IRVING, Texas – For all the talk and speculation about Tony Romo's back, the Cowboys have made it to game week with their quarterback intact.
From the time Romo had surgery on his herniated disc in December, to his limited reps during Organized Team Activities and his scheduled down time in training camp, it has been a consistent topic of conversation – can the three-time Pro Bowler be 100 percent for San Francisco in Week 1?
"The thing I kept reminding Tony about as we went through this process starting all the way back in the spring is, the goal is to be ready for the 49ers -- Sept. 7 at our stadium against the 49ers," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Romo took an off day after every two training camp practices, for the most part, but he did see a decent amount of playing time in the preseason. After sitting in the preseason opener against San Diego, he played two possessions against Baltimore and the entire first half against Miami. He then sat out again in the finale against Denver.
The issue now becomes, how does Romo practice during a game week? With the regular season underway, the Cowboys will be required to send an injury report for every day of practice. If Romo is limited in regular season practices, it'll need to be reported – though Garrett said that isn't necessarily an issue. [embedded_ad]
"I think the whole thing is semantics. We're going to get him into a routine and get himself ready to play. If the standard is based on what he did six years ago, I don't know if that should be the standard," he said. "We're going to get him ready to play. At different times last year, he was able to more things than at other times. But that's really every guy on our team."
The New England Patriots famously listed Tom Brady on their injury report every week for roughly two seasons, but the All-Pro quarterback never missed a start in that span. That gives credence to Garrett's point – though he bolstered that with a vote of confidence in his quarterback's health.
"I think the last couple of weeks, I think we've seen Tony really be himself," he said. "He's moved around in practice very spontaneously, made a lot of throws. He's taken hits in games. He's come back from all that stuff."
None of that is going to stop that speculation – especially once Romo starts taking hits regularly in live action. But for the time being, the Cowboys are confident their quarterback is ready for the season.
"He's worked very hard to get himself to a point where he's 100 percent with his back," Garrett said. "It's going to be a work in progress for him just like it would be for anybody coming off of any kind of injury."