because there were a couple times where we ran up field on a running play and the ball gashed us."