Tony Romo fooled no one in his attempt to get extra reps at Tuesday’s minicamp.
The Dallas Cowboys have taken the cautious approach with their franchise quarterback’s surgically repaired back. But Romo tried his best to sneak in a few snaps during competitive drills, switching jerseys with backup Caleb Hanie.
“He got in the huddle and broke the huddle,” coach Jason Garrett said. “It was pretty obvious the jersey was a little snug on him. That’s when I looked at it and said, ‘Get him out of the huddle.’ He’s a competitive guy. He wants to play. He wants to be out there.”
Romo first attempted to pull on Brandon Weeden’s No. 3 jersey, but he couldn’t fit into it.
“He said it was a little too snug, because he wears an offensive lineman jersey,” Weeden said.
Romo, 34, is champing at the bit. The Cowboys have held him out of competitive drills this off-season as he continues working his way back from surgery last December on a herniated disk.
“You saw that, huh?” Romo said of the jersey switch. “We were just going out there and getting some throws in today. It was a good day. Anytime you’re getting healthier and getting ready to go, you want to ramp it up. We’ll have plenty of time for that here soon.”
Romo said his back is healthy and the team expects him to be 100 percent when training camp begins next month.
“I expect him, yes, to be full-go [in training camp],” owner Jerry Jones said.
The Cowboys aren’t counting on Sean Lee, but they aren’t counting him out, either. The middle linebacker had surgery Thursday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Although rehab from the surgery typically requires seven to nine months, the Cowboys have no need to make an immediate roster move. They are afforded time to see how Lee’s rehab is progressing before facing a decision on whether to place him on season-ending injured reserve.
“We’re not counting on [his return in 2014], but we haven’t done anything on the roster to preclude that from happening,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I think a combination of whether we’ll make a decision to keep that from happening, like putting him on permanent IR for the year, if we did that then that would give you your answer.”
Jones hopes Lee’s replacement is on the roster. Justin Durant and rookie Anthony Hitchens are the primary candidates for the job, but options remain on the free-agent market if the Cowboys aren’t comfortable with what they see from their internal candidates in training camp.
Briefly• The Cowboys finalized joint practices against the Oakland Raiders. The teams will practice Aug. 12-13 at the Cowboys’ training camp site in Oxnard, Calif., which formerly served as the Raiders’ summer home. The Cowboys break camp Aug. 15 before playing the Baltimore Ravens in AT&T Stadium on Aug. 16.
• The Cowboys are requiring their linemen to wear knee braces. Both offensive and defensive linemen wore the custom-made braces in practice Tuesday. The team has not decided whether it will require them in games.
• Seventh-round pick Terrance Mitchell practiced for the first time since rookie minicamp. League rules kept Mitchell out of the nine organized team activities because Oregon’s classes were still in session.