SANTA CLARA — Tony Romo was interviewed by Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning. Here’s a transcript.
Q: What are your thoughts on Michael Sam joining the practice squad?
ROMO: Any time you’re in an NFL locker room, what you find is there are a lot of different people with a lot of different thoughts on a lot of different things — politics, religion. What you find is it doesn’t really matter in the locker room. It’s about can you play football? If people can play football then week respect that and that’s all it comes down to. I think for us if anybody can help us, we’re always looking for that.
Q: What was the process with your back like for you mentally, and where are you physically right now?
ROMO: I feel good. I’m excited about this. We have a great challenge against a great defensive team that we have to go against. It will be a very good challenge for us. I think when you look at them, they’ve been No.1 or 2 over the past few years. It will be a really great test for us.
Q: With a couple of new guys in the 49ers’ secondary, what do you expect to see from them?
ROMO: They look pretty good. Obviously everyone knows about their front seven and how dynamic and physical they play. You really have to account for the players up front. They’re outstanding. And then the back end is playing better and better each week that I’ve seen. we’ve got to play a really good football team.
Q: You beat the 49ers a few years ago and after the game you said the 49ers were on the verge of big things. What prompted you to make those comments?
ROMO: I just go off of what I see. At the time, obviously it was before they had made their run. I think I told a few people before the game, and then after the game for sure. You can tell, it doesn’t lie. This game is won in the trenches over and over again and I think you’ve seen over the last few years how dominant San Francisco has been in that regard. It’s ultimate team game. You need everybody. They exemplify that. I will be a great test. I still think they’re very good. They’re as good a test as we may play all year. It’s going to be great for us to have the opportunity to play against them.
Q: With NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith out, do you feel this is a good time to have the 49ers on your schedule?
ROMO: I don’t think there ever is a good time. No one player makes that defense. They’re a collection of outstanding individual talent with a very good scheme that can create issue with the way that they’re doing things. I expect them to double Dez Bryant and come out there do some things give you trouble. We’re going to have to prepare for that and be ready.
Q: With the question marks on the 49ers’ defense, do you feel like the offense needs to produce at a higher level more than it has had to in the past?
ROMO: When you watch any of the 49ers’ games, you recognize that their defense, you’re always able to rely on them because of their ability and their ability to shut a lot of teams down. I think what you find is when they play good offensively, they’re just really, really difficult to beat. i don’t look into anything more than trying to outscore the opponent.
Q: What type of players do you think Patrick Willis and Justin Smith are today?
ROMO: To me, they’re as respected individuals that I’ve had to go against. The respect-factor across the league is at the highest level. Justin Smith might have been the best player in the NFL over the course of the last five years. I know he gets a lot of pub about it, but when I watched tape he might have been the Defensive Player of the Year for about three years in a row there. He’s just exceptional with everything he does. You put on that tape and they’ve got three or four guys all around — Patrick Willis. This defense really plays their positions at the highest level game in and game out. They provide you with a great, great test.