ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05: Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys before a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Oklahoma Sooners at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Considering the hell-storm of half-necessary controversy that followed Tony Romo's trip to Cabo in 2007, the news that Romo and Miles Austin were seen (along with the painfully dreamy Chace Crawford) at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas this weekend may as well have been rush-delivered in a panic to Bristol and labeled CONTROVERSY.
All the ingredients are there: Romo, whose love of golf and blonds is so thoroughly scrutinized and deconstructed that one might forget that, as a general rule, hitting the links and dating ultra-hot blonds is the very peak of the mountain as far as American men are concerned. Miles Austin: "Could Romo be seducing him into a life of ease, with promises of tee times at Pebble Beach and Holly Madison's cell number?"
And of course, we would be remiss not to mention Las Vegas, the self-styled Sin City--what happens here, stays here, the commercials tell us. Which is true, with the obvious exceptions of photographic evidence and communicable diseases. Those tend to follow you.
A great controversy indeed, particularly if Dallas were to lose on Sunday. Only Romo wasn't taking body shots off Heidi Fleiss; Austin wasn't drunkenly fighting Wayne Newton. The two were there for a charity function, and remained there, reportedly, for just fourteen hours.
Romo was back in time to get treatment on his back. Study film. Concentrate on the Giants. You know, football-type-stuff--all in good order. (Let's not forget that the 1992 Cowboys spent the week prior to the Super Bowl wallowing in all the debauchery the city of Los Angeles could dish out.)
For this reason Jerry Jones's comments this morning on 105.3 The Fan should come as no surprise.
"I think it says it all when you realize he has to be back," Jones said. "Every morning he has to come to the training room because he does have a back he's treating, so that's a requirement and guys can't get too far away because they have to be there bright and early, 7 or 8 in the morning or earlier on a practice day to get treatment. He was there and sharp and on time.
"That gave him a little break away from it. We just don't have anybody out there that spends the hours in the classroom - that's how it should be, he's the quarterback - but those guys spend hours and hours and hours in the classroom and a break is good."
Obviously, considering the past and many fans' perception of Romo, a mid-season trip to anywhere for anything will give some of them pause. But controversial it is not; not really, not in this case. Hell, 14 hours can't even rightfully be called a vacation. Jerry is just fine with the situation; we should be too.