Commentary

Romo's everywhere, but don't sweat it

Being a celebrity is part of the job description when you're quarterback of the Cowboys

Updated: May 12, 2010, 8:35 PM ET
By Jim Reeves | ESPNDallas.com

He is a heavy metal rocker, cutting loose on stage with Steel Panther at The House of Blues.

He's in your living room as an inspiration for overweight couples on "The Biggest Loser."

He's a church league basketball player.

He's an indoor soccer league player, a speaker at the College Football Hall of Fame luncheon and a regular party animal in Las Vegas.

[+] EnlargeTony Romo
Brendan Hoffman/Getty ImagesTony Romo, a member of Jimmy Kimmel's "Handsome Men's Club," and girlfriend Candice Crawford made the scene in Washington, D.C., the night of the White House Correspondents' dinner.

He's such a good golfer, one moment he's pairing up with John Daly in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for an episode of Daly's reality show on The Golf Channel, the next he's trying to play his way into the Byron Nelson and scheduled for a U.S. Open qualifier.

He's in such demand, he's on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" as part of Kimmel's "Handsome Men's Club" (where Kimmel made fun of his backward cap and big ears) and. next thing you know, he's at the White House Correspondent's dinner in Washington, D.C., where he and his blonde du jour, Candice Crawford, just happened to run into old flame Jessica Simpson at the after-party in the French ambassador's crib.

And, oh yeah, in his spare time he is quarterback of your Dallas Cowboys.

Remind me again, what was it Bill Parcells said? Something about not being a celebrity quarterback, right?

Good luck with all that, Tony Romo.

Are you worried yet, Cowboys fans?

My advice: Get something cool to drink, fan yourself if you must and relax. This is just Romo being Romo, enjoying the perks of being quarterback of America's most high-profile NFL team. Unless, and until, we see it impacting his NFL performance, do not sweat it. This simply comes with the territory.

Yes, Romo does seem to enjoy the attention. And if he's ever turned down an invitation to join the band on stage or to show up on TV somewhere, I haven't heard about it yet. But how about we just let Tony be Tony. This is who he is.

That said, I don't want to hear that he plans on missing some of the Cowboys' organized team activities. He'd best not skip a minicamp or a workout session at Valley Ranch. His first and primary priority has to be preparing for his job as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

There was a time when he didn't take that as seriously as he should have, as he does now. That was back in his fly-to-Cabo-during-the-playoffs days, or when he was winging off to L.A. every Tuesday during the season.

No one ever questioned the football priorities of Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger like they were speculating about Romo's in those days. But after his breakup with Simpson last offseason, we saw a different, more dedicated, more serious Romo.

Sure, all these offseason activities Romo is involved in, all these appearances and celebrity shots on the gossip shows, may understandably make Cowboys fans a little uneasy. I mean, does the man ever just stay home and read a book or watch a little TV? Is there a camera or microphone he ever actually ducks?

Romo/Daly
Stuart Franklin/Getty ImagesJohn Daly teamed up with Tony Romo during the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The last thing most fans want is to see Romo slide back into his former lifestyle, when the limelight seemed far more important to him than getting his team to the postseason and actually winning a playoff game.

There's always that danger, I suppose, but honestly, I think Romo has outgrown that period in his life. We have to accept that he's simply a man of varied interests and enormous energy, a single guy with the world on his plate and, currently, the former Miss Missouri on his arm.

But let's look seriously at some of the things we're talking about: playing basketball, playing soccer, playing golf. Romo will tell you that competing in sports, in all things, is like breathing for him, and that doing those things helps him keep his competitive edge razor sharp.

From all reports, he hasn't missed a single practice. He's been in the weight room every time he's supposed to be. Yes, the Cowboys have OTAs coming up, but I can almost guarantee that even with all this golf Romo is playing, he won't miss a single one, even if the Cowboys have to reschedule some of them to make sure he can be there.

You're really worried about Romo? Romo's not a troublemaker. He's not being arrested for being drunk, or doing drugs. He hasn't been accused of rape. He doesn't go around "making it rain."

About the worst we can say about Tony is that he loves to dimple up for the cameras and that he sings bad karaoke. I guess you think you're Tony Bennett.

All Romo has to remember is that at some point he must drop the Mr. Hollywood persona and focus on just being the Cowboys' quarterback again.

Best I can tell, he's still following most of those 11 commandments that Parcells gave him years ago.

No. 1 on that list: "Ignore the opinions of others."

That means you and me, I suppose. That's probably a really good thing.

No. 4, if I remember correctly, was: "Know your job."

Didn't have many complaints about that last year, did we?

Yeah, No. 11, "Don't be a celebrity quarterback," is a bit touchy.

But maybe even Parcells would cut Romo some slack there. Hey, he's the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Some things just come with the territory.

Jim Reeves, a former columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is a regular contributor to ESPNDallas.com.

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