Prior to the 2013 season, quarterback Tony Romo missed the opportunity to work with rookie center and number one draft pick Travis Frederick during the organized team activities. As it turned out, the lack of familiarity had little impact on the way that the two were able to work together. In 2014 Romo will face a different transition, this time around he will be focused on becoming familiar with a new playcaller, Scott Linehan. The more opportunities that the two men have to become familiar with each other the better the transition will go, so having the QB healthy and ready to go during OTAs would be beneficial for the Dallas Cowboys. Fortunately, it seems likely that Romo will be ready by the time that OTAs begin.
Stephen Jones on Tony Romo being ready by OTAs: "We're not trying to win the Super Bowl w/ OTAs. But I think he's on target and feels good."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 20, 2014
Romo's health was one of the issues that Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones addressed when speaking with the media at the NFL Combine on Wednesday.
"All I can go off of is what the doctors and trainers tell me, which is they think he'll make a full recovery and be fine. He's obviously on a timeline, but there's no concern on his timeline this year missing anything like he did last year." - Stephen Jones
That is a positive sign for the Cowboys, who will begin their off season activities on April 21st. The veteran quarterback is anticipated to be a full participant in the workouts. That date is of course still several weeks away, and the situation could change, but for now Romo is on track with where he and the team expect him to be.
Although the change in playcallers is expected to keep Romo in a system similar to the one that he has been familiar with throughout the bulk of his career, the change itself will result in him having the third different playcaller in three seasons. The opportunity for him and Linehan to become familiar with each other early on in the transitional process should provide some benefit.
In addition to the opportunity for the two men to get acquainted and to work out any communication difficulties, an earlier return from surgery will afford Tony Romo more time to recover his core strength prior to the start of training camp. Last year he entered training camp without the benefit of any off-season conditioning due to his recovery from unexpected surgery. This time around, he should not have to deal with the additional challenge of coming to camp out of shape. That fact by itself should make it easier on him this time around.
Keep in mind, however, this information comes straight from Valley Ranch. We have been down this road before with various players. Although what we are hearing is positive news, for most of us there will be some traces of apprehension until we actually see Tony on the field and taking snaps with the first team when OTAs begin. For now, I still have my fingers crossed.