Cowboys preparing for no Tony Romo

The indications are that Tony Romo is progressing well from back surgery and should be ready to go for offseason workouts.

That's the word from Valley Ranch on Thursday.

However, something else happened in the cold and snowy weather on Thursday.

Quarterback Mike Kafka worked out for team officials with wide receivers Braylon Bell and Maurice Williams. The Cowboys have two quarterbacks on the roster, Romo and Kyle Orton, a pair of 30-something veterans with 178 starts combined on their resumes.

Signing Kafka as the No. 3 quarterback wouldn't be a bad idea. There is nothing wrong with having a player such as Kafka, a former fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, on the roster.

But does it mean Romo won't be ready for offseason workouts and the Cowboys are protecting themselves in case that happens?

If that's the case, there's nothing wrong with that.

The Cowboys need contingency plans if Romo hits a setback during his rehab. It seems Romo is fine, for now, and should be ready.

I just remember Romo coming back from cyst surgery last year and missing some offseason workouts and returning to training camp a little heavy because he couldn't do his conditioning.

Romo played well last season, but at some point he injured his back and it ended up betraying him in the Week 16 game at Washington. Romo has always been one of the toughest guys on the team and his commitment shouldn't be questioned.

The issue for the Cowboys is life without Romo.

Orton is more than a suitable replacement if Romo isn't ready for the regular-season opener in September. The Cowboys need to make a decision about having three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

The Cowboys have a franchise quarterback coming off back surgery, and having someone younger at No. 3 isn't a bad thing. Alex Tanney was on the practice squad last year until Cleveland snagged him away.

Kafka isn't a practice-squad quarterback; he's somebody you want to throw passes in offseason workouts and quite possibly keep on the 53-man roster when the season starts.

But you do all this if you don't believe Romo will be ready, right?

The Cowboys believe Romo will be ready to start the season. If he's not ready, there's nothing wrong with having a second option.