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Romo gives up offseason golf to focus just on football

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The Sports Xchange

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has given up offseason golf to keep his back healthy and focus just on football.

The 35-year-old Romo, who underwent two back surgeries in 2013, has taken part in all six of the organized team activities during the last two weeks.

“Well, I love football,” Romo told reporters last week at the Dallas Cowboys Women’s Association’s charity fashion show chaired by his wife, Candice. “I think what you find is that you love the game of football so much that it’s easy to have other things take a back seat.”

Romo is a scratch golfer, even making attempts to qualify for the U.S. Open, but he has put away his golf clubs this summer.

“I love to compete,” said Romo, who also had a fantasy sports event in Las Vegas canceled Friday because of the NFL’s concerns with the event’s connection to a casino property. “I think anybody who knows me well knows that competition is what I thrive on, regardless of what it is in life. I tell my wife sometimes, as long as I’m able to compete on a daily basis with something, I sleep well at night. I thrive on that.

“I’ve made it a competition with myself and I think that’s something that I’ve learned, that I’ve loved, which I’ve said before is competition. I’ve made it a competition to be at my best with my back, with my training, and I think that’s allowed me to consistently get stronger each day, each week, each month since the surgery last year. It’s showing in the strength department being able to go longer periods of time.”

Romo, who avoided offseason back surgery for the first time in two years, could be looking at playing past the age of 40 with better protection from the offensive line. Romo is signed through 2019, when he will be 39.

In addition to the back surgeries in 2013, Romo missed one game last year with two transverse process fractures. His sacks dropped from 35 in 2013 to 29 in 2014, with an increased focus on the running game.

The four-time Pro Bowler is coming off the best season of his career, throwing for 3,705 yards with 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 113.2 during the Cowboys’ 12-4 season.

Romo has had no restrictions during OTAs this year.

“The further I get away from the surgery, the stronger I get in a lot of areas,” Romo said. “Now I need to continue. I’m working as hard as I can to ensure that I’m strengthening the areas that I need to be at my best right now.

“It’s just been a good start in the offseason. I’ve been able to continue to build and grow. I’ll give credit to the training staff and the weight room staff. We’ve had a great process of figuring out how to continue to get stronger in the offseason, which I haven’t been able to do in the last few years, and that’s been as exciting as anything just to be able to get back into building that and the football stuff is just showing that on the other end.”


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