<
>

As birthday approaches, Tony Romo's work continues

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo turns 35 on Tuesday.

He has had a pretty active last few weeks.

On Sunday, he was a presenter at the ACM’s at AT&T Stadium, doling out a Deflategate joke thanks to the show’s writers. Last week he was at Augusta National for the Masters and saw one buddy, Jordan Spieth, win a green jacket and another, Tiger Woods, look a little more like Tiger Woods on a golf course.

The week before that he saw his adopted college basketball team, Duke, win the national championship over his home state university, Wisconsin. And he has been selling the National Fantasy Football Convention he is headlining in Las Vegas in July.

All the while he has been a regular at Valley Ranch working out and will be there today for the official beginning of the offseason program.

For the first time since 2012, Romo will have an offseason program that will not be only about recovering from back surgery. In 2013, he had a cyst removed from his back in the spring and did not practice until the start of training camp. Last spring, he was recovering from a discectomy that kept him off the field until training camp.

This spring Romo will continue to strengthen his core to help his back issues, but he will also be able to do more football related activities. He has long lived by the “secret is in the dirt” mantra of Ben Hogan when looking at ways to improve, but he had not been able to do much tinkering the last two springs.

He views a throwing motion the way a golfer does a swing. The mechanics are sound but adjustments are attempted in the offseason to see if they will hold up under pressure. If they work in minicamp and training camp, Romo will use them in the season. If they don’t, he won’t.

But how much will Romo take part in the organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp? Will it be every day? Will it be every other? When the Cowboys get to training camp will he practice more than two days in a row? In the regular season will he continue to sit out of Wednesday practices?

The Cowboys want to do everything they can to keep the Romo window open so why wear him down in the spring?

At 35, he can’t do all the things he did at 25. But at 25 he did not know half the things he knows now.

There is a short time in every player’s career where the physical and mental maximums match up and the game becomes easier to understand.

Romo had his best season in 2014 in part because of the Cowboys’ willingness to run the ball, but mostly because of the work he put in.

The work continues, even on his 35th birthday.