Tablet Sports

Cowboys notes: Optimism building for a Romo return in London

There is still no decision on whether quarterback Tony Romo will play against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at iconic Wembley Stadium.

But there is budding optimism that Romo will return to the field after a nine-hour flight to London in first class.

Romo, who missed last week’s game with two transverse process fractures in his back, participated in a light walk-through practice Tuesday. But he remains in pain and was moving slowly.

He threw to school kids at the NFL Play 60 event outside Wembley Stadium and seemed encouraged about the possibility of playing against the Jaguars.

“The flight was fine,” Romo said. “I slept, it went by quick and that part of it was no problem. It’s progressing. Each day, it gets a little bit of improvement.

“If you couldn’t go in the walk-through, you’d probably struggle getting ready for practice.”

The decision on Romo remains one that will come down to pain tolerance and functionality. The next big step is seeing whether Romo will be able to participate in practice Wednesday.

He has taken Wednesdays off for the majority of the season to strengthen his surgically repaired back. But that could change this week because he hasn’t practiced since suffering the injury Oct. 27 against Washington.

“We want to get him involved in every thing we can,” coach Jason Garrett said.

Romo’s presence has his teammates optimistic.

“Not having him on the field, everybody seen what it can do,” wide receiver Dez Bryant said. “It felt good to see him at the walk-through. It’s a good sign that he’ll play on Sunday.”

Murray hurts pinkie

Running back DeMarco Murray arrived in London with a splint on his sprained right pinkie finger.

Garrett said Murray suffered the injury in the 28-17 loss to Arizona, but didn’t think it would bother him or prevent him from playing Sunday.

The only concern is that it’s on his right hand, the dominant hand in which Murray carries the football, which could create some ball-security issues.

Murray leads the league in rushing with 1,133 yards on 225 carries but has lost five fumbles this season.

Leary, Free return

The Cowboys got some good news on the injury front with right tackle Doug Free and left guard Ronald Leary working with the starters during the walk-through practice.

Free missed the past three games with a foot fracture, and Leary missed last week’s game against Arizona with a groin strain.

Both seem back on track for a return against Jacksonville on Sunday.

Linebacker Rolando McClain also appears good to go after suffering a knee injury against the Cardinals. X-rays and an MRI exam came back negative, though Garrett considers McClain’s status as day-to-day.

McClain participated in the walk-through practice. He leads the Cowboys with 59 tackles this season.

Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford is doubtful for Sunday with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Crawford said the knee is still stiff.

He acknowledged that not playing this week, followed by next week’s bye, would give him more time to heal before the Nov. 23 game at the New York Giants.

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