OXNARD, Calif. – It says a lot about Tony Romo's offseason that the first question directed toward him Thursday was about the hilarious Direct TV ad he recently shot.
That's a great sign for Romo's health – and consequently the fortunes of the Cowboys. For the past two years, the quarterback's health has been the prevalent talking point of Dallas training camps, as recurring back injuries have limited his offseasons and driven talking points about his availability for practice.
Fresh off his first full offseason since 2012, Romo showed none of those concerns as he prepares to follow up the best season of his career.
"It's obviously been a tough camp for a couple of years with the back situation, and you're always going to have to deal with that," he said. "But it's stronger than it was, and I think I've had a better offseason."
This time last year, Romo was convalescing from the back surgery that ended his 2013 season, and it was entirely unclear how often or how effectively he'd be able to practice. A limited training camp regimen eventually gave way to the famous "Romo Wednesday," when the veteran would pass on regular season practices to focus on rehabbing his back.
Heading into 2015, there doesn't seem to be as much need for a plan – though, obviously, Romo and his coaching staff are prepared for anything that comes up.
"We'll adjust it as it goes on. It's fluid," Romo said. "At the same time, we have a plan for it that we think we have a pretty good bead on how to handle it. I would expect it to go pretty smooth."
Added Cowboys coach Jason Garrett: "As training camp goes on, we'll develop that plan based on how he's feeling, how he's handling the workload. You'll probably see him practice a lot, you'll probably see him have some off days. There's nothing structured at this point."
Moreso than anything else, Romo said the torque he puts on his back during the process of passing is what he'll need to watch out for. But as far as being worried about his condition, he said he doesn't think like that.
"When I had back surgery, it sucks, you go through surgery and deal with it, and then you man up and go out and get better. It's all you do," he said. "It's the same thing now. I get to strong together far more days of consistency now than I did when I was coming back from it."
That can only help Romo in his bid to improve on last year's fantastic season. En route to the division round of the playoffs, he completed 69.9 percent and put together a quarterback rating of 113.2. Asked if he thought he could improve on that, Romo was predictably evasive, preferring to focus on the process – starting with his productive offseason.
"I don't like to talk about how good or stuff I did. I think more than anything, you look at the next year and how you think you're going to be and what you have to do to get better," he said. "I am excited about the steps I've taken this offseason."