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Cowboys QB Tony Romo misses practice because of flu-like illness

IRVING — Just days before the playoffs-hinging game at Philadelphia, the Dallas Cowboys were without quarterback Tony Romo.

Romo was battling an illness Wednesday and did not practice. Wade Phillips said Romo had flu-like symptoms and was sent home by the team. He is expected to return Thursday.

Backups Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger both shared snaps in Romo’s absence. The Cowboys will have two more practices (Thursday and Friday) before flying to Philadelphia on Saturday.

“We did have an extra day this week which helped a little bit,” Phillips said. “If he gets back into the groove tomorrow I don’t think he will have missed anything really or anything vital.”

Phillips was less worried about Romo being out since he practiced Tuesday when the Cowboys put in their game plan for the Eagles.

Romo has also been dealing with a bruised back that he suffered against the New York Giants on Dec. 14.

Also, running back Marion Barber practiced on a limited basis. Barber, who has seen only spot duty after being slowed by toe and calf injuries, and rookie Tashard Choice shared practice reps.

“He practiced some today. That was a good sign,” Phillips said of Barber. “He has run before the games, but couldn’t cut and couldn’t go. I still don’t know if keeping him out would have made him any better. It’s an injury that takes time for him to get back to 100 percent. He’s still not there yet.”

Tight end Jason Witten, who aggravated an ankle sprain during the Baltimore game Saturday, was held out of practice. He is expected to play but his effectiveness might be limited.

The Cowboys play at Philadelphia at 3:15 p.m. Sunday. A win puts the Cowboys in the playoffs.

Going into the final regular-season game, Romo is fifth in the league in passer rating at 94.8 and is tied for third in touchdown passes with 26.

In four career games against the Eagles, Romo has thrown for 992 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions. In their first meeting this season, Romo passed for 312 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the Cowboys’ 41-37 win at Texas Stadium.

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