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Helman: Romo Injury News Looks Bad, But Won’t Matter Much

Posted May 21, 2013


IRVING, Texas – Well, this is hardly how you want to begin the offseason work regimen.

Tony Romo is likely to miss the Cowboys’ upcoming three weeks’ worth of OTA’s as well as the June minicamp after having surgery to remove a cyst in his back, reports Tuesday indicated.

At face value that seems simple enough -- it’s not a muscle or ligament-related injury and, the healing process should be fairly routine. It certainly doesn’t look like an injury that’s likely to linger into training camp, when Romo is expected to be a full-go again. 

From a perception standpoint, though, it’s a bit of a nightmare. Romo is the quarterback of an NFL franchise that has recorded just one playoff win during his lengthy tenure as starter. On top of that, the franchise in question is the Dallas Cowboys, which brings a level of scrutiny all its own. On top of that, Romo had a terrible game in his most recent outing – one that helped keep Dallas out of the postseason.

And of course, there’s more: just that minor issue of the six-year, $108 million contract he signed two months ago.

Factor all of that together, and it looks pretty bad that the most noteworthy, recognizable player on the rosterRo isn’t going to be suiting up with the rest of the Cowboys this offseason.

All of that said, perception is not necessarily reality. It could look absolutely awful for the Cowboys that their $100 Millon Man is on the sideline, and it could still amount to absolutely nothing. We’re required, fans and media alike, to scrutinize everything that happens to the team – specifically when it involves someone of Romo’s stature.

But the bare facts remain the same, regardless of how they’re perceived. Romo is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, and he’s been performing at a high level for roughly six years now. His primary targets heading into 2013 – Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and DeMarco Murray – have been working with him for eight, three, six and two years, respectively. The loss of offseason, non-contact workouts ultimately isn’t a big deal.

On top of that, we’ve seen how this can play out before with quarterbacks of Romo’s caliber. Peyton Manning missed not just a summer, but a year’s worth of football, and he bounced back quite nicely in 2012 to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Aaron Rodgers famously didn’t conduct a single offseason workout during the 2011 NFL lockout, and he then led the Packers to a Super Bowl championship.

It would obviously be great to see Romo, the leader of the offense, get in the mix and develop some chemistry with the key rookies. He’s got two new pass-catchers in Gavin Escobar and Terrance Williams, and he’ll need to develop his relationship with Travis Frederick if the rookie is going to be his center.

He’s got a month and a half worth of training camp to sort those issues out, though. As long as he gets healthy, the perception of May and June will fade away under the realities of August and September.

Broaddus’ Take: The one thing that I have learned since making the switch from personnel man to media man is that we in the media tend to make too big of a story of what happens with the teams that we cover. While on the personnel side, you learn to accept what has happened, adjust and move on. I understand that it is Tony Romo and he is one of the most important pieces to your franchise but this surgery is a simple procedure and he will be back in time for training camp that by the way the last time I checked, will have an extra week of practice and get this, an extra game as well.

Don’t worry about Romo and don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the talk that Gavin Escobar, Terrence Williams and Travis Frederick are all not going to develop because Romo is missing nine practices before this team goes to training camp for a month. If nothing happens to these rookies in camp like with what happened to Matt Johnson and Danny Coale did in 2012, trust me, there will be more than enough time for Romo and this group to make progress toward a productive 2013.

Tony Romo is a veteran quarterback surrounded by veteran teammates who for all likelihood will be the reason if this team wins or loses games not a rookie tight end and receiver. If you learn to take the approach of the scout and study situations as they come, instead of the overly dramatic media member, you will find it a lot easier to accept the good and the bad that comes with your team thus keeping you off that roller coaster ride.  

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