9 Questions for 2009: #8

The Dallas Cowboys have never truly been known as "Tony Romo's team."

#8. Is Tony Romo ready to lead?
The Dallas Cowboys have never truly been known as "Tony Romo's team."

With T.O., an ultra-talented defense led by one of the top linebackers in the NFL in DeMarcus Ware, Pro Bowlers on the offensive line and even the Big Tuna himself roaming the sidelines, Romo has never been looked to as the true leader of Cowboys.

Until now.

Gone is Bill Parcells. T.O., of course, is now making noise in Buffalo and now there's really no one on offense left to lead outside of Romo. If anything he's a leader by default and 2009 should be the year we find out just what he's made of.

As a quarterback, it's not only important to be a vocal leader for your teammates, but you obviously have to lead by example as well.

In the past, that hasn't always been Romo's top priority, at least from the outside looking in. From a weekend rendezvous during the season with girlfriend Jessica Simpson to attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open during the offseason, Romo finds himself more on the tabloids as opposed to the cover of Sports Illustrated.

However, now, it appears that could be changing.

This offseason has been somewhat different for the former undrafted free agent turned Pro Bowl quarterback. Romo has focused on two key aspects to his game this offseason- his physical conditioning and turnovers.

And his teammates have noticed.

"You have to be the same in September as you are in December as an individual and as a team," Romo said of his conditioning goals. "I know, specifically, it's hard when your body is beat down on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from the game to continue to do certain things. But I think that cleaning and squatting (in the weight room) is a very important side of this and I noticed it starts to waver as the season goes on as your body gets hurt -- you get a sprained ankle, you have this, your hand is broken, your finger, whatever it is."

Whatever you want to call it- leadership, focus or determination … Romo seems to have more of it entering the 2009 season, and that can't be a bad thing.

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