Romo discusses fatherhood, NFL Draft

IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo met with the media for 29 minutes Tuesday at the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters. He addressed topics ranging from being a new father to what areas the Cowboys should focus on in the upcoming draft.

A sampling of Romo’s responses:

On adjusting to fatherhood (Hawkins Crawford Romo was born April 9):

We’re sleeping through parts of the night. It’s been a good couple of weeks.

It’s definitely a good change. As you continue to grow up, you, obviously, go through the different life changes. We’re lucky enough to have everyone be healthy through the process. It just makes you smile every morning, it really does.

On whether the Cowboys have young receivers who can step into the role of Laurent Robinson, who recently departed via free agency:

Laurent had a great season last year. He did a lot of good stuff. He had a knack for continuing to move as the play broke down. He understood the timing that I wanted to see and he was able to do that really well.

We’re going to have a battle for that position, obviously. . . . I’m anxious to see. We’ve got a couple of guys that have a chance to step up and do similar type things.

I think the potential is there for a couple of guys to go in and grab that spot. It’s just a matter of who’s going to work their butt off and put themselves in that position.

I see a couple of guys that have a real strong upside.

On Miles Austin’s statements that he wasn’t in shape last season:

I think that was probably taken a little bit out of context.

I think what he probably meant to stress . . .  it’s probably just the football metabolics of it. You can’t duplicate it unless you’re on the field. . . . From my perspective, he was in shape. He just always has to understand his body a little bit sometimes. The guy works so hard. Anybody who gets on him about working has no idea about Miles Austin. That’s not him at all.

On whether he sees his window of opportunity closing now that he’s 32:

I haven’t thought about not playing the game. . . . For me, I don’t know, 15 more years maybe?

I didn’t start playing in the league at 22, 23. A lot of that is the hits you take over time. I’ll probably have a lot of that stuff later on that probably starts creeping in around 34 or 35. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it to a little later than that before you start feeling that stuff.

Does he feel like his best playing days are still ahead of him?

The moment I feel like I’m degressing, I’ll probably stop playing football. It would be very hard to know that I’m not as good as you once were. The exciting part to me is to know that I’m getting better every year. I’m doing things every year that I was not able to do. . . . I think I’m starting to play at a level that I feel will give us a great chance to be successful.

Is it frustrating to be playing better as a quarterback but not seeing the results in playoff wins?

It’s frustrating whenever you don’t accomplish your goal each season, and, obviously, that’s to win the Super Bowl. The thing I can control is how hard I work, how much better I’m getting every single year, and am I bringing these guys along to make them as good as they can be? Because that’s part of my job and that’s part of what it takes to win a Super Bowl.

When you’re young, you really just want to play football and get better and be able to be good enough to get out there. Then it’s, how can I be a good quarterback? Then over time it’s literally about winning.

Does it matter that offensive tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free are switching sides?

No. As long as people don’t touch you, I don’t think it matters at all.

What about Troy Aikman’s recent comment that he thinks you’re a better quarterback than he was?

Whenever Troy Aikman says anything in a positive way as a quarterback it makes you feel good. For me, it just means that Troy thinks you are doing something right. I think that’s exciting from a guy who’s one of the greatest players ever to play the game.

Now, I don’t think I belong in that discussion. Troy I think was being nice, but I’m not going to wash it away and say it doesn’t matter, because it feels good. I’m going to take that. But there’s no discussion. Troy Aikman’s on his own mountaintop by himself.

It’s just about winning. There’s no discussions to be had for anybody. There’s probably one guy who’s ever played the position who didn’t win a Super Bowl that’s in the discussion for the greatest quarterbacks, Dan Marino.

It’s the same thing as winning majors in golf. We know what matters as a quarterback. Until you do that stuff, it’s just hard to say that.

With the Redskins about to draft Robert Griffin III, is there a better quarterback division in football than the NFC East?

I think every year, it’s funny how the NFC East, in some ways, throughout most of the season the talk always is, well, they’re not as good anymore and blah, blah, blah. And everybody beats everybody up and everybody goes 10-6, 9-7, and then whoever gets in has a shot at winning the Super Bowl, or gets to the NFC Championship Game.

What you find is the division is hard. Throwing another good quarterback in is going to make it that much tougher. If you can survive your division and come out on top it gives you a great opportunity to be successful. It shows over and over again that the teams that come out of our division can beat anybody.

Is there an area of draft he’d like to see the team address early?

My attention is for anybody that’s going to make us better. If it makes our defense a dominant defense, I’m all for that. If it makes our offensive line dominant, I’m all for that. I think that’s what you’re looking for.

At this position, it’s just about winning. So whatever is going to help us win.

What does he think about the schedule, particularly December (home against Eagles, Steelers and Saints; on the road against Bengals and Redskins)?

I think we play a bunch of home games toward the end of the year, so that’s a positive. On the road, in the division is always tough, especially late in the year. Those will be tough games. We’ve got some good teams to be playing against. But if we’re going to be in some big games, it’s nice to have them be at home instead of on the road. Hopefully, that will help us. But if you’re a good enough football team you overcome all challenges, anyway. That’s really what it’s about.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire