Tony Romo's not a young player anymore, not at 31 years old and with four and a half years experience as a starting quarterback in the NFL. But he and the Cowboys will be relying on some young guys, especially on the offensive line, which could have two rookie starters. First-round draft pick Tyron Smith will start at right tackle. At left guard, fourth-round pick David Arkin started the first pre-season game, and this week seventh-round pick Bill Nagy has gotten reps with the first team at that spot. It's also possible that veteran guard Montrae Holland could return from injury to be the starter.

We obviously need a few young guys to step up to help this football team this year, and without the off-season, it's been kind of a crash course, said quarterback Tony Romo. Mistakes are going to happen, and that's part of the growing curve and we need them to step up quickly and they're doing a good job of battling every day.

Rookies not included, the Cowboys feel like they got a good jump on training camp, thanks in large part to those off-season, players-only workouts in May. Romo gets a lot of credit for organizing those workouts and taking more of a leadership role on this team. Head coach Jason Garrett said that he and his staff want all the established guys to step up and take leadership roles -- not just the quarterback -- but in a lot of ways, it starts with Romo.

Tony's evolution as a player -- and as a leader -- to me has been day by day since I've been around him in the 2007 season, said Garrett. He wants to be a great player, he wants to be his best every day, and if you keep going about it that way and you have the ability he does, he'll keep growing and getting better.

We were humbled as a football team last year; I think everyone knows that from our win-loss record, said Romo. We couldn't let an off-season go by without improving.

Year five of the Tony Romo Era is just beginning. How it is ultimately defined will depend a lot on the guys around him -- the young guys and the veterans.

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