OXNARD, Calif. – Tony Romo has enjoyed this day for 14 straight years: the first padded practice of training camp.
And the Cowboys' 36-year-old quarterback is as energized as ever.
Coming off a productive spring he calls "the best offseason I've had in a long time," Romo enters training camp healthy after missing 12 games last season due to injury. The collarbone has healed, his back continues to feel stronger the further removed he gets from his 2013 surgery, and he's ready to build a foundation for a new season.
Romo met with the media Monday after practice for 20 minutes and discussed a number of topics:
How do you feel?
"I feel good. We're doing the same plan we've done before where try and sprinkle the days (off) in here and there and try and map it out before camp comes in. Just go by how you feel and go out and throw the ball."
Is this the best shape you've been in?
"Yeah, it's the best offseason I've had in a long time. Just to be able to do all the stuff you're not always able to do. Obviously, camp is a lot more days in a row. We had three days in a row during the offseason when we have OTAs and so this first part was four, we thought we'd get a day in (of rest Sunday) and then go from there each week and reassess it. Everything has been going good. We've just got to keep getting stronger and keep getting better."
This is your 14th NFL training camp. Does camp ever get old?
"No, it never gets old. If anything you get more excited each year to come back and play and go prove yourself. There's a great joy in getting to a point in your career where you know what it takes, you know what the expectations are, you know what to expect out of yourself and then you've got to go out and do it. There's a reward in there to go prove it to yourself and also to your teammates."
How has Ezekiel Elliott adjusted to the offense?
"He's doing a good job. There's a lot to learn in the offense. It's not easy coming into the NFL and having a system, especially like ours, where we ask you to do so much in the run game and the pass game. I think he's handled it well. You can see his ability. We're excited about him coming out and playing good."
Thoughts on you and Dez Bryant working back into practice together after you both missed extensive time last year?
"He came in in good shape. He worked hard. He just needs to get some of the normal rust off for a week. You're seeing some signs of him coming on pretty quickly. Like anybody it takes a few days."
Can you reflect on the team's moment Saturday with families of the fallen Dallas police officers from the July 7 tragedy?
"Anybody who lives in Dallas, anybody cares about human beings in general and lives – I'm assuming we all do – you can't help but feel that moment, just the difficultness that these families are going through. Anything that we can do in a small way to help ease that pain, it's easy for us to do. It was a special day, special moment. Talking to those families – I saw one of the children, and I'm a father of two kids – he'd lost a dad. It makes it hard."[embeddedad0]