Tony Romo isn't participating in the minicamp, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been involved. As Jerry Jones revealed earlier this offseason, the Cowboys quarterback has had a bigger hand in the offense than ever.
"We think communication is critical and certainly with the quarterback of the football team," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday on the first day of the team's three-day minicamp. "The big change that we made is a real deliberate, 'Hey, get in here, and let's watch this; let's talk about this; let's go through this process with a fine-tooth comb, ever part of it. We have embraced that. He has embraced that. It's been a really good thing for our team."
Romo, 33, had a cyst removed from his back in April. He is not physically particiapting in the team's minicamp after missing all the OTAs.
Romo said he would rather be under center in the 95-degree heat rather than watching from behind the offense as backup Kyle Orton takes the first-team snaps.
"I just love to compete," Romo said. "I love the enjoyment of getting better, the excitement of doing certain things that I think are really going to help me as a player and are going to help this football team. I’m excited about what that process kind of takes. We’ll still get it done. It’s just I always want it right now, so I need to be a little patient."
Romo is only 17-21 over the past three seasons, and he has one playoff win his career, but the Cowboys have deemed him their franchise quarterback of the present and of the future. They signed him a six-year, $108 million contract extension March 29.
With that, comes more responsibility for Romo.
"Tony is very involved in what we are doing and has been for many years," Garrett said. "Whenever you are the starting quarterback of a franchsie, you better be involved. He has certainly been involved. But we made the decision early on the offseason, prior to signing Tony, to really sit and say, 'Hey, Tony, we want you to get more involved.' You get to the point in your career where you want the guy playing quarterback for you where his input is heard."
For his part, Romo has enjoyed being asked for more input.
"We’re just putting together some ideas that we love," Romo said. "I feel strongly about certain things that are going to help us, I think. And I think it’s just a bunch of guys going to work every day and figuring out ways to be better as a football team. Lot of different capacities for players and coaches all the way up, so it’s exciting."
-- Charean Williams