Starter knew better than to go with Coolio. They left him for whoever makes 8 Ball jackets.

The Deuce doesn’t house any Cowboys sympathizers. Far from it. However we weren’t about to turn down an opportunity to interview Tony Romo when it was offered by the good people at Starter. We weren’t able to cover everything we wanted in the allotted time. However we managed to hit several topics as well as get our word association on.

First off, Cowboys fans can rest easy. If the lockout doesn’t kill part or all of next season, Romo will be back under center. He says he’s been “healed up” for several weeks. He’s good to go for mini-camp and training camp whenever that happens.

Speaking of the lockout, Romo sounded optimistic (or non-committal) about next season’s status.

We’ll be playing next year. I love football. There are some things to sort out but it’ll get done. …People love football.

Needless to say, Romo wasn’t as emphatic about the negotiations as Antonio Cromartie who put everyone on blast and wants both sides to sort the situation out yesterday. Then again he doesn’t have nine kids to feed.

Romo will have more time to focus on his golf game if the lockout happens. He attempted to qualify for a berth in the US Open last year during the off-season. However he had to withdraw due to football obligations. He’s played once since his injury last October. What’s the state of his game right now?

I played once a couple weeks ago. I stink right now. I haven’t played for several months. I’ll be playing in some tournaments in the coming months. …[Golf] helps me keep my competitive edge during the off-season. Thinking on the [golf] course also helps me on the football field.

Romo is scheduled to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am which starts on Thursday. He’s paired with friend and Cowboys fan John Daly** for the second year in a row. Last year they missed the cut after shooting 65-70-78. Maybe they’ll have a better chance if they wear matching pants. Don’t bother coming if you’re not gonna come with the thunder, playboy.

The Super Bowl isn’t an easy subject for obvious reasons. The Cowboys were hoping to be the first team to play in their hometown. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you’re forced to watch other teams play in your stadium. It probably tastes like burning.

“I’m sorry to not be playing. No, actually it hurts…”

Unfortunately Romo wasn’t as open when it came to his Super Bowl prediction. At first, he thought we were asking him about how good it was for Dallas to host the Super Bowl but we weren’t interested in that. All we wanted to know was who he thought was going to win the game.

They’re both great teams. It’s the toughest game in the playoffs [so far]. I think it’ll come down to the last possession. Whoever has the ball last will probably win the game.

The Packers did have the ball last but the game wasn’t decided by Aaron Rodgers taking a knee unless we missed something. At least he’s still better at predicting games than Pele.

Romo was born in San Diego but spent his formative years in Wisconsin where he was a four-sport athlete. Did that factor into who he wanted to win the game or did it not matter?

When you play in the NFL, you don’t pull for other teams. You just want to win.

He admitted the answer might be different if a division rival were playing. The Giants or Eagles playing in Cowboys Stadium would have to hurt a little more. The Redskins aren’t even an issue unless Jeff George comes out of retirement. Wait, you don’t win games by falling over in the pocket without anyone touching you. Dan Snyder lawsuit in 5…4…3…

The transition from Wade Phillips to Jason Garrett came up in the course of discussing how last season ended and the prospects for 2011. We wanted to know the differences between the two and how their coaching styles differed. Didn’t get much there. “Wade was different than Bill [Parcells]“.

Garrett “has a good understanding of the team and how to play the game”. Does that mean Phillips didn’t? We’re going to assume so for the sake of controversy but Romo was towing the company line. Apparently he didn’t learn how to throw people under the bus from T.O.

Speaking of the former Cowboys receiver, it was time to try some word association. Maybe we’d have some better luck. Romo was up for it but maybe he was because he wasn’t going to give anything up. We asked him to tell us the first thing that came to mind when we gave him a name.

Wade Phillips.
Great coach.

Jerry Jones.
Great owner.

Great receiver.

Brett Favre situation.
(Silence) Great quarterback

Keepin’ it tight, I see… Come on, give us something. You know you want to say something else.
(Silence) Great quarterback.

Lesson learned. We should have pulled a page from The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz playbook and played “Douche or No Douche“. No way around that game, Romo. Many have tried but eventually they all fall in line. Just ask Mean Joe Greene.

Romo discussed his relationship with Starter. He, along with Ludacris, unveiled a multi-purpose sports field renovated by Starter. It’ll be used by underprivileged kids from several different schools in the Dallas area. The field was previously only used for practice due to its condition but now games can be held.

I have a good partnership with Starter. They’ve been so generous especially [renovating] this field in Pleasant Grove for underprivileged kids. It’ll serve five middle and high schools. It’ll keep them out of trouble and [give them a chance] to prove themselves.

There was no way we were going to talk about Starter without asking Romo about old school Starter jackets. He laughed and said, “Oh yeah those were great but I don’t really keep those anymore”.

Bet he wished he kept some Starter jackets when the NFL was making players wearing pink for breast cancer awareness. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The good thing is that anyone rocking one of them now doesn’t have to worry about getting shot for it and their Air Jordans like back in the day.

We couldn’t leave without asking Romo for his opinion on sports blogs and whether he reads them.

I don’t really read them. There’s too much going on… Anyway they (not saying you) don’t really know what’s going on especially off the field.

The save’s not necessary, Tony. We have thick skins and sometimes blogs know more than people think about what’s happening on and off the field. Obviously Bleacher Report is excluded from the blogs in the know. They’re too busy calling Mike Tomlin an affirmative action success story. Par for the course.

There was way more we wanted to cover such as his future in the game and struggles to get over the playoff hump. We weren’t going to ask him anything about Jessica Simpson or Carrie Underwood so you’ll have to save your “sexual napalm” questions for the next time you run into him.

** John Daly is the unofficial golfer of the Deuce. Man, we’re here for you. Your boy gave the Deuce some time and it didn’t kill him. Give us the interview, Daly!

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