Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo medically cleared, fully participates in padded practice

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had his first full practice Wednesday.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had his first full practice Wednesday. jlmarshall@star-telegram.com

Quarterback Tony Romo was a full participant in practice for the first time since his injury Aug. 25. The Cowboys still are deciding whether to have him active Sunday as the backup to Dak Prescott.

“He’s champing at the bit,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “…I think it’s all just stages, getting the guys closer and ready to play in a game. Tony hasn’t played in a game in nearly a year, 50 weeks. So you want to get a guy out there again and again and again moving around with people around him. First week he did individual. He did 7 on 7. The next week he did more 11 on 11 with people round him. And those are all positive steps.”

Romo received full clearance this week, allowing him to suit up in pads for the first time. He returned to practice Oct. 27 on a limited basis, and was limited in two shells practices last week.

Garrett said Romo returned to the quarterback meeting room last week.

“It’s good,” Prescott said. “Anytime Tony is around, he’s nothing but help. He’s benefitting me on and off the field of just learning as much as I can and just learning about the way he goes about his day.”

Romo, 36, grows ever closer to a return from the compression fracture in his back. After missing 12 games last season, twice fracturing his left collarbone, Romo has missed all eight games this season.

He has not played in a regular-season game since last Thanksgiving.

“Looks great,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “He looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. His ability to throw the ball, I’ve been here seven years, and I haven’t been near a football when he goes against us just because of how great he is with his eyes, how quick he is with his release. It’s amazing taking time off, and he still looks fantastic, like he hasn’t missed any time.”

Romo ran the scout team Wednesday. He sometimes deviates from the play on the card the coaches provide to simulate the opponent’s offense.

“You’re getting a real look,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “He’s a guy that’s going to look you off. He’s going to change plays at the line of scrimmage, like a real football game. You’re getting as close to a Sunday look as you can with a scout-team quarterback.”