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Romo "Ready to Take the Next Big Step"?

Stephen Jones is feeling optimistic about Tony Romo's immediate future

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Romo "Ready to Take the Next Big Step"?

AP

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones credits quarterback Tony Romo with keeping the team in the playoff hunt while the injury-riddled defense struggled down the stretch, and says his performance late in the season--before a herniated disk knocked him out of the lineup in Week 17--gives the team a reason to be optimistic going into 2014.

This optimism is helped by Romo’s progress in rehab, from back surgery in December.

He’s actually progressing great,” Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. “He’s on schedule, if not ahead of schedule. He’s throwing the ball around. We think he not only will he be ready for opening week, he’ll start up at training camp and be ready to go.

“He’s obviously a tremendous competitor and in our mind, he kept us in it all season long with a defense that was obviously depleted with injuries, and he had us playing to win the NFC East in the last game of the year. Had he been playing in that game, I think that game may have gone a different direction. We’re certainly fired up about him.”

In the 15 games he did start in 2014, Romo threw for 3,828 yards, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while completing just shy of 64 percent of his passes.

“We got a great quarterback in Tony Romo, who I think is ready to take the next big step,” Jones said. “Get him hot and get us in the playoffs and anything can happen.”

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