New respect for Romo? Not in locker room

IRVING, Texas – It didn’t take playing with a broken rib and punctured lung for Tony Romo to prove his toughness.

At least, not to his coaches and teammates.

“I've been around the guy for 4½ years and I see how he goes about his business every day in practice, in meetings and certainly once the game starts,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He's a great competitor, he loves to play, he's very passionate about it. He's played through pain and injury before, so it doesn't surprise me.”

This case, however, is pretty extreme. Garrett called it a “courageous effort” for Romo to not only play with a fractured rib, but to play as well as he did while leading a comeback against the 49ers.

The news of the punctured lung came after a CT scan the next day.

“That’s a whole ‘nother level,” Jason Witten said. “The whole situation, we didn’t know what was going on, but for him to come back speaks volumes to what he is about. It was pure will on his end.”

Added backup quarterback Jon Kitna: “I don’t know that it’s any more respect. It’s just a little more scary.”

Romo’s teammates are confident that if it comes down to pain tolerance, No. 9 will be taking snaps Monday night.

That won’t change their perception of him, but they are aware it makes for a pretty sweet storyline.

“The legend has begun,” linebacker Bradie James said. “Punctured lung and all. Whatever it is -- punctured spleen, kidney, whatever it is -- he's going to be out there.”