Tony Romo forced to use silent count

ByTodd Archer ESPN logo
Monday, October 6, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the first time as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo had to use a silent count at a home game.

The influx of opposing fans at Cowboys' games is nothing new and not solely about the size of AT&T Stadium, but it has had on-field repercussions against the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Romo said he was "a bit surprised" at the number of Texans fans among the 91,159 on hand.

"No question today we played on the road throughout a lot of it," Romo said. "It was probably half and half our fans to their fans. I don't know what it was, more than you can just tell with the crowd noise. That was every bit as loud as going to St. Louis or Tennessee. We need to understand that. We lose a lot of our ability to do some things at the line of scrimmage, pre-snap and lot of stuff that gives us a big advantages.

"For sure my perspective, we have to make sure going forward we have a lot more percentage all Cowboys. The funny thing is when we are all here it's been rocking. This place has really been a tough place for other teams to come in and win when it gets going. I think the fans have been awesome this year. We just need to tighten up maybe on selling our tickets."

Following the season-opening loss to the Niners, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he did not notice the fans. He could not be so oblivious on Sunday.

Romo brought up his comment in his postgame press conference unprompted. Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray also made reference to the crowd noise.

To combat the noise, right guard Zack Martin would tap center Travis Frederick on the leg when Romo called for the snap.

The Cowboys have not made the playoffs since 2009 and have had three straight 8-8 finishes, leading to a skeptical fan base. The Cowboys are off to a 4-1 start and have three straight home games against the New York Giants (Oct. 19), Washington Redskins (Oct. 27) and Arizona Cardinals (Nov. 2) after a trip to Seattle on Oct. 12.

"Hopefully it won't be so loud in the future," Witten said.

Will Romo purchase the tickets to make sure Cowboys fans are in attendance?

"If I have to," he said.

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