The NFL's best golfer is hanging up his clubs for the offseason, perhaps in an effort to focus on the sport that just earned him a $108 million payday.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a skilled golfer who plays lots of amateur tournaments and has even tried to qualify for the U.S. Open. But ESPNDallas' Todd Archer is reporting that Romo is cutting back this year, skipping out on several tournaments in which he normally participates.
Romo played one tournament this offseason -- the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he did pretty well. But perhaps he's had a change of mind in the past few months, which may or may not be related to the six-year, $108 million extension he signed at the end of March.
At 33 and playing for one of the most demanding fan bases in the country, Romo knows he has to prove himself after the Cowboys missed out on the playoffs each of the past three seasons.
While Romo himself hasn't said his decision to avoid the amateur tournaments is related to a renewed focus on football, it is easy to see why some are making that conclusion. Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas, however, writes that Cowboys fans' questioning of Romo's work ethic is overblown:
"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."
Whether his golfing was a distraction or not, Romo presumably has much more time on his hands now. And with the weight of a new $108 million contract resting on his shoulders, not to mention the expectations of a hungry fan base, Romo will likely be spending much of that free time on the practice field and in the film room.