Tony Romo chuckles it up with sons Rivers, left, 1, and Hawkins, 3, June 24 at his annual Tony Romo Football Camp. (Mike Ramczyk/Standard Press)

Tony Romo chuckles it up with sons Rivers, left, 1, and Hawkins, 3, June 24 at his annual Tony Romo Football Camp. (Mike Ramczyk/Standard Press)


By Mike Ramczyk

Sports Editor


Tony Romo pulled a Steph Curry.

Much like the NBA Finals MVP did a few weeks ago with his daughter Riley joining him in the post-game press conference, Romo’s annual presser at Burlington High School was joined by family.

During the second question of an entertaining 20-minute session with media and fans, Romo’s 3-year-old son Hawkins pretended nobody was looking and ran up to dad at the white picnic table where he was sitting.

Romo took the surprise in stride and had Hawkins sit on his lap for the remaining 18 minutes. Tony’s wife Candace brought the couple’s other son, Rivers, to the table to sit on Romo’s other leg.

“Thanks for coming, everybody,” Hawkins shouted.

Right on cue, Tony got the belly laughs started early.

“One of them smells like they need changing,” the Dallas Cowboys star quarterback and 1998 Burlington High School grad said.

A packed room of roughly 30 media, coaches, family and fans erupted in laughter, and the jovial Tony, fresh off a 12-4 season and deep playoff run, was in rare form.

Here’s the Q & A, complete with Romo’s thoughts on the media, his Country Music Awards near-miss and how the Cowboys have treated rumors about Dez Bryant and former star DeMarco Murray.


How does it feel to be back?

TR: We’re switching up some parts. I think it’s going to be exciting. We’ll always keep the kids camp. With the older kids, we will have a 7-on-7 tournament with teams from Wisconsin and Illinois. I went to college at Easter Illinois, and hopefully we can incorporate both states. I think that will grow as the years go on.


Do you bring any NFL plays to the older campers?

TR: There’s a progression that takes shape with any kid. You have to make sure their skill set can handle what you’re telling them.

For some younger kids, it will just be positioning your body to be in position to throw a football. It won’t be about the way a ball should feel, and how far in front of your face the release point should be.

You’ll find that a lot of their weight is just wrong. You need to position them to have a chance to be athletic.

Each guy gets coached a little bit different.


Will Dez Bryant be back, and what will you do at running back with DeMarco Murray leaving?

TR: The NFL is a business, it really is. You’ll see that side sometimes, with DeMarco leaving and Dez not being part of the offseason.

I think it will work out with Dez. We have a competition right now at running back. The guys have done a good job, and I’ve seen some good things from them.


How do you deal with free agent rumors in the locker room?

TR: Once you play in the NFL, you recognize there’s turnover.

One of the big flaws for a football team will be if you have a little bit of success, you think you’re just going to pick up where you left off. You have to start over every year. Your team will be different each year.

You’re not worried about much more than improvement on an individual basis. Collectively, you don’t worry about people that aren’t there.

Over time, everyone will get better if you take that certain approach.


Do you prepare for certain opponents in camp?

TR: We like to just compete with ourselves. We just do our job and get better, and the rest will take care of itself.

When you keep improving as a team and individually, you’ll have your best success.


Have you been playing golf back here in Wisconsin?

TR: My dad plays a lot, so I go out there sometimes and help him out with his golf swing. Sometimes it helps him, sometimes it hurts him.

I’m a very average teacher for him. But it gives us a chance to hang out. I’ll get out there and chip and putt once in awhile, but that’s about it.


You’ve joined Twitter recently. Why did you join now, and why was your first tweet about Dez Bryant’s “catch” vs. the Packers?

TR: I’ve never really done the social media thing. As you get older, you recognize you have an opportunity to communicate with the people that appreciate you and have rooted for you. It gives you a chance to connect with the people that supported you.

As for the actual tweet, I guess it was just on my mind that day.

You have to handle social media the right way. In the court of public opinion, it can easily get you in trouble.

I’ve always felt like less is more with the media in general. That’s not a knock on you, it just doesn’t benefit your football team as much. You can just talk to them. You can talk to your team.

You can hurt the way you lead football teams through the media.

My life’s pretty boring and mundane at this point. There’s not too much going on.


Do you miss the Wisconsin weather?

TR: I do in the summer. Right now, it’s nice to be back. For the rest of the year, it’s a lot better there.

I don’t miss shoveling the snow at 6 a.m. for my mom and dad. That’s part of my pedigree.


Do you have the Green Bay game in November already circled on the calendar?

TR: They all count the same.

In the NFL, if you’re not playing at your best, you’ll get beat no matter who you are.

When that week comes, it will be the most important game.

It’s really about getting ready for the first day of camp and putting your best foot forward.


Talk about throwing the ball to country music star Luke Bryan on stage at the Country Music Awards.

TR: I’m in like a suit that my wife picked out and everything, which is pretty snug (laughs). It’s got a vest on it, which I haven’t worn very often. She did a good job.

I turned to look to Luke (country star Luke Bryan) to throw, and he’s gotta be 35 yards away from me.

I’m like, I haven’t warmed up, I’m in a suit with a vest, this ball has no chance of getting there.

I gave it a little extra, and luckily it hit him. It was definitely the most nervous pass of the year.


What happened with the fantasy football convention you tried to organize? (which the NFL didn’t allow)

TR: We just wanted a chance to have fans interact with their favorite players.

We’re going to do it next year in Los Angeles in 2016.

It will be a chance to learn about fantasy football. You can learn about technique, why you should start someone versus certain coverages.

Little things that the average person wouldn’t know the details on.

It’d be neat to get out there and be up close with your favorite players. A bunch of Packers and Cowboys will be there.

I still haven’t play fantasy football, but you see an avenue for the people to enjoy football.


Are you going to do this next year, because I really like it? (asked by a youth camper)

TR: Best question of the day.

Absolutely, yeah, we’re going to do it next year.