Cowboys' offseason dates announced

The NFL released dates Thursday for its teams' offseason programs.

The Cowboys' offseason program starts April 21. The first of several organized team activities begins May 27-29, followed by June 2, June 4-5 and June 9-12.

It will be interesting to see if quarterback Tony Romo is a participant in OTAs. Team officials say Romo should be recovered from back surgery, but if not there could be concern over whether he'll be ready for training camp.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Romo is ahead of schedule. All indications are Romo will be ready in some fashion for OTAs.

Mandatory minicamp will take place June 17-19. Not only is Romo's participation in that even important, so is that of newly signed defensive tackle Henry Melton. He's recovering from a torn ACL, suffered in the third game of the 2013 season with the Chicago Bears.

Melton might not be ready for the minicamp, but team officials aren't overly concerned because there's an expectation he should be available for training camp in late July.

The NFL draft is May 8-10.