The Dallas Cowboys continue to insist that all is well with Tony Romo’s rehab from a second back surgery, but at the same time, they admit he hasn’t thrown much.
Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said Saturday that Romo’s back still is “not 100 percent,” which is limiting the quarterback’s on-the-field work in the team’s voluntary practices.
“He hasn’t done a ton,” Wilson said. “He’s throwing some, and he’s out here, no question about it. We’re going through the new stuff, and he’s integrated into that. We’re just trying to make sure he doesn’t agitate his back more or have any setbacks.”
The plan all along has been for Romo to return for the team portion of organized team activities, which begin in 10 days. The Cowboys don’t know if he will be on a “pitch count” for the practices.
Romo underwent surgery for a herniated disk in December, missing the season finale against the Eagles. It was his second back surgery in eight months.
Troy Aikman is among those who have expressed concern about Romo’s future. The Hall of Fame quarterback retired at 34 because of back issues, having had his first back surgery when he was 26.
Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison’s future is murky because of back issues, and he is only 28. Romo is 34.
“I think there’s some concern just from a personal level,” Wilson said. “I saw what happened with Troy and his back. But it’s two different injuries from what I’ve been told, and that the rehab is going great, and it should be fine. But it’s always a concern when you start having multiple injuries at the same spot.”
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence hadn’t even had time to cut the hospital bracelet off his left arm after returning to the area at 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
The second-round draft pick from Boise State participated in his first practice, having missed the first day of rookie minicamp for the birth of his first child.
Lawrence watched on FaceTime on Thursday morning as his son, Damari, was born, weighing in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce. After a flight delay, the defensive end arrived at the Boise, Idaho, hospital at midnight.
“Amazing thing,” Lawrence said. “I didn’t think a kid could change your life just by birth that way. He made me so humble. Just made me open my eyes and make me look at the bigger picture of life.”
Lawrence continued to impress the Cowboys on Saturday, with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli saying Lawrence has “good stuff.”
With the same first name as DeMarcus Ware, and playing the same right end position as Ware did last year, Lawrence has some big cleats to fill. Ware finished his Cowboys career with a club-record 117 sacks and seven Pro Bowls, leaving for Denver after Dallas released him in March.
“It’s a great opportunity to come in and earn a spot on this team really,” Lawrence said. “DeMarcus Ware set the standards very high, and it’s great, but I have a job to do now. He’s got a job in Denver. I’ve got a job here with the Cowboys.”
Williams to join team
The Cowboys agreed to terms with veteran running back Ryan Williams after working out for the team Saturday.
Williams, who was the 38th overall pick in 2011, needed only a few days to find a new job after Arizona released him last week.
“One thing about me, I’m never going to quit, especially with this dream, man,” Williams said Saturday. “I want to be great. I’m going to fight until I can’t fight no more.”
Williams played only five games in three seasons because of injuries that included a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee. He gained 164 yards on 58 carries in his career with the Cardinals.
Dallas had four running backs on its roster last season, with DeMarco Murray, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar returning this season. Texas A&M’s Ben Malena and Baylor’s Glasco Martin are on the roster as undrafted free agents.