Romo believes he can play the same way

OXNARD, Calif. -- Some of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's best moments have come when he has had to improvise when a play breaks down.

Coming off two back surgeries in less than a year, including a discectomy last December, Romo believes he can continue to have those moments.

"You guys will never see anything really different," Romo said. "If anything, it's just like, 'You'll play. You'll play. You'll play and then you'll be done playing at 39.' This won't affect, 'Oh, I've slowed down.' You just won't play if you got to that point. You wouldn't be able to."

Romo has said on more than a few occasions he is 100 percent and if he struggled with his movement, then "that means it's not healed. You couldn't be able to play," he said.

"I'll be the same. I'll be able to go."

The Cowboys would want to limit the amount Romo gets hit. He was sacked 35 times last season in 15 games after being sacked 36 times in 2011 and 2012. The Cowboys added their third first-round pick in four years on the offensive line with Zack Martin joining Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. They want to be able to run the ball more as well, which would keep Romo upright.

But there will be times where Romo will have to create opportunities on his own. And there will be times he will have to realize when to take a sack or when to throw the ball away.

"It's self-preservation but you don't want to suggest he's taking a dive," coach Jason Garrett said. "Sometimes when you're a quarterback you have to fold the cards and say, 'Let's get to the next down.' So we feel like his decision making was outstanding last year. Very, very productive player for us as reflected by the touchdowns that he threw and he did a really good job of taking care of the football as reflected by how much he minimized his interceptions. When you play quarterback you have the ball in your hands every play and every plays is about risk and reward and understanding that part of your job is to make sure that you allow this team to make plays and score points but the other part is you take care of the ball. It's not Tony's ball. It's our ball. And we emphasize that all the time and sometimes when you're in a situation that's compromised -- a guy comes free and nowhere to go -- that's the right decision. We think he did really good job of that."