OXNARD, Calif. – You might have gotten your sports confused if didn't know any better.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the readiness of his starting quarterback Saturday to start the team's month-long training camp. But rather than three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo, it sounded like Garrett was talking about an all-star pitcher.
"He's been throwing regularly for the last month or so, and he feels good," Garrett said. "We'll certainly watch that as camp starts and just make sure he's getting the right pitch count as we go."
It isn't baseball, after all, but some of the same rules apply. Romo didn't practice with the team throughout spring OTA's or June minicamp, as he recovered from a microsurgery to remove a cyst on his back.
The quarterback's absence from team activities has been a constant storyline this offseason, particularly after Romo signed a $100 million contract in March. But Garrett said he has been happy with Romo's rehab to full health in the interim.
"One of the challenges for Tony when you have a back injury is it's hard for you to actually stay in the kind of shape you want to be in," Garrett said. "I'm really proud of how he's worked since he's been able to get back to running and doing the things he needs to do. He looks great, he looks lean to me."
The plan for Garrett and his coaching staff is to monitor Romo's progress starting Sunday. But Garrett added that it's not anything specific to Romo, but a precautionary measure for any quarterback coming off inactivity. [embedded_ad]
"We do have to monitor his throwing – I don't think it'll be significant – but you just kind of want to watch all your quarterbacks, particularly guys who don't have that backlog of work coming into training camp," Garrett said.
With Romo healthy for the start of training camp, the talk surrounding the eighth-year starter's injury can turn instead toward his level of play – and the contract that goes with it.
"Really, what we talked about before he signed his contract was 'Hey, we want more. We want more from you,'" Garrett said of Romo. "You've gotten yourself to a point as a starting quarterback in this league for six years – you've seen a lot of things, you know a lot of football … What we want to do is create an environment for him to be involved that way."