Tony Romo cramming work into fewer days

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is trying a Jedi mind trick. He kept telling his players that today is Thursday.

Because the Cowboys play the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving, it is Thursday in the NFL world, so the focus of Tuesday’s practice was third-down work.

Cramming the extra work into a shorter amount of time is always a challenge. The Cowboys did not wear helmets at practice for the past two days. The tempo is more jog-through than walkthrough.

“In my time we’ve had different coaches, different ideas and thoughts on it,” quarterback Tony Romo said “You can either practice a bunch and run around [but] I think the most important thing is you’ve got to see the looks, take them through the looks, so people can communicate the right way when it comes to the game but you also want to be fresh. It’s a real fast week. You’re not used to doing a whole lot other than getting rehab and getting some of the lactic acid and some of the things out on Monday and Tuesday and usually it’s a mental approach those days for some of the other players.”

The coaches started their prep work for the Raiders during the bye week and then took some time before last week’s game against the New York Giants. Romo did not look at the Raiders until the plane ride home on Sunday from New Jersey.

But Romo said the game plan is not cut back.

“I think it’s the same,” Romo said. “I think we are trying to attack, grinding away through the week. You don’t want to say over-prepare. But mentally you have to over-prepare. Just look at as much stuff as you can. iPads have been a great invention as far as our ability to go home and watch it all throughout the night and stuff. For a week like this it’s invaluable.”