Quarterback Tony Romo is questionable for the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers on Aug. 7.
But as far as the Cowboys are concerned, do not be alarmed.
It’s all of part of the plan instituted for Romo as he returns from his second back surgery in his many seasons, so he can be ready for the Sept. 7 season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Romo has taken a practice session off after every two days of workouts through the first week of training camp.
“It’s a fluid-type thing in that you plan for a week, but you’re really planning for a couple of days and then you adjust. I talked to the trainers,” Romo said. “It’s a progression. It’s leading up to San Francisco. I am going to play in the preseason. I think it’s important. The first game, we’ll talk about it as we move into the weekend.
“I think more than anything we’re playing the long game, and I think that’s smart.”
New offensive player caller Scott Linehan has no problem with Romo’s rehab plan.
“It makes a lot of sense to me,” Linehan said. “He knows what we are doing already.”
Said coach Jason Garrett: “He has been limited. I think like with anybody coming off an injury, the more reps you get, the more time you get doing what you’ve done your whole life, the better you’re going to be. He’s in that process right now.”
Romo and the Cowboys have maintained that his back is 100 percent healed from the December surgery to repair a ruptured disk.
“I am 100 percent,” Romo said. “I can do everything. The difference is just how many times or how long. I think that for me that’s one thing you have to kind of get to know. Once you have back surgery, you kind of have to change the way you do things. There’s been plenty of people who’ve done it. You just got to go do it. It just takes work.”
That work for Romo is not just on the practice field, but also in additional therapy on the days he works and the days he takes off.
“You do the cold tub three times a day, which isn’t always the funnest thing. You do laser, you do your glutes, you do your abs. You do your hamstrings. There’s like 10 other things that I’ll be doing, but I don’t want to bore you,” he said.
Romo said he will be the same quarterback he has been in the past, in terms of his elusiveness. The improvisational skills in and outside the pocket that have been part of what makes Romo special will not be affected.
“You guys will never see anything really different,” Romo said. “I’ll be the same.”
Romo said if he was struggling with his movements it would be noticeable and that certainly would mean “it’s not healed and couldn’t be able to play.”
But he said that is not the case.
“When you watch me play, I doubt it looked any different to the naked eye,” Romo said of his work in practice. “And it doesn’t because you’re going through it and you feel great.”
Garrett said Romo will get better as camp goes on.
“I think he’s sharp. He’s got a good understanding of what we’re trying to do and I think he’s throwing the ball well with command and decisiveness,” Garrett said. “He’s a work in progress like everyone else. He’s working hard to come back off of that thing.”