Stephen Jones: Romo to be ready Week 1

In a conference call with season ticket holders on Tuesday, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said quarterback Tony Romo should be ready not only for the start of training camp in late July, but Week 1 of the 2014 season.

Romo had back surgery two days before the end of the 2013 regular season and is doing well in his rehab.

“Yes he will and he’s actually progressing great,” Jones said on the conference call. “He’s on schedule if not ahead of schedule. He’s throwing the ball around, we not only think he’ll be ready for opening week, he’ll start up at training camp and be ready to go. He’s obviously a tremendous competitor, and in our mind he kept us in all season long with a defense that was depleted with injuries, with a chance to win the NFC East in the last game of the year. And if he had played in that game, that game might have gone in a different direction.”

Kyle Orton replaced Romo in the 2013 regular season-finale against Philadelphia and completed 30-of-46 passes for 358 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. But it was Orton’s final pass of the game, an interception, that clinched the 22-21 victory for the Eagles.

Orton, considering retirement, hasn’t reported to the voluntary offseason workouts. The Cowboys didn’t draft a quarterback last week because team officials believe Romo is still in his prime, at age 34, and that he will recover from back surgery.

It’s the second such surgery for Romo, who had a cyst removed from his back last offseason. This most recent surgery was to repair a herniated disc in his back.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he expects Orton to return for offseason workouts, but didn't have any updates on his status. The Cowboys also signed quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Calib Hanie in free agency.