3:26pm: Romo’s path back to the field will be a longer process compared to when he played through broken bones in his back. Whereas that injury featured two fractured transverse process, this one involves an actual fractured vertebra, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter).
3:22pm: A return date for the injured passer could loom Oct. 30, which features a Sunday-night game between the Cowboys and Eagles. A source informs Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Week 8 likely will be Romo’s season debut. Dallas’ bye comes in Week 7.
1:49pm: The Cowboys once again are looking at the prospect of Tony Romo missing potentially significant time this season. The team announced today, via Adam Schefter (on Twitter), the 14th-year quarterback suffered broken bone in his back during the Cowboys’ third preseason game on Thursday night.
Dallas expects Romo to miss between six and 10 weeks, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Although Jason Garrett isn’t prepared to rule out the franchise quarterback for Week 1, La Canfora reports (via Twitter) Romo will likely be out beyond that date.
Romo suffered two broken bones in his back in 2014 but played anyway that season and underwent back surgery in 2013. The Cowboys are not revealing a timetable on Romo after his latest setback, only saying he’s not out for the season, per Schefter (Twitter link).
An MRI Friday revealed the diagnosis, one that could well turn Dak Prescott from preseason wonder to opening-day starter. The Cowboys looked into backup quarterbacks this offseason and discussed signing Nick Foles but opted to go with Prescott after news of Kellen Moore‘s broken ankle surfaced earlier this month.
A Cliff Avril hit forced Romo out of the Cowboys-Seahawks game Thursday after three plays, but the signal-caller walked off under his own power, threw passes on the sideline and lobbied to return to the game. Jerry Jones said on Thursday night Romo would be fine for Week 1. The latest revelations here appear to have adjusted that timeline.
The 36-year-old passer underwent collarbone surgery this offseason after seeing his 2015 season defined by collarbone maladies. This one could well be defined by a play that occurred before the regular season began. A return between Weeks 5-9 looks probable, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.
The Cowboys’ starter since October of 2006, Romo is signed through 2019. The four-time Pro Bowler inked a six-year extension in March of 2013 and has cap numbers of $20.8MM and $24.7MM in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Jones has previously stated he envisions Romo playing a few more years with the Cowboys, but the owner did publicly lament not doing enough to trade up to acquire Paxton Lynch in the first round this April.
Romo guided the Cowboys to the playoffs in 2007, ’09 and ’14, but the team slunk to last in the NFC East without him for most of last season. Dallas, of course, waited to address the position until the fourth round by taking Prescott. The Mississippi State breakout star has accounted himself well this preseason, throwing for five touchdowns and rushing for two without throwing an interception, but was viewed as a developmental prospect coming out of school.
If the Cowboys now at long last want to acquire a veteran backup, Jimmy Clausen and Tarvaris Jackson remain on the market. The team did not express interest in Michael Vick despite his interest following the Moore injury.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.