Tony Romo: 'You love playing in these games'

IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo has played long enough to know that how he will be defined will come down to wins and losses, not statistics.

A win Sunday against Washington and the Cowboys make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Lose and Romo’s resume takes a hit.

For the third time in five years the Cowboys find themselves in a win-and-in situation in their final regular-season game. They lost a wild-card spot to Philadelphia in 2008 and they lost the NFC East title to the New York Giants last season.

“I think as a competitor as an athlete you love playing in these games,” Romo said. “You love playing in these situations. I wish you could play in them every week but in a lot of ways every game kind of feels important to this level. As important as this game is, at this point it’s the most important of the season but so was the game four weeks ago, three weeks ago, two weeks ago. We’ve been playing in a playoff game here for a while now and we’re just going to put our head down and keep running.”

In the 44-6 loss to the Eagles, Romo threw for only 183 yards on 21-of-39 passing with one interception. In the 31-14 loss to the Giants he completed 29 of 37 passesfor 289 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

“I think more than anything I’m a completely different player than I was four, three, two years ago,” Romo said. “I look back and laugh at that guy who played in some of those games then.”

Romo said his understanding of the game and the ability to put the ball where he wants has improved the most.

In 2009, Romo threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-0 win against the Eagles that clinched the division and the first playoff game at Cowboys Stadium, but they were already guaranteed of a playoff berth entering that season finale.

“Take them all, use all of your experiences to your advantage,” Romo said. “If you’re team is good enough, you’ll move on. And I like our football team the way they’ve been working and practicing and I think we have a great opportunity.”