IRVING, Texas (AP) — Dallas owner Jerry Jones says the Cowboys aren't ruling Tony Romo out of a winner-take-all game against Philadelphia because doctors could clear him after treating his back injury.
Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that his quarterback has proven he
can play with pain but won't if doctors advise against it.
The Cowboys (8-7) and Eagles (9-6) are playing Sunday night in Dallas'
third straight season finale against an NFC East rival with the
division title and a playoff berth on the line.
Romo was the starter in losses to the New York Giants two years ago and
Redskins last season.
He injured his back in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-23 win at
Washington. Kyle Orton, who hasn't started a game since 2011, is the
Jones said he had lengthy discussions with Romo and his doctors Monday
about getting the 33-year-old ready to play. The owner wouldn't discuss
the details of Romo's injury.
"If you know Tony, you can't imagine what a competitor he is, and he
doesn't want to miss a snap," Jones said. "He was very disappointed,
particularly disappointed for his team, repeated over and over again,
'Jerry, I can't tell you how badly I feel relative to you and relative
to my teammates.'"
Romo didn't miss a game in 2011 after breaking his ribs in Week 2
against San Francisco. He was heavily padded and medicated the next
week against Washington and did enough to get the Cowboys an 18-16 win.
"Tony will play with all the pain," Jones said. "But his doctor has to
If Romo isn't cleared, Orton will make his first start since the 2011
season finale for Kansas City against Denver, the team that waived him
earlier that year after making Tim Tebow the starter.
Orton signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Cowboys that
offseason — an investment that Jones says was for just the scenario
facing Dallas now.
"The main thing is that it's not like Kyle Orton just gets here this
morning or gets here tomorrow morning," Jones said. "Kyle Orton has
been here and he knows this system frankly as well as Romo does. And
has practiced it. He just doesn't have the game time that he would have
had as the starter, and he doesn't get the reps."
Jones said the Cowboys were bringing in "multiple" quarterbacks for
tryouts Tuesday, mostly looking for someone to ease the throwing load
on Orton if Romo is either out or limited in practice.
Romo and Orton are the only quarterbacks on the roster after Alex Tanney was claimed off the practice squad by Cleveland last month.
"If you don't realize that you're going to be dealing with injury
information, sudden change in plans, then you're in the wrong area,"
Jones said. "We're in as good a shape under these circumstances as you
could possibly be in. We have planned on this very event."
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