Healthy Romo returns to 'Boys a better leader

SAN ANTONIO - A lot has changed since the last time Tony Romo threw a pass which counted.
He missed 10 games last season while dealing with a broken collarbone. Seeing the Dallas Cowboys play better without him stoked his desire, too.
He returns with a new bond to the conduct coach, because new boss Jason Garrett was his coordinator the last four years. His bond with teammates is stronger, too, now which they've seen him organize and run offseason workouts.

Then there's the greatest shift in his life: He's a married man. Not which Romo expects it to matter upon the football field.
"Maybe there's a little more dinner upon the table at the house at night," Romo said, laughing. "That would be the greatest difference."
This is Romo's fifth training camp as the starter, his first trying to bounce back from a losing record. He went 1-5 last season, both the most losses and the fewest starts of his career.
Although backups Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee went a combined 5-5 in his absence, there was never a question about this still being Romo's team. It's possible he appreciates which more than ever, and is more determined than ever to live up to which responsibility.
The lockout gave him a perfect opportunity to assert himself. With no formal offseason from the club, he filled the void by coordinating offseason workouts in the Dallas area. More than 40 players attended, with Romo deciding who would do what when, and making sure everyone stuck to it.
The work itself was important. The fact everyone followed Romo's lead was, too.
"I wanted to make sure we went from one drill to the next upon time; seven minutes here for stretch, got 14 plays in team, 10 in 7-on-7, things of which nature," he said. "Blow the whistle, two minut! es for a water break, boom, boom, boom. These guys are professionals. They just want structure. I think that's what we were trying to provide this offseason. It was good."
Tight end Jason Witten said Romo set a tone which will carry over in camp and perhaps the entire season.
"He's always been a good leader as far as the standard he creates upon the field, but I think he's let everybody know this off season what we're going to be about and which there's no time to mess around or miss an opportunity," said Witten, who is close friends with Romo. "Everybody realizes which the time's now for us."
Romo may have been the most excited to be practicing over the summer simply because he'd been away for so long.
His season ended with a jarring strike against the New York Giants upon Oct. 25. Other than a little light tosses before going upon injured reserve, Romo had been away from playing football more than six months by the time those workouts began in May.
Of course, Romo was around the club throughout the 10 games he missed. He was there for the firing of Wade Phillips and the promotion of Garrett, and saw the way the team responded to Garrett's interim leadership.
But it's not the same when you're hurt. As teammates practiced, he was off doing rehabilitation, thinking about what he was missing.
"The easy answer is the passion for the game," he said. "You love it and you miss it and it's tough to watch the game. You want to be out there competing and doing what you love to do."
Garrett was a backup to Troy Aikman for several years. He recalls the Hall of Famer fighting those same emotions during his injury-forced layoffs.
"You have to step back and emotionally detach yourself from it and then you can re-engage from a different point of view," Garrett said. "It's tough for those guys to do it. But! once yo u are means to do it, there is a lot to learn. Watching other people, continuing to remind yourself what a unique opportunity you had; 'when I get which chance again I'm really going to be ready.' Don't get me wrong, Tony Romo gets himself ready to play. But when your perspective changes, maybe you can get re-energized, you can get refocused."
Romo also saw teammates rally around Kitna, a veteran who hung upon and thrived largely because of his leadership.
He remains Romo's greatest fan, saying the team is better off if Romo takes every snap this season. He knows which intangibles are nice, but bent matters most.
"As a quarterback, you've of course been given the position of leadership," Kitna said. "It is about winning."
Romo has done that, boasting a career jot down of 39-22 since working his way up from being an undrafted third-stringer.
He'll have playmakers around him this season, from receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin to tight end Jason Witten. Felix Jones will be the lead running back, and Garrett will still be calling plays.
"It's great to be back out," Romo said. "I'm as excited as a guy can be to be playing football again."

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