PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tony Romo is ready to go if the Dallas Cowboys need his help in the playoffs.
Romo looked sharp in his first regular-season game since Thanksgiving 2015. He threw his first touchdown pass in nearly 14 months and showed the offense can produce when Dak Prescott is on the sideline.
The Cowboys played it safe in a 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, but fulfilled their objective by keeping star players healthy.
“I don’t think anything better could have happened than to have Tony get out there and get some really great, positive snaps,” owner Jerry Jones said. “It was such a positive for our team to see the depth we have now and Tony stepped out there and looked just like he’s looked at practice.”
Prescott played only two series against the Eagles and Ezekiel Elliott watched from the sideline.
Prescott’s 104.9 passer rating surpassed Robert Griffin III’s rookie mark of 102.4 in 2012 for Washington. Prescott also had the lowest interception percentage by a rookie QB at .9 (4 picks in 459 attempts).
Now Romo heads back to the bench while Prescott prepares to lead Elliott, Dez Bryant and a high-octane offense into the playoffs. The Cowboys (13-3) have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and will play on Jan. 14 or 15.
“I’ve been practicing well so I just stayed true to form,” Romo said. “It’s good and fun to play football. It’s enjoyable to have a little success, but I kind of do that at practice each day.”
Here’s some things we learned from Philadelphia’s win over Dallas:
CARSON’S CORNER: Carson Wentz finished his first season strong with two TD passes to Zach Ertz and set an NFL record for most completions (379) in a season by a rookie. Despite a 7-9 record, the Eagles are convinced they have a bright future because they have a franchise QB.
“It’s tough to win in this league without a quarterback and we’ve got a heck of a quarterback for the future,” Ertz said.
FOCUSED COWBOYS: Dallas had a successful regular season, but it won’t mean anything if they don’t advance deep in January. The Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl in 20 years.
“The only thing that matters is what we do now,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We have put ourselves in a great position and it’s time to get back to work.”
UNSUNG HERO: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets overlooked with Prescott, Elliott, Bryant, Jason Witten and Cole Beasley getting more attention. But Williams has a big fan in Romo.
“He’s one of the most underrated, if not the most underrated receivers in the league,” Romo said. “He’s a really great player.”
GO-TO RECEIVER: The Eagles need playmakers at wide receiver and running back, but Ertz is their man at tight end. He has 13 catches for 139 yards and two scores and finished as the team leader in receptions (78), yards receiving (816) and TDs receiving (4).
“He’s a tremendous athlete, great player, and a big part of what we’re doing,” coach Doug Pederson said.
SORRY SANCHEZ: The Cowboys would be in trouble if they have to turn to Mark Sanchez. He was 9 of 17 for 85 yards and threw two interceptions to Jordan Hicks.