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Justin Smith Garners High Praise from Tony Romo

Posted Sep 3, 2014

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback has plenty of respect for the veteran defensive lineman, who will square off against the signal-caller on Sunday.

Even without Pro Bowl linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith playing on Sunday, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo still sees plenty to fear in the San Francisco 49ers defense.

Especially when it comes to a certain three-time All-Pro defensive tackle.

Justin Smith might have been the best player in the NFL over the course of the last five years,” Romo told the Bay Area media in his Wednesday conference call. “I know he gets a lot of pub on it, but when I watch tape and stuff… he’s just exceptional with everything he does.”

The signal-caller went on to add 49ers veteran linebacker Patrick Willis into the discussion.

“To me, they’re as respected individuals as anyone I’ve ever had to go against,” he said. “Their respect factor across the league is at the highest level.”

With those two stalwarts leading the charge, Romo conceded that the Cowboys will be in for a tough challenge despite the 49ers needing to replace at least two starters on that side of the ball.

“I don’t think there’s ever a good time,” said Romo when asked if his team was catching the 49ers at an opportunistic time. “No one player makes that defense. They are a collection of outstanding individual talents in a great scheme that can create issues.

“It’s the ultimate team game, you need everybody and I think they exemplify that. I still think they’re very good, I think they’re as good of a test as we may play this year.”

Romo, who is returning from offseason back surgery, connected on 14-of-23 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown this preseason.

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