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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cowboys Injury Update: Tony Romo knows he'll never be back to normal

By on 7/31/2014 09:45:00 AM

The Dallas Cowboys held starting quarterback Tony Romo out of Tuesday's training camp practice, bringing up even more questions about his off-season back surgery.  Despite Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declaring Romo "100 percent healthy", Dan Hanzus of reports that Romo acknowledges the fact that he will never be the same quarterback he once was. 

Romo had back surgery a week after being injured during a 24-23 win over the Washington Redskins on December 22nd. Multiple reports at the time said the herniated disc was in the lower back.  He finished the 2013 NFL season with 3,828 yards with 31 touchdowns in 15 games played.
Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons
Romo was expected to be 100 percent healthy when he returned to training camp this month, but judging from his conversation Wednesday, reaching that level of health may never happen again:
Well, you're never going to. After back surgery, it's like after any surgery. I think you're always going to have to work hard at that. Not everyone knows, but once you have a back surgery, you kinda have to change the way you do things. You have to constantly work on your glutes, your hamstrings, your abs and strengthen everything around that area. That doesn't mean you can't do the things that it takes to be successful on the field or whatever you want to do. There's just been plenty of people that have done it, so you just gotta go do it. It just takes work.
The Cowboys have held five practices since training camp got under way. Romo has missed two of them, causing alarm throughout the Dallas fan base.  On Tuesday Jones said that the franchise is brimming with confidence over the quarterback's surgically repaired back.
He is 100 percent. He's 100 percent. He's just being real smart and sensitive about having come off the back surgery. He's certainly not losing any ground from the standpoint of opening up against San Francisco in Week 1
The surgery in December was the second procedure on Romo's back in eight months. He had a cyst removed before the start of offseason practices last year and didn't do any significant work until training camp. 

The good news for Dallas is that Romo returned to practice on Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday's afternoon session and plans on practicing again today with the Cowboys scheduled for an off day on Friday.

At this point of the training camp, Romo said he still doesn’t know how his back will react during the regular season or how much practice time his back will be able to endure once the 16 game schedule begins:
We get those days early in the week and then we get the day before the game, so I doubt that it’ll affect the schedule during the season.  I know people talk about hits, but that’s not really the issue. It’s mostly just torque and consistently putting that on your back
As confusing as this all may be, maybe it's time to take a moment to step back and look at the big picture. The ultimate goal is for Romo to be at his best when the Cowboys open the regular season against the San Francisco 49ers on September 7th. Perhaps the mentality in Dallas is for the 34 year-old quarterback is to not to take every snap in the first five practices, especially just to ease the anxiety or suspicions of those outside the organization.

Romo is entering his 12th season with Dallas and the veteran quarterback has posted an overall career quarterback rating of 95.8 with 29,595 yards and 208 touchdowns in 130 games played.  The Cowboys are clearly not taking any risks this offseason, and Romo remains questionable to play in Dallas' first preseason game on August 7th versus the San Diego Chargers.

Is Romo healthy or not?  This question is most likely never going to be answered until the Cowboys take the field and open the 2014 season on September 7th.

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  1. This doesn't sound good for the Cowboys. Maybe they should have taken a chance and drafted Johnny Manziel after all?