Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he had no problem with owner Jerry Jones coming to the sideline in the fourth quarter Monday night against Washington to deliver news that injured quarterback Tony Romo was available to return to the game.
Garrett said Jones was there to inform him of Romo’s status, not demand the quarterback’s return to the field.
“He had been down with the doctors for the X-ray and the examination in the locker room, and just been in there for the tail end of that and just came out and indicated that the X-rays were negative and that as long as [Romo] was functional, he could be capable of playing in the game,” Garrett said. “I think the ideal situation is to get it communicated as quickly as possible, and he felt like he could do it. It wasn’t a big deal to me at all.”
Garrett scoffed at the speculation that Jones ordered him to put Romo back in the game, answering the question with a definitive “no.”
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He said doesn’t “worry about [how] things are being portrayed.”
An MRI exam of Justin Durant’s right biceps confirmed a tear. While Garrett isn’t ready to declare the muscle tear in Durant’s arm will end the starting linebacker’s season, the Cowboys are searching for a linebacker to replace him.
“There have been a couple of guys [who have played with torn biceps] through the years,” Garrett said. “No reason to make any rash judgment right now. We’ll kind of let the chips fall a little bit and make the best decision for him and for our team.”
Durant likely will end his second season in Dallas the same way he ended his first — on injured reserve. He missed six games last season with hamstring injuries; the second one was season-ending.
Durant missed two games with a groin injury this season. He started six games at weakside linebacker and leads the team with 61 tackles. He had a team-leading 10 tackles, including three for loss, against the Redskins on Monday night before leaving in the second half.
The Cowboys have six linebackers on their roster besides Durant, including two rookies and Cameron Lawrence, who has played only three defensive snaps.
Dallas might be without left guard Ron Leary for the short term. Though tests ruled out a tear in his groin, according to Garrett, the pulled muscle will need time to heal.
Mackenzy Bernadeau, who replaced Leary on Monday night, has started 27 games for the Cowboys the past two seasons. With only Bernadeau and Zack Martin healthy at the guard position, the Cowboys also might seek help there.
Running back DeMarco Murray had gone two games without a fumble. He didn’t get to three.
Murray lost his fifth fumble of the season after losing only three his first three seasons.
“I’m going to continue to play hard and fight for every inch,” Murray said.
In the second quarter of Monday’s 20-17 overtime loss to Washington, Murray took a swing pass from Tony Romo 36 yards to the Washington 8. As he fought for added yardage, he was stalled by a host of Redskins and cornerback Bashaud Breeland plucked the ball out. Safety Brandon Meriweather recovered.
“He’s got a great will and determination about him, but he has to go down and protect the ball at the end of the play like that,” Garrett said.