OXNARD, Calif. — According to Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys front office brass, the veteran is 100 percent recovered from December back surgery.
The Cowboys report no problems with his throwing in practice and say his frequent days off in training camp and the decision to sit out Thursday’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers have more to do with precaution than concern about his back.
Wade Wilson, who has monitored Romo as closely as anybody over the past nine years as the team’s quarterbacks coach, agrees with that overall assessment, save for one exception.
Wilson said Romo has had problems throwing the deep ball since coming back to practice following back surgery.
“It’s been OK,” Wilson said. “I think the deeper the ball goes down the field, it’s a little bit more inconsistent,” Wilson said. “He’s thrown all the intermediates — the fours and the seven routes and the deep outs — have been fine. It’s just the nine routes and the deep posts. Those things have been a little inconsistent. I think that’s all due to his back.”
Wilson believes Romo is not cutting it loose completely and is a little tentative when it comes to the deep ball. But Wilson is not overly concerned, partly because the Cowboys don’t feature the go-route in the game plan as much anymore.
“With (wide receiver) Dez (Bryant), it’s been throwing more back shoulders,” Wilson said. “Teams are playing so high on our receivers that we throw back shoulders than actual take-off nines.”
That certainly was the case last year when Romo had a career-low 7.2 yards per attempt. It was also a season that followed off-season back surgery.
A second one in as many years seemingly would continue the downward trend.
Wilson, however, doesn’t believe that will be the case. He says Romo will get better at throwing the deep ball with more rehab and as he gets more comfortable.
“He can get the ball down the field,” Wilson said. “That’s not an issue. As camp goes on, he’ll just get nothing but stronger and more confident in his throws.”
Wilson believes that could happen at soon as Saturday, considering that Romo took Tuesday off and won’t play Thursday. Official team off days on Wednesday and Friday give Romo four consecutive days off before the next practice.
“Hopefully with four days of complete rehab, he can come back on Saturday and start to look like his old self completely,” Wilson said.