Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys hot routes: Looking back at Tony Romo’s busy off-season

Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo has cable TV and a killer crownies recipe.
Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo has cable TV and a killer crownies recipe. Courtesy of DirecTV

Tony Romo didn’t have too shabby of an off-season.

He took full advantage of not having to worry about rehabbing a back surgery for the first time in two years, traveling to various sporting events around the country and becoming an even bigger sports star.

A look at Romo’s off-season highlights:

1. College hoops tour. Romo traveled to Durham, N.C., with coach Jason Garrett, tight end Jason Witten and since departed running back DeMarco Murray to watch some Duke basketball up close in early March. He then followed the eventual national champions on their NCAA Tournament run at the regional finals in Houston and the Final Four in Indianapolis.

2. Rangers spring training. In mid-March, Romo visited the hometown baseball team at its spring facilities in Surprise, Ariz. He played some catch and met with new manager Jeff Banister and the players. Not a bad way to spend a day shortly after learning Murray had bolted for the Philadelphia Eagles.

3. The Masters. Romo has hung up his sticks for the time being as he closes out his football career, but he remains an avid golf fan. It showed when he made a trip to Augusta National Golf Club in April to watch the Masters. He followed Tiger Woods, who has sought out Romo’s advice on recovering from back surgery.

4. Guest appearances. There’s no question Romo was in high demand this off-season, given his appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when it broadcast from Austin and at the Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium. Romo shared a humorous story about a conversation he had with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Kimmel, and then made a Deflategate joke at the CMAs.

5. Mr. Hollywood? On top of his late-night appearances, Romo saw his celebrity grow even more by shooting national commercials for Pizza Hut and DirecTV. And he makes an appearance in the hit comedy in theaters now, Trainwreck. Director Judd Apatow posted a picture on Twitter of Romo and his wife, Candice, at the movie’s premiere.

Keeping it competitive

As a way to get the competitive spirits flowing, Jason Garrett has developed a points system that pits the offense vs. the defense.

Essentially, each practice features three rounds of competitive drills between offensive and defensive players. On Saturday, the first day with full pads, saw the offense and defense go at it in pass-rush drills, one-on-one routes and near the end between the first teams in 11-on-11 practice.

Each of those sessions is scored on a best-of-three basis, and the offense won two out of three Saturday (pass rush and routes) to take a 1-0 lead. Garrett said the score is prominently displayed on an “old-school blackboard.”

“The foundation of our program, and the foundation of our team, is the word ‘fight,’” Garrett said. “We’re going to fight every day. We’re going to fight to be our best. We’re going to fight against each other, we’re going to fight for each other, we’re going to fight for our goals. They hear that a lot from me and that’s an opportunity for those guys to fight and compete against each other.

“We’ll make sure the players and our football team knows the results of those things and hopefully that’ll stir some competitive spirits.”

Extreme off-season

Second-year guard Zack Martin had mostly a relaxing off-season, taking a couple vacations and spending time at his home in Indianapolis.

But he also showed an adventurous side a couple times. First, he went on a tour to the top of AT&T Stadium.

“It was pretty cool,” Martin said. “You had to walk the whole way and there wasn’t much of a railing. If I knew that, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Then, during a trip to the Dominican Republic, Martin swam with sharks.

“That was a lot of fun,” Martin said.

Quote of the day

“Whenever we line up in the huddle, if he gives me that look, that means it’s time to go.” — WR Terrance Williams on Dez Bryant

Injury report

RB Darren McFadden (left hamstring): PUP

LB Rolando McClain (right knee): PUP

OT Chaz Green (hip): PUP

LB Mark Nzeocha (knee): NFI

LB Justin Jackson (knee): Out for season

OT Reshod Fortenberry (knee): Being evaluated.

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