Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo has positive exam before Sunday’s game, still no timeline

Tony Romo had a good exam before Sunday’s game with the Cowboys’ team doctors.
Tony Romo had a good exam before Sunday’s game with the Cowboys’ team doctors. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Injured quarterback Tony Romo is healthy enough to travel with the Dallas Cowboys and serve as a pseudo coach on the sidelines for backup Dak Prescott.

But there is still no timeline on when Romo may return to playing after sustaining a compression fracture in his lower back last month.

“We still don’t have a specific timeline on him,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “Obviously think he’s making progress.”

Romo injured his back during  the third preseason game on Aug. 25 at Seattle, and is expected to miss eight-to-10 weeks. The eight-week mark would be Oct. 20, and the thought process has been that Romo could return following the bye week for the Oct. 30 game against Philadelphia.

That is why the Cowboys opted not to put Romo on short-term injured reserve, as that route would have made him ineligible to play until the Nov. 6 game at Cleveland.

Owner Jerry Jones said Romo had a “really good” exam with the team doctors before Sunday’s game against the Redskins, and is in the part of the process in which Romo dictates how much he can tolerate in rehab.

“He’s in that stage right now,” Jerry Jones said. “Hopefully, soon, he’ll be out of the danger stage relative to his spine – probably 2-3 more weeks and we can see how far he wants to go by his own volition.”

Romo, 36, underwent two back operations in 2013 and missed 12 games last season after fracturing his collarbone twice. The Cowboys went 1-11 without him.

But rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has shown promise, and won his first game as quarterback on Sunday in a 27-23 victory over the Redskins.

If Prescott continues to impress, could the Cowboys be more patient with Romo?

“Not necessarily. Not necessarily,” Jerry Jones said. “Tony’s situation when he’s back will be about whether he’s functional. We’re a better team. We play better [with Romo].”

Still, Jones likes the number of snaps and live action Prescott has gotten with Romo injured, and has nothing but good things to say about the rookie out of Mississippi State.

“We’re getting to not only play winning football with Dak, we’re developing him,” Jones said. “What’s he gotten – 265-270 snaps against some of the greatest competition there is if you want to play that position. There can be quarterbacks in the league three years that can end up being top quarterbacks and don’t get to face that real live stuff.”

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