IRVING – Adam “Pacman” Jones might be gone from the Dallas Cowboys, but some of his wisdom could go a long way in deciding if quarterback Tony Romo tries to play Sunday.
It was Jones who said of Philadelphia’s Week 1 blowout win over St. Louis, “They played the Rams, dude.”
The Rams are coming off their first win of the season, but given that Romo’s right pinkie would require a splint and there is a chance of reinjuring it, it’s doubtful he will play so soon because the Cowboys are probably the better team this week even without their starting passer.
Plus, it doesn’t help that team trainers have told Romo, “No.”
Romo, who injured the pinkie on the first play in overtime of the Cowboys’ 30-24 loss against Arizona Sunday, practiced with the team Thursday and threw passes, but did no handoffs. He did not meet with reporters.
While the original prognosis for Romo’s injury said four weeks, some things appeared to change when New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre told ESPN that he called Romo, and basically said if he can play, play. On Wednesday, Romo threw a few passes and then told his coaches he is willing to play.
But there are things to consider:
Throwing a pass is different than taking a center-snap 60 times a game.
There is a chance he could re-injure the pinkie, or cause further damage. Romo was hit at least
The Cowboys are playing the 1-4 Rams, who in their four defeats have lost by an average of 26 points.
“You can go (on) all of those. If you go through every one of them, you’ll go through all of them being bounced around. You’ve got ‘em all,” Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said after a news conference with the Environmental Protection Agency at the new stadium construction site in Arlington Thursday.
Jones said the tie-breaker on this decision will be in the hands of coach Wade Phillips. But there are caveats.
“Tony could be very persuasive there,” Jones said. “If someone told me there was the risk of the long-term season, that aspect of it is the ultimate risk and that would be mine.”
So it appears as if the Cowboys will stick with Brad Johnson, for now.
“We have to be ready to go with Brad, get our timing down. If Tony can go, that’s a plus,” said Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who also said Romo has been throwing the ball well despite the injury. “I’m sure he was devastated because he’s never been hurt before. To see him out there throwing and trying to talk to Wade into letting him play, that’s encouraging for all of us.”
But if Romo is throwing well, but the team is not playing so well, the original four-week diagnosis might change, too.
On paper, the Cowboys appear good enough to defeat the Rams sans Romo. That would buy Romo two weeks of recovery before the next game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Cowboys defeat the Rams and play well with Johnson, perhaps Romo can have an additional week of recovery.
Then by Nov. 2, when the Cowboys travel to play the New York Giants, Romo’s pinkie will have improved enough to where he can actually play without fear of injuring the hand again. Maybe even without a splint, either.
Playing right now might not be the smartest thing. After all, they play the Rams, dude.