Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo scrambles with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 24-23. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Tony Romo’s back.
Well, not all the way. But, speaking for the first time since his December back surgery, the Cowboys’ quarterback said Saturday night that he’s on target to participate in the team’s organized team activities next month.
“It’s going good,” Romo said in an interview with ESPN while attending the Duke-North Carolina college basketball with head coach Jason Garrett. “We’re getting close now to returning. Usually takes three months, it’s just normal kinda roundabout date that they give you and we’re right on schedule. Really ahead in a lot of ways.”
Romo’s return to the field – albeit in shorts – should alleviate concerns about him and put to rest the notion that the Cowboys should use a high draft pick in May on their quarterback of the future. A healthy Romo, of course, is their quarterback of the immediate future.
Despite amassing 3,828 yards with 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions during the 2013 season, Romo was hampered by minor back issues all year. Late in the year he wasn’t his usual, athletic, scrambling, impromptu self. And while leading the Cowboys to a comeback victory over the Redskins in Week 16 he came up limping severely after avoiding a sack. He finished that game, but suffered a herniated disc that required season-ending surgery four days later.
Troy Aikman underwent the same procedure in June of 1993 and was recovered in time to play in Dallas’ season opener by September. But still, when it’s something as sensitive and important as the lower back, you always hold your breath. Just ask Tiger Woods and his on-course struggle related to his back.
Romo said, however, that his rehab is progressing to the point that there’s no reason to believe he won’t be on the field for OTA’s April 21 at Valley Ranch.
“Just going to be ready to go here in about a month and rehab is going good, no setbacks of any kind,” Romo said. “My surgery was just a normal small version of it, so I should be good to go here shortly.”
At the Duke-NC game the quarterback appeared to have lost weight from last season and was seen shooting hoops earlier on the Duke campus.
“Everything is a progression,” he explained. “Whatever it is, whether it’s running or lifting, everything just starts small and you progress up. So we’ve already started a lot of that stuff. Now it’s just going to the next step every week or two and just attacking. For me, it’s like anything else, just another thing to attack and improve and I’m always up for that.”
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.