IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo is only getting mental reps as he continues to sit out for minicamp. That doesn't mean he couldn't play if he needed to.
Romo said he feels good right now, but the training staff is smart to be cautious and not rush him back after surgery on his back to remove a cyst. In the meantime, he's still on the field talking to the players and staying as involved as he possibly can.
"I think more than anything, I feel ready to go," Romo said. "I was running, we were pushing it on the treadmill good last week. I was pretty amped up and ready to go. I think as a player you're always trying to push through, but this time of year it's intelligent to really be patient with it. Anytime you go through anything like that, be smart and make sure you don't do anything dumb."
The competitive quarterback needed some convincing by more than one or two trainers to sit out right now. Romo said just about all of them told him to take it easy.
"I just love to compete and I love the enjoyment of getting better and the excitement of doing certain things that I think are really going to help me as a player and help this football team," he said. "I'm excited about what that process kind of takes. We'll still get it done, I just always want it right now. I need to be a little more patient."
His head coach feels the same way as the trainers.
"He has been involved in the meetings and on the field; he just hasn't gotten the physical reps," said Jason Garrett. "He is working on the side and making progress in rehabbing that back. He feels good. He has certainly taken a lot of reps in this offense and at this level, so he is staying in it mentally and will catch up physically. He has made a lot of progress, but like with a lot of the guys, we are erring on the side of caution."
Romo, who's expected back for training camp, doesn't seem too concerned about the time he's missed.
He said his throwing motion won't be affected by the surgery and he doesn't suspect anyone will notice anything different with him the next time he's on the field. He's not worried about the center to quarterback exchange being off and he thinks his presence on the practice field, particularly during walkthroughs, will help the center get used to his voice, even if he's not taking the reps.
The quarterback, who turned 33 in April, has been running on the treadmill and throwing during his off time. Apart from having to rehab his back, his training has stayed mostly the same and has picked up in recent weeks.
"It's a progression that takes shape and I'm to the point where I feel pretty good about it," Romo said. "If we had anything next week I'm sure we would be going full. Obviously we don't, but I'll be doing that on my own with some guys in some other areas."
There aren't many positives to sitting out, but he does appreciate being able to take a step back and coach the players on whatever he notices that he wouldn't have been able to see otherwise without looking at practice tape.
"You can kind of get with them quickly right after the play and let them assess why their leverage was here or [embedded_ad]
what they needed to do to get themselves to the right position or why they needed to widen or take a step or whatever it might be," he said. "I think that's part of me growing as a player and an understanding of what needs to be done to help the team win. That can be a small positive that helps, and we've been doing that."