The Dallas Cowboys left Monday’s 20-17 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins thankful that they dodged a bullet after quarterback Tony Romo was hit in the back in the third quarter.
Romo left the game and underwent X-rays before returning late in the fourth quarter. He was diagnosed with a severe contusion.
By the looks of things then, Romo and the Cowboys were confident he would ready go for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Romo said as much after the game, and coach Jason Garrett during an interview on KRLD/105.3 FM on Tuesday morning said that the quarterback was going for more tests but he “anticipated” him playing against the Cardinals.
Garrett changed his tune when speaking to reporters during a Tuesday afternoon news conference, declining to speculate on Romo’s status until seeing the results of an extensive CT scan.
“That’s all speculation,” Garrett said when asked whether Romo would be ready to go against the Cardinals. “We’ll see. We’ll take it a day at a time.
“We’ll get the tests today, but we anticipate him being ready to go,” Garrett said on KRLD on Tuesday morning. “When we left the stadium last night, he seemed like he was OK, and we’ll get the tests today to verify everything.”
Asked to reconcile the the disparate statements, Garrett said, “No, we’re still waiting to hear about his scan.”
The bruise is near the same area where Romo underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk Dec. 27.
Garrett, however, said it “appears to be a separate injury, not related to what happened last year.”
Garrett said the tests Tuesday were to make sure there was no further damage.
“We did X-rays at the stadium last night, and that gives you a certain amount of information,” Garrett said. “That allowed us to say, ‘OK you can go back in as long as he is feeling right and he is functional,’ and we felt like he was that. Now you do the additional scan to get additional information to see if there is anything else going on.”
Now the Cowboys must wait to see if their initial diagnosis will be confirmed. But it’s important to note that as of Tuesday afternoon, the team was not searching for quarterbacks to add depth in anticipation of Romo’s absence.
Brandon Weeden is the primary backup, with rookie undrafted free agent Dustin Vaughan on the roster as the third quarterback.
If Romo were to miss significant time, elevating Weeden to the starting role, the Cowboys likely would attempt to add a veteran.
Garrett also said the Cowboys have no regrets about putting Romo back in the game. He had been cleared by the doctors and trainers and indicated a desire to re-enter the game.
“Again, he’s been in this kind of situation before and played very well,” Garrett said. “He’s very credible. He’s mentally and physically tough. He seemed capable of doing what we asked him to do on the sidelines. I think we made the right decision. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for us.”
Romo was 4 for 7 for 26 yards in the two drives he played after returning.