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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton led his most recent mailbag column with a question about Tony Romo's offseason tee times:
Q: Why is Tony Romo being criticized for playing a little golf? Why does the national media expect him to do nothing but football? A couple rounds of golf here and there are probably good for the guy.
Shawn D. in Dallas
A: Great point. You win a prize. Players are entitled to have a personal life. Most quarterbacks I know are good golfers. Romo is just better than most. I'll stand by Romo. He's a great story. The guy was undrafted and patient. He waited his turn to get a starting job and then took over an offense that turned out to be one of the better scoring units in football. Sure, he made a mistake by taking a vacation before the playoff game two years ago, but players should learn from their mistakes. As a quarterback, you are also a leader. He's fine.
Romo probably doesn't play that much more golf in the offseason than other quarterbacks. It's just that his rounds occasionally end up on NBC, and Tiger Woods might show up in his foursome. Whether he likes it or not, the aforementioned Cabo trip put a stain on Romo's career that can only be removed with a playoff win.
Yes, the guy's been seduced by the spoils of celebrity, but he's not the first player to go down that path. If he has some playoff success, we'll immediately see him in a different light. For now, the most important thing for him is to eliminate the careless mistakes that will doom an offense. Bill Parcells knew all too well Romo's tendency for making the "impulse" throw, and he stayed in his ear constantly.
Is there anyone at Valley Ranch right now who Romo listens to? I think that's a key question heading into the season.