IRVING, Texas — By now, Tony Romo is used to his abbreviated workouts on Wednesdays.
He participated in Cowboys' morning walk-through but did not take the field for the afternoon practice. Instead, the veteran quarterback went through a workout aimed at strengthening his surgically repaired back.
The Cowboys will have 10 days between last Thursday's victory at Chicago and Sunday's showdown with the Eagles in Philadelphia. The teams are tied atop the NFC East at 9-4, but the Eagles pounded Dallas 33-10 on Thanksgiving,
Despite the extra days off - and the importance of a game that could determine whether Dallas makes the playoffs for the first time since 2009 - Romo stuck with the practice schedule he adopted early this season.
"I think just having a few more days off, and the ability to take the week like we've normally been doing, I expect me and our team to be at our best come Sunday," Romo said.
The win at Chicago improved Romo's career record in December to just 13-17. Dallas could have reached the playoffs in any of the last three seasons by winning the final game. With Romo playing, the Cowboys lost 31-14 to the Giants in 2011 and 28-18 to Washington in '12. Last year, an injured Romo watched Kyle Orton quarterback the team during a 24-22 loss to the Eagles.
"This team is completely different than some of those teams in years past," he said. "We're much better up front. We're probably blocking better than we have in some of those other times where it wasn't as clean as it will be now. I think defensively we'll probably get an extra stop or two, special teams will create another play."
Dallas coach Jason Garrett bristled at a suggestion that the Cowboys would have to rise to the occasion against Philadelphia.
"We don't really talk much about rising to the occasion," Garrett said. "We talk about being our best."
Romo echoed his coach: "We need to be the best version of ourselves this game."
Garrett was asked twice to compare preparing 10 days for the Eagles now, when the team had just four days before the Thanksgiving game.
"We are not talking about the last game and the preparation leading up to that game," he said.
To cornerback Orlando Scandrick, it doesn't matter whether the game was 17 days or 17 weeks ago.
"You've only got one week to prepare for each team," he said.