When Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sets foot on the turf at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday, he won't have very fond memories of his last game in front of the Philadelphia faithful. In last year's season finale, with a playoff birth on the line, the Cowboys were beaten and battered by the Eagles 44-6.
"I think we're going to watch it on tape," Romo said, when asked whether that game would affect his mindset going into Sunday night's nationally televised game for supremacy in the NFC East. "We're going to correct the things we didn't do well and come up with a way to attack (the Eagles), come out there and be a better football team than we were that day.
"We just emphasize improvement. We hold each other accountable and we get up and talk about why we did certain things and how we need to do it differently next time."
The Cowboys come into the clash with the Eagles red hot, having won their last three games. The offense has been rolling, thanks, in part, to the emergence of wide receiver Miles Austin. Austin has five touchdowns over the last three games, averaging over 160 yards receiving per game during that span.
"Miles is a hard-working kid," Romo said. "He's been waiting for this opportunity and when it came along he's done good things. (Him and I) have got timing and he's done a good job with his routes and his approach has been right, and that's shown on the field. He deserves everything that's been coming his way."
Romo said Austin possesses a rare combination of size and speed.
"He's a big kid," Romo said. "He's strong and he's explosive. But if you want to sit on him, he's got a motor and can get over the top and teams don't realize that sometimes."
Austin's recent breakout begs the question, what took so long?
"It's a growing process for a lot of receiver in this league," Romo said. "Some take longer than other and some need to refine some things that they may be raw at. It's just a different timetable for everybody that comes in. For Miles, it took him some time to understand the game at some point."
Romo has done his fair share of growing up as well. As the quarterback of "America's team," he's under the spotlight as much as, if not more than, any player in the league.
"Until you experience things for yourself, I think you always are just learning," Romo said. "It comes down to experience and the experiences that you end up having. It helps shape you as a person and as a player. You either grow from it or it beats you down. If you're strong enough mentally, it can help you grow."
Romo has had his fair share of great performances against the Eagles, like his three-touchdown, 312-yard game in week two last season, and he's had his fair of bad games. But he finds it comforting that when the chips fall, he's in control.
"The good news is," he said, "at the end of the day, if I play pretty well, our team has a good chance of going out there and being successful on the field."
The Eagles' defense will do it's best to make Romo remember the ghosts of 44-6.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 8:30 a.m., November 7