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August 27, 2012

New receivers, new line, new backs, it doesn’t matter; Romo continues to play at high level, Garrett says

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says quarterback Tony Romo continues to play well despite changes in the cast around him.

“He’s been a really good player in this league for a number of years, and he’s done it with different kinds of guys,” Garrett said after Saturday night’s preseason game against St. Louis, in which Romo threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. “He has had different receiving corps. This is the third or fourth time we’ve turned the receivers over. We’ve turned the offensive line over, and we’ve turned the running backs over. He’s someone who continues to play at a really high level. ... It’s nice to see him play well and play in a good rhythm with the other guys.”

Romo, entering his sixth season as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, is 21-for-32 for 303 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason, despite not having his favorite target, tight end Jason Witten, or top receiver, Miles Austin, available for any of the games, and his second receiver, Dez Bryant, available against the Rams.

Romo is coming off his best season statistically. Last year, he threw 31 touchdowns against 10 interceptions.

“I just think I have to go out and execute the plan, find the open guy, do what you do,” he said. “We get those starters back, obviously it’s going to be a huge boost for us.”

In the absence of Austin and Witten, Romo has been trying to help break in a batch of young receivers, including Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway and Cole Beasley. He has also been trying to fine-tune his game with veteran Kevin Ogletree.

Romo’s frustration sometimes showed in training camp, but Garrett said that’s OK.

“That’s a natural reaction for somebody who puts so much into things,” he said. “Playing in preseason games is a good test for these guys. It’s one thing to do it in practice, but it’s another thing to do it in a game situation. This is not the same situation we’re going to face in about 10 days when we go play the New York Giants.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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