In the wake of the Cowboys passing on Johnny Manziel to take a guard with their first-round draft pick, Tony Romo's recovery from back surgery becomes even more important in Dallas. On Tuesday, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones expressed optimism regarding Romo's readiness for the 2014 season opener, going so far as to predict the 34-year-old will be ready for training camp.
"Yes, (Romo will be ready for the 2014 season) and he's actually progressing great," Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said during a conference call with season-ticket holders on Tuesday. "He's on schedule if not ahead of schedule. He's throwing the ball around, we not only think he'll be ready for opening week, he'll start up at training camp and be ready to go."
In December, Romo underwent season-ending surgery for a herniated disk before the Cowboys' loss to the Eagles in their season finale. He is working on a very limited basis at Cowboys headquarters and is expected to maintain the same level of activity during upcoming minicamp.
Kyle Orton, last season's backup quarterback, has hinted he might retire. If Orton doesn't come to camp -- and Romo isn't ready for full practice -- the Cowboys could be relegated to offseason signees Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie as their quarterback options.
The Cowboys begin training camp in July in Oxnard, Calif. and open the season at home against the 49ers on Sept. 7.