Aside from taking family vacations or catching up on some honey-dos, this is one of the more grueling parts of the year for Dallas Cowboys and all football fans because, well, there's nothing going on.
No OTAs. No mini-camps. No free agency buzz. There is the occasional rookie signing, but that's pretty much about it from an official team standpoint. That is unless you're the New Orleans Saints, but let's not go there.
While teams are fairly silent, analysts and media types are not. Ron Jaworski is doing his rundown of the top 30 quarterbacks in the league. Most sports websites or team rah-rah sites are doing their variety of reviews about training camp battles, position rankings, digging deeper into the draft, UDFA and free agent hauls and the like.
I was somewhat surprised, however, when I heard that one of the Dallas Cowboys nemeses, Amani Toomer, shared his thoughts on his former quarterback, Eli Manning, and Tony Romo. In a nutshell, the former New York Giants receiver said Romo is a much better quarterback than Manning.
I'm somewhat pleased that I'm not having this conversation with my dad in real time because he'd rather send out Steve Pelluer than Romo. Sometimes I think he just does that to get me going, but there are times when I think he's as serious as a heart attack.
I've taken the stand and threw out just about every stat in regards to Romo, defending his moxie, creativity and consistency. I can hear my dad saying it now: "Yeah, he's consistently turning the ball over." That's not entirely true.
Regardless of what I think or what my dad thinks or what any of you reading this article thinks, every starting quarterback in this league is measured on two things: number of wins and number of rings. Tony Romo is a winning quarterback. What has escaped him is the almighty ring.
Dallas had a chance in 2007 against the Seattle Seahawks, but a Romo fumble -- there's that turnover thing again -- on an almost-certain field goal to win the game ended up costing the Cowboys their first significant playoff run in quite some time. The Seahawks won the game 21-20 and represented the NFC in that season's Super Bowl.
I will continue to defend Romo because he does give the Cowboys the best chance to win, today and tomorrow. He's had his fair share of moments where an ill-advised throw was picked off or he didn't see the open receiver. There have also been two straight years of uncharacteristic play by the defense that two years ago gave up the most points in one season in team history and last year was a liability in the secondary.
I suppose I appreciate Toomer's comments on Romo. But, perhaps they are coming from a disgruntled former Giant, just as Chris Canty decided to get in on the Romo discussion about a week ago, giving his former quarterback statistical props but bowing to Manning's ability to finish. Martellus Bennett, one of the newest NY Giants and former Cowboys tight end, sort of did the same thing recently.
Regardless, take comments by former teammates with a grain of salt. Heck, take the whole saltshaker and down it. Truth is, they are going to support who is under center now, not who was on their former team.
John Ingle is a graduate of the Midwestern State University Mass Communication program with an emphasis in journalism. He is a life-long Dallas Cowboys and football fan dating back to the late 1970s and has had covered the Cowboys as a journalism intern during two training camps at MSU. Follow him on Twitter @inglejohn1973.