Cowboys' Romo says he hopes to soon shed splint on throwing hand

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hasn't shed the splint yet.

Romo hopes to soon play without a splint on his throwing hand, but the protective device was still covering his injured right pinkie Tuesday during the portion of practice open to the media.

"It's getting a lot better. ... I feel like I could probably get to a point where [I could be] playing without the splint this week," Romo said during a conference call with Seattle media. "I don't know if the trainers and doctors are going to let me, but I'm getting pretty close."

Romo, who didn't appear in the locker room when it was open to the media, said on the call that he expects the pinkie he broke Oct. 12 to be "almost all the way healed this weekend, if not by Thursday," when the Cowboys (7-4) play Seattle (2-9). It will be his third game since missing three games because of the injury.

Romo is 42-of-66 passing (63.6 completion percentage) for 539 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions since returning.

"I can definitely put [the ball] where I want to on the field," Romo said. "It's just a matter of, with the splint on, every once in a blue moon, it'll pop up and affect the throw a little bit. But other than that, it's been good."

In a 35-22 victory over San Francisco on Sunday, Romo threw for 341 yards with a career-long 75-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, who also had catches of 45 and 52 yards.

"Tony made some great throws in those plays," tight end Jason Witten said.

But there also were a few throws that missed the mark, including one to an open Witten that hung in the air long enough for the defenders to recover. Witten, still recovering from a broken rib sustained Oct. 26, took a hard hit, jarring the ball loose and leaving him on the ground for several moments.

"I think I made Tony mad a little, he threw it out there," Witten said, smiling. "I didn't really know where I was at, and couldn't get my wind there. But I'm OK. It wasn't the rib."

Witten returned against the 49ers and will play Thursday.