Jason Garrett not buying Romo rust factor

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo did not believe preseason inaction played a part in his poor performance in Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. On Monday, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wasn’t buying rust being a factor either.

“I think if you look at his body of work in the preseason -- you guys can go back and count up the plays he played last year in the preseason relative to the plays he played this year -- I bet it’s pretty similar,” Garrett said.

Officially, Romo played 50 preseason snaps in games against the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

Since Garrett took over as head coach, Romo took at least 55 snaps in the 2011-13 preseasons. He had 69 snaps in 2013, in part because the Cowboys played five preseason games. He played 55 in 2012 and 60 in 2011.

Romo sat out two of the four preseason games this summer.

In his first regular-season game since Week 16 of the 2013 season, Romo was intercepted three times by the Niners in completing 23-of-37 passes for 281 yards. He was also sacked three times.

“So he needs to get in there and play just like everybody else does,” Garrett said. “When players come back off of an injury, you have to have a plan for them to get themselves healthy. We thought it was important to do the things we did to give him an opportunity to play (Sunday). Sure you want more reps. You want more reps for everybody. That’s the nature of it. At the same time, you’ve got to go play given what the situation is. Was he as sharp as he’s been in his life? No. He made some bad decisions in this game that really hurt us. There were some other throws that weren’t perfect. But there were some good throws, too. He’ll learn from this. He’ll watch the tape, just like he’s done in the past and move forward.”