IRVING, Texas – Whether it’s a new contract or a new role in the offense, Tony Romo has been the center of attention this offseason. But when the OTAs kick off Tuesday at Valley Ranch, the Cowboys quarterback won’t be on the field.
Romo underwent surgery last month to remove a cyst from his back. The procedure will likely keep him out of the next three weeks of OTA practices and possibly the three-day minicamp in June. The Cowboys are confident their starting quarterback will be ready for training camp when the club leaves for Oxnard, Calif. on July 19.
Romo has not been participating in the Tuesday/Thursday throwing sessions that began last month. And he also hasn’t played recreational golf or basketball like he normally does this time of year.
Holding him out most of the summer would be a precautionary move by the Cowboys, who dealt with a plethora of injuries last year, including a back injury to Phil Costa. The Cowboys’ center missed most of training camp and returned for the season opener in New York, only to play three snaps and had to miss that game and three others to rest the injury.
Romo reportedly suffered a broken rib in the season finale against the Redskins, taking several hard hits in the second half.
The Cowboys have yet to officially address Romo’s injury but it’s expected the quarterback, along with coach Jason Garrett and possibly owner/GM Jerry Jones will discuss the situation Tuesday following the OTA practice.
Romo signed a $108 million contract extension back on March 29 that included $55 million guaranteed and a $25 million bonus.
In the last few weeks, there has been talk of Romo having a more vocal role in the offensive game-planning with even suggestions he might be included in the play-calling duties.
When Romo missed last week’s annual golf social held at the Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Stephen Jones joked with the media his absence was a result of being back at Valley Ranch watching film like the other “coaches.”
This injury explains the Cowboys signing Aaron Corp for a few days earlier this month. Romo hasn’t been throwing during the week and when backup Kyle Orton wasn’t available one day to deal with a family matter, the Cowboys were left with only Nick Stephens. Corp signed to help throw and then after being released, participated in the three-day minicamp on a tryout basis.
For this week’s OTAs, Orton is expected to handle most of the first-team work, while Stephens and Dalton Williams, a rookie free-agent from Akron, will handle the rest of the reps.