Tony Romo has sympathy for his suspended defensive teammates.
"They feel bad," Romo told the media at training camp in Oxnard. "We're here to help them."
The Cowboys expected Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence to be their starting defensive ends. They wanted Rolando McClain to be their starting middle linebacker but neither player will be on the field to start the regular season.
All three players will be out with suspensions for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Gregory is out four games and may be given a longer suspension according to reports. Lawrence is out four games and McClain will be gone the first 10.
Romo is entering his 14th NFL season and took the high road discussing the loss of three key defenders.
"They feel bad about that. I know that," he said. "The accountability we want each person to have on our team is high. Being a leader of the football team, it's something that we want each guy to understand. It's just not letting yourself down, you are letting your teammates down."
The Cowboys defense is the weak link of the football team and Romo is expected to carry the club after missing 12 games last season.
As the face of the football team Romo is setting the tone of how the club will be there for teammates through good and bad times.
"When they come back they are gonna be welcomed with open arms," he said. "You know Lawrence is a great kid. Gregory is a great kid. We haven't seen Ro yet, so we'll see when he gets back."