MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 31: Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sidelines during the 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 31, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo made a wise decision when he not only opted to attend the team's first session of organized team activities yesterday, rather than playing in the HP Byron Nelson qualifier, but making his intentions to do just that clear last week, when the possibility of a scheduling conflict arose.
Make no mistake, had Romo golfed rather than played some pad-less football yesterday, he would have been lambasted, whether justified or not, by many fans around the area. Head coach Wade Phillips, on the other hand, wouldn't have taken issue with the absence at all.
"I wouldn’t have minded if he wouldn’t have been here," Phillips said, per ESPNDallas.com. "I mean, the guy works hard every day and has never missed anything. He kept that streak going."
What Romo's decision to attend an almost meaningless (for veterans, anyway) day of Summer practice will do for his reputation remains to be seen. At times, it seems that Romo could rescue a litter of puppies from a burning building and be excoriated by fans for being distracted. Had he missed the first day of OTAs to play golf, it would have bordered on the disastrous, insofar as public perception is concerned, anyway.
Ultimately, he made the right decision, whether or not yesterday's practice will have any bearing on the outcome of 2010.
But Phillips's decision to say that he wouldn't care if Romo had skipped out will almost inevitably contribute to the idea that he is "too soft." Whether that is a deserved reputation, we don't know. But we do know that these statements of apathy certainly won't change any perceptions of the coach sometimes known as "Cupcake."
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