IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo expects to go in Sunday’s night’s showdown with the Giants for the NFC East title.
The Cowboys quarterback was limited in practice Wednesday because of his still-swollen bruised right hand, though he did throw several passes.
On a conference call with the New York media, Romo said the swelling was subsiding more each day and that he expects to play against the Giants. He doesn’t anticipate wearing a glove in the game.
“Today was good. I was able to do some things with the ball that we weren’t sure about, so it was a good start to the week,” Romo said. “We are going to keep working on it and get all the treatment and stuff. We should be good to go for this weekend.”
His coach was more reserved about Romo’s likely availability. Jason Garrett said it was still early and that the Cowboys were hoping to get Romo “some more work (Thursday), and he’ll get himself ready to play in the game.” The coach said the biggest issue was to get the swelling down.
“It seemed like he was able to throw the ball OK, but he still needs to make some progress with that thing, (his) hand is still swollen,” Garrett said after practice. “Typically, he gets a full complement of reps, he didn’t get all the reps.”
The winner of Sunday night’s regular season finale, a matchup of 8-7 teams, clinches the NFC East title and a home playoff game in the wild-card round the following weekend.
Tight end Jason Witten and receiver Laurent Robinson said the passes Romo threw in practice were good. Witten is one of the quarterback’s best friends, teammates in Dallas throughout their nine NFL seasons.
“Tony did good. I thought he was throwing the ball well. I couldn’t tell any difference,” Witten said. “You’d probably have to ask him about the details, but I thought from the receiving end of it, he was as good as he always is.
“I would be hard pressed to see him not playing,” he said. “Anyone who knows what he is about, knows he’s going to play.”
Romo usually does his weekly session with Cowboys media on Thursdays and wasn’t in the locker room when it was open Wednesday.
Romo got hurt on the opening series Saturday against Philadelphia when he banged his throwing hand against the helmet of a defender while following through on a pass. He never returned to the game.
“He has progressed since the game, so we’ll see how he responds to the work he got (Wednesday),” Garrett said, not going into specifics about what and how much Romo did. “I thought he had a good day. … He seemed fairly functional with the stuff that he was able to do.”
Stephen McGee, who finished Saturday’s game, also took snaps with the first-team offense.
Reporters were only allowed to watch a few minutes of the early portion of practice. During that time, Romo made some soft tosses without wearing any kind of protection.
When the team gathered for stretching, Romo slipped a black glove on his right hand. But he removed the glove before a few more throws and at least one play where he took a snap from center and handed off the ball. When it wasn’t his turn, he stuffed both hands in his pockets.
“I’m happy he’s back, he threw well in practice,” defensive end Jason Hatcher said. “I wouldn’t have no other guy than Romo right now. Very happy he’s back.”