Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is eyeing a mid-June return to the practice field for the team's minicamp after undergoing a minor procedure to remove a cyst on his back last month.
That was the report we received on May 22nd of last season. The Cowboys assured us all that what Romo underwent was a very minor procedure that would heal quickly and have no impact on how he performed during the season. As some of my colleagues speculated all season long, things turned out differently for the Cowboys. Instead of the "rainbows and unicorns" that were forcast by the Dallas front office, we saw a Tony Romo that lacked the ability to fire the deep ball and was less willing to work the "Romo-dini" magic that fans were used to seeing. Save for the early season shootout with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, the Dallas QB did not look like himself in 2013.
By the time that week 16 was finished, we knew why. Romo, who had been showing signs of back issues in the days leading up to that game against the Redskins, suffered an injury while avoiding the Washington pass rush. Although he was able to finish the game, the Cowboys passer was done for the season. He was diagnosed with a herniated disk and underwent surgery prior to the season ending showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the back of the minds of the fans was concern about what the future held for their quarterback.
Fast forward a few weeks and we start to hear some news from both Tony Romo and the team. In early March, Romo was asked about how his recovery was going.
"It's going good. We're getting close now to [returning]. Usually takes three months, it's just normal kinda roundabout date that they give ya and we're right on schedule. Really ahead in a lot of ways. Just going to be ready to go here in about a month and rehab is going good, no setbacks of any kind. Mine [surgery] was just a normal small version of it, so I should be good to go here shortly." - Tony Romo
Romo added that he was already into his rehab process and was making steady progress, doing a little more each week.
This week we were treated to an update of how far Tony has progressed, this time courtesy of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
"We expected him to be where he is now and he is ahead of that. He is ahead of expectations. He is ahead of where we expected him to be. Can he do the throwing motion? Is he doing the throwing motion? Yes. Is he out there throwing to receivers right now? No. He is not throwing to receivers." - Jerry Jones
While it is good to know that Romo is not experiencing any impact on his throwing motion, we do need to keep in mind that the quarterback is still going to be very limited in the early going. Romo is not expected to be very involved when the team begins its offseason work on April 21st. The other QB's will be seeing the snaps at first, but #9 will be there sharing his knowledge and experience with his teammates and building a relationship with new play-caller Scott Linehan.