What is the real reason why Tony Romo attended a Duke basketball game?

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo attended Duke-North Carolina basketball on Saturday, March 8th.

At first blush, the weekend appearance by Tony Romo at a Duke-North Carolina basketball game – wearing Blue Devils gear alongside seatmate Jason Garrett -€“ looks like a nasty case of "front-running."

Why are the Dallas Cowboys top guns, the quarterback and the head coach, goofing around at basketball schools? And last week, didn’t they made a similar appearance in support of SMU? And shouldn’t these guys be working on football, anyway?

Ah, but what if the Duke visit was actually about football?

"We’re getting close now," said Romo in an interview during the nationally-televised game, referring to rehab from his season-ending back surgery. "Usually (it) takes three months… and we’re right on schedule. Really, ahead in a lot of ways. Just going to be ready to go here in about a month and rehab is going good, no setbacks of any kind. Mine (surgery) was just a normal small version of it, so I should be good to go here shortly."

Romo, a basketball junkie, was healthy enough to be spotted shooting baskets earlier in the visit to the Duke gym. And even though it turns out he grew up a Duke fan, hoops may not be the primary reason he and Garrett made the trip.

Carolina TV station WRAL reports that the pair have "been working" with Duke football coach David Cutcliffe, a widely-respected QB-coaching guru. Cutcliffe’s greatest accomplishment? He was Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator at Tennessee and remains a confident of the future Hall-of-Famer.

A year ago, Dallas owner Jerry Jones talked about the commitment necessary for the Cowboys to succeed and mentioned Romo putting in "Manning time."

It turns out, that’s exactly what this hoops trip might actually be all about.