- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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There was a time around here when Tony Romo's offseason exploits were a big deal.
Romo would spend some time playing golf, whether it was trying to qualify for the HP Byron Nelson Championship or the U.S. Open or attempting to win the local Adams Golf Pro/Scratch tournament.
Romo isn't interested in those things now, but it was nice following him around in Houston a few years ago when he tried to qualify for the U.S. Open.
The public perception was that Romo cared more about golf than football. I've always thought this theory from some fans and media members was silly. Romo always cared about football.
Romo always wanted to prepare the right way and wanted to make sure the offseason was more about what he did on a football field than a golf course. Romo, of course, isn't trying to qualify for any of these golf tournaments this year, which is his right. Even if he did, I wouldn't have a problem with it. It doesn't distract from his goal of trying to win a Super Bowl.
The biggest issue Romo has is a 1-6 mark in win-or-go-home games. Romo needs forgiveness from some regarding his vacation during the bye week of the 2007 playoffs. The Cowboys would go on to lose to the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional round at Texas Stadium. Romo took the blame for that loss, but he didn't play bad in that game.
We all have memory problems about that loss to the Giants. Romo was 18-for-36 for 201 yards and one touchdown and one interception. The Cowboys' offense was held to three second-half points and there were numerous penalties, dropped passes and stalled drives.
You can't put it all on Romo, but it seems like some people have. It's as if nobody has forgiven him for what happened in that loss to the Giants. Add the offseason golf exploits and people think the man is just ignoring the phone calls from Valley Ranch asking him to join the offseason work.
But when you dig deeper, you realize it was Romo who organized offseason workouts during the lockout. When Dez Bryant had a previous appointment and couldn't make one of the practices, he made a point of reaching out to Romo because he didn't want to disappoint him. Romo had made Bryant accountable.
Romo has never really changed when it comes to his offseason work habits. He demands that his teammates pay attention to detail because that's what he does.
The Cowboys are overreacting to a fan base that is upset with his six-year $108 million contract extension. Jerry Jones has said that Romo will put in Peyton Manning-type time at Valley Ranch and that he'll have more input in the offense.
Romo is always involved. There's no need for Jones to pump up Romo's offseason work habits.
"I've always felt like Tony was very involved in the process of the plays and our scheme, how we attacked," tight end Jason Witten said last week. "I think in any organization where you have an elite quarterback like that, you want him to feel comfortable. I think that's something we've always tried to do, and it sounds like we're going to continue to do that."
So while it might be minor news that Romo isn't playing in golf tournaments this year, it shouldn't be news that his commitment to the Cowboys is strong.
It always was.