Tony Romo's offseason could look a lot different

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo has shown time and time again he can withstand a beating.

He has played through a number of injuries throughout his career. Just this season, he played through torn rib cartilage and two transverse process fractures, and in the divisional round loss to the Green Bay Packers, he suffered torn ligaments in his left ring finger.

While that injury led to his dropping a shotgun snap in a key situation at the end of the first half, it will not require surgery, and it's not expected to keep him out of the Pro Bowl.

Almost 13 months ago, Romo was coming off his second back surgery in less than a year. He was unable to take part in the organized team activities and minicamp and was limited to just two consecutive days of practice in training camp.

After the second game of the regular season, he did not practice on a Wednesday in a full week.

Coach Jason Garrett anticipates Romo will get even better, the more removed he gets from the back surgery.

"You hear a lot of people talk about, if someone has an ACL surgery on the knee, they come back the first year, but it's really that second year where they are really back to being themselves," Garrett said. "With Tony, he did such a great job getting through last offseason and training camp and over the course of this season battling and getting himself right to play his best football, and I do think just getting back into this offseason and have it be more normal. You're not coming off of a surgery, you kind of go through that normal schedule that you would in a typical offseason. I think that's going to help him, help him lay a better foundation of just being a football player again."

Romo has not taken part in an offseason the past two years. After the 2012 season, he had surgery to remove a cyst from his back that kept him out until training camp. Although the rehab will be part of Romo's routine for however long he plays, there is a reason coaches believe players can benefit from offseason work.

"The commitment that these guys make when they come back from those injuries, it's significant, and just to have a more normal daily schedule, be a pro football player, be an athlete in the offseason, I think that will help him," Garrett said. "He still will have to do this, really, for the rest of his life, like anybody who has any sort of back surgery understands. It's a daily process, but hopefully it won't be quite as disruptive as it's been over the last couple of years."