For the ninth straight year, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open golf tournament. But this time, Romo won’t have to worry about silly distractions … such as football.

Romo, who will compete in an initial qualifying round outside of Dallas next Monday, might not have to deal with offseason workouts due to the league locking the players out, meaning the 31-year-old signal caller won’t have to fret about team activities. As Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News points out, that’s what screwed Romo last summer:

Last year, he came closer to achieving that goal than he ever has before. In 2010, Romo advanced to sectional qualifying for the first time before bowing out in the second round at Carlton Woods Country Club’s Nicklaus Course in The Woodlands. A weather delay and commitments to the Cowboys prevented him from completing all 18 holes that day last June. The team was in the middle of offseason workouts and Romo didn’t have time to finish the round.

Now, Romo wouldn’t have qualified anyway. He was completely collapsing prior to his decision to withdraw due to the weather delay. And in years past, he’s never made it past that second round of qualifying (36 holes several weeks later).

But with the football world on pause, maybe this is the year.

And to those of you who criticize Romo for having a hobby in the offseason, I don’t even feel the need to respond to such idiocy anymore. We’re all entitled to having lives beyond our regular careers.