Romo has used ’07 playoff loss as motivation

IRVING, Texas — The Cowboys return to Seattle on Sunday for the first time since they lost to the Seahawks during the Wild Card round of the 2007 playoffs.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten were all asked about that 21-20 loss on Wednesday.

With the Cowboys trailing by a point and 1:19 remaining, Romo fumbled the hold on a 19-yard field goal try. He scooped up the ball and attempted to score but was stopped short.

On a conference call with Seattle reporters, Romo said he has used that loss as motivation.

“Shoot, it feels like I was 10 years old back then,” Romo joked. “Football’s a great game. It teaches you a lot of lessons. … Going through the adverse situations that you go through in football can help build character, help learn what it needs to take to get better and how to improve as a football team.

“I think that’s just one of those situations where you took it as it was. It was disappointing loss, and that was very tough at the time. What you do is you get better. You go back to work, you put your head down and you get better.

“I think there’s been different times and situations in your career as an athlete that you can look to those spots and say you can use certain things as motivation and it’s helped you along the way.”

Romo wouldn’t say how long his hangover lasted from that game. He compared it to any other loss that ends a team’s season.

Garrett, who was an assistant coach in Miami during the 2006 season, took over as the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator the following year. Not someone to spend time talking about the past, Garrett kept his response short.

“Boy, that seems like a long time ago,” he said. “One of the themes that we have with our team is you got to move on to the next one; the next play, the next drive, the next game. And certainly games that happened six years ago. So, we’re way on to the next one.”

Like Romo and Garrett, Witten pointed out how long ago that game occurred. But that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about it.

“I don’t know that you can ever forget t hat one,” Witten said. “It has been a long time. … For all of us, that’s a play, that’s a season that we’ll always remember and hopefully we’re better because of those situations.”

Witten said he thinks the bobbled hold helped motivate Romo to become the player he is today. But it’s a play he never brings up around his good friend and teammate.

“No, no, no. I never mention anything about it,” said a laughing Witten. “That’s one of those that you never bring up.”

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota