ESPN NFL Analyst Adam Schefter reported Tuesday morning that Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo had a surgical procedure last month to remove a cyst on his back that could have him sitting out until the start of training camp. The exact cause of the injury or when it occurred is unknown at this time. But one thing is for sure: the pressure is cranking up in Big D.
Romo will be held out of all the organized team activities that are scheduled for the next three weeks. Back-up quarterback Kyle Orton will take his place in the starting lineup.
The news of this procedure is especially alarming as Romo has come under fire recently from owner/general manager Jerry Jones for a perceived lack of commitment. Jones wants Romo to show a more Peyton Manning-type work ethic, especially during the off-season and at practices. I’m sure sitting out all of the OTAs was not what Jones had in mind.
The pressure on Romo to win this season has been compounded by the enormous six-year extension he signed in March worth $108 million. And it appeared, as of late, that he had responded to the criticism by taking action.
It seemed that Romo had been more focused on football this off-season as he elected not to play as much recreation golf as in the past. In hindsight, how much of that decision was his renewed commitment…and how much of it was a result of the secret back surgery?
Despite his lack of golf activities, there have also been rumblings that Romo is stepping up by getting more involved in the play-calling decisions. He’ll definitely have more time to study film now.
The Cowboys do not believe that the injury to Romo’s back is long term. And a cyst doesn’t seem like it would hinder the three-time Pro Bowler that much anyway. Especially, when you consider he has played with a broken rib and punctured lung before. So Romo being held out of OTAs seems to be just a standard medical precaution.
The main question is: how will a three week plus lay-off effect the progress Romo has made so far this off-season? Guess, we’ll have to wait until training camp to find out.