- Calvin Watkins, ESPN.com
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IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones compared Tony Romo's offensive mind to that of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and said former coach and recently inducted Hall of Famer Bill Parcells endorsed the quarterback for having more say in the offensive plans.
"Bill knows Tony well and he has always had a real appreciation for Romo's approach and his intellect relative to play calling relative to seeing and understanding the game," Jones said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM in Dallas. "He's unique in that way. In a way, Tony has some of the kind of skills you might see in a Sean Payton."
Jones shared a chat he had with Parcells when the Cowboys played in the Hall of Fame Game earlier this month.
Parcells coached the Cowboys from 2003 to 2006 and signed Romo as an undrafted free agent from Eastern Illinois in his first year on the job. Payton was a Cowboys assistant from 2003 to 2005 before leaving for New Orleans.
Jones said he admired that Payton called for an onside kick to start the second half of Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts. The Saints would win the game 31-17. It's that type of risk-taking Jones sees in Romo, and he wants to utilize it more in game plans.
"It is also just the flair for being able to see it and being creative out there," Jones said. "In visiting with Bill, he thought it was something we really ought to take advantage of is Tony's ability to see the field, call the plays and make more decisions out there."
Romo, when told of Jones' Payton comparison, said he has gotten to the point of his career "where you understand the game at a certain level."
"For me, I think sometimes I think about the game very detailed," he said. "Little things matter tremendously as far as the outcome of plays -- the releases, the differing things as far as where you want people on certain plays at what depth. And a lot of good coaches do that stuff."
"I just think you see it that way a little bit more when you get older."
Romo, who finished third in the NFL with 4,903 passing yards in 2012, is expected to take on more of a role with offensive game planning in 2013. Jones said this offseason that Romo will spend Peyton Manning-type hours at the Cowboys' practice facility to make sure the game plans are designed to help him and the rest of the offense.
"Bill had positive reports about it, as well," Jones said.
Jones added: "I say this smiling: There is no decoding. All you got to do is take it at its face. The face is Tony is going to be more involved in the making of the game plan and the calling of the plays than he's been in the past in his career, and he'll be significantly more involved. That's a change."
For the first time since he joined the Cowboys in 2007, coach Jason Garrett won't be involved in the play calling. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan will call the plays this season. Garrett will still have a presence in game planning with Romo.
Later on Tuesday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked if his father hears criticism of his decisions.
"I think it motivates him," he said. "Obviously we feel like we have a great organization in the Cowboys but we can always be better. We look for ways to be better. We do that both on the field and off the field. We're convinced we've got the 'secret sauce' to put this thing back together again and win championships."
ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer and Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones compared quarterback Tony Romo's offensive mind to New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and said former coach and recently inducted Hall of Famer Bill Parcells endorsed Romo for having more say in offensive plans.