Nobody ever complains about a bye week, and the Dallas Cowboys are more than happy with the timing of their break this season.
They’re fresh off handling an overseas trip to London well, leaving with a 31-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and are ready to give a few of their key players much-needed rest before the stretch run.
The list of ailing players who could use a couple days off starts with quarterback Tony Romo and goes on to linebacker Rolando McClain, who has been limited with multiple injuries, and even running back DeMarco Murray, who hasn’t been injured but has carried the ball 71 more times than any other back in the league.
But the No. 1 concern going forward remains Romo and his surgically repaired back.
Romo returned Sunday after missing the previous week’s game and showed no signs of rust. He completed 20 of 27 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns.
“He came out of the game fairly clean and didn’t seem to have any issues on the flight coming back,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He is in good shape.”
Romo, though, is not expected to do much when the team practices this week on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s been diagnosed with two transverse process fractures in his back suffered during an Oct. 27 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 8, an injury that forced him to miss Week 9 against Arizona.
But he made strides leading to Sunday’s game against the Jaguars and then played well.
“I thought he would play well,” Garrett said. “He practiced well on Thursday and Friday. It seemed like it was kind of a normal week for him. The flight over there was definitely a potential issue. How guys handle that, certainly if you have back issues, but he seemed to get off that plane and feel pretty good.
“He looked good in the face. He looked good moving around. So it didn’t surprise me that he played well. He played like he’s capable of playing.”
So the bye week, of course, comes at a good time for Romo and the Cowboys. However, the greater concern lies with what’s ahead.
The Cowboys have a night game at the New York Giants on Nov. 23, and then turn around with a short week for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 27.
Making sure Romo is ready to go for each of those two division games in a five-day span is a priority.
“Everybody just has to suck it up and figure out how to get themselves ready physically,” Garrett said. “It’s a short turnaround. Sunday night to Thursday afternoon I think is the quickest turnaround in the history of the National Football League.”