The Cowboys quarterback has put blinders on regarding his legacy and how his career will be measured without at least a trip to if not a win in a Super Bowl. Instead, he's focusing on the next game, which just so happens to be against the Giants on Wednesday in the regular-season opener.
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"It's an understanding that this game is not about tomorrow, it's about today," Romo said of his mentality. "For me, you could talk about [a Super Bowl] until we're blue in the face, but it comes down to figuring out how to get better right now. All of that other stuff long term will take care of itself. You don't give yourself a chance to do any of that stuff unless you prepare today and get better."
Romo admitted he hasn't always thought like that. But now he's in his 10th NFL season. He's been a starter for seven years. He turned 32 years old this spring. And he's won only one postseason game. As time seems to be running out on him, he's learning to ignore time.
"There's probably always a slow evolution in everything, because you learn things, and traits, and how to compete, and how to get better, and how to win, and how to improve, and how to think, and everything," Romo said of his new-found myopia. "Not just football, a lot of people do that. At the same time, you have your certain approach, and the mentality it takes, otherwise you wouldn't have gotten to the position you're at."
Jason Garrett has helped with that thinking.
"He, like everybody who's involved in this league, you want to win a championship," Garrett said of Romo. "He's motivated by that just like any player or coach in this league is. What you try to do is understand that that's your goal, and put that goal in the recess of your mind, and then do what you need to do each day to move yourself towards that goal. I think Tony's done a great job at that, and we need to continue to do that as a football team and get better and better for the challenges ahead."
Romo would certainly like to win a Super Bowl. And the way he is perceived would change if he did. He knows that.
"I think as a quarterback in the National Football League you are always trying to get better and improve and win the ultimate goal, which is the Super Bowl," he said. " Until you do that, you're always going to deal with questions and things like that. I just think it's part of it. That's what's great about this game, we're judged on things like that. That's what makes it fun. You put forth all the time and commitment to see if you can obtain that one day."
But right now Romo insists he isn't worried about "one day." He's worried about today.
"It's really just about going out to practice today and tomorrow, going from there," he said this past weekend. "We're not even looking at anything past that. We're not even thinking about the game yet, it's about how we can get our 21 personnel, 12, 11, all the ones we have in, and how we can get them all going, and go work and try and get better for the Giants."