OXNARD, Calif. – In the spring, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said his twice surgically-repaired back felt as strong as it has in years, and nothing has altered that stance as training camp begins.
“We’re optimistic about him being able to have close to a full training camp,” said head coach Jason Garrett.
In the spring, Romo went through a full offseason program without missing a practice after undergoing left collarbone surgery in March. That will not limit his work now.
The nature of training camp practices is different from organized team activities and minicamps. Players are in pads, which adds to the intensity, and the sessions are longer.
Romo and the athletic training staff have come up with a schedule the last two years that has had him practice two days in a row and sit a third. The Cowboys open practice today, but will not be in pads until Monday. Their first scheduled off day is Wednesday.
“Obviously we count on him a lot with his maturity, and no one wants to win more than him, but to really tell us how he’s feeling,” said executive vice president Stephen Jones. “I’m sure that’s subject to change as we move through camp. We’ll certainly have big ears when he talks about wanting to do more or less. We’ll work with him on that.”
The Cowboys will monitor a number of players at the start of camp to make sure those returning from injury are not overworked. Dez Bryant (foot), Sean Lee (knee), Orlando Scandrick (knee), Doug Free (foot) and DeMarcus Lawrence (back) are among that group.
“There are a handful of guys, Dez included, who are coming off of injury that we’ll essentially monitor on a daily basis, and we’ll see how they’re doing,” Garrett said. “There is a large majority of our guys who get a clean bill of health coming into camp, and we anticipate them practicing every day. And then there are other guys -- whether it’s due to age or an injury that they’re coming off of -- that we’ll take a close look at. And we’ll have a big-picture plan for them, and we’ll have a daily plan for them.”