For Romo, playoffs special, not facing Favre 

Tony Romo is coming off the first playoff win of his career and going into a game against his childhood hero, Brett Favre.

How cool is that?

Romo isn't really saying.

As he's done all season, Romo is downplaying any excitement as the Dallas Cowboys prepare to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

"I think any time you're playing in this type of game, it's going to be special," Romo said Thursday. "I like Brett. He's fun to hang out with and talk to and stuff. I think we're both going to be trying to win this game, for sure."

Romo has been better than ever this season because he's cut way down on his turnovers, making smarter decisions and taking fewer chances. In other words, he seems to have stomped out some of his Favre-like tendencies.

He wouldn't call it that, though.

"I would think you would want to have some, with the season that he's had," Romo said. "He takes chances when he thinks it's a healthy chance. I don't think he randomly throws the ball up in the air. If you feel like you can fit a ball through the hole, you throw it. If you don't, you don't. I don't know there's any big secret beyond that."

Romo grew up in Burlington, Wis., during the prime of Favre's career with the Green Bay Packers. Since Romo burst onto the scene in 2006, he and Favre have become friends. They've gone head-to-head only once, in 2007, with Romo winning 37-27.

When the Cowboys went to Minnesota this preseason, the pair were seen chatting and laughing on the field before the game.

"We talk about a lot of different things," Romo said, "but I don't want to share all of that stuff."

He's also not ready to throw out an "I told you so" about winning a playoff game after losing his first two under dubious circumstances. It also was Dallas' first playoff win in 13 years.

"You keep doing the things that have allowed you to play at a level that is good enough to keep winning, but you know that each game, for me, becomes more exciting and more fun," he said. "I've said it all along. This is why you play the game, to play in these games. It's very easy to prepare and get ready for situations like this because it's so enjoyable. Hopefully, we have a lot left."

Win Sunday and the Cowboys will be headed to the NFC championship game for the first time since 1995. If the Cardinals beat the Saints on Saturday, Dallas would host the Super Bowl play-in game. If New Orleans wins, the Cowboys would be headed back to a place where they won last month.

So there would be plenty for Romo to look forward to, if he was willing to acknowledge thinking about anything like that. It's a one-day-at-a-time approach he's spouted consistently since summer.

Considering how things have worked out — career highs in yards and passer rating, along with that career low in interceptions — he might as well stick with it.

"You just don't go there because it's too important right now, today, to get everything done that you need to get done for this game," Romo said. "The improvement side is always there because you're always building toward something. It allows you to keep an optimistic or positive attitude about trying to obtain your goal. So this week, if we win this game and move on, we got a little bit better.

"It's always a process and it always gets you a little closer toward reaching your goal. But I think we're hoping and fully expect to go up there and put our best foot forward this weekend. I think we have a great shot of doing some good things."

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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