Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys could turn to Sanchez, not Romo, to backup Prescott in finale

Mark Sanchez could see game action on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Mark Sanchez could see game action on Sunday in Philadelphia. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys’ No. 2 quarterback, but he appears to be too valuable (or fragile) to get mop-up duties in the regular-season finale should coach Jason Garrett opt to rest healthy starters in the second half.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the Cowboys have third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez active in the finale. They have the ability to do that, particularly with injuries at different position groups such as the offensive and defensive line.

Owner Jerry Jones reiterated on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that Romo doesn’t need live action for the Cowboys to feel comfortable with him coming in should something happen to starter Dak Prescott.

“I hear this stuff about rust,” Jones said. “Well, Romo doesn’t look rusty at practice, I’ll tell you that. He’s out there practicing against some pretty good guys. 

“Romo has had huge numbers of experience, he’s seen everything that an NFL defense can throw at him. And so you don’t have to worry about the number of repetitions.

“All of that said, it’s better not to have a risk with him and to keep him available to us during the playoff.”

Romo, 36, has shown that age may be catching up to him. He has exited three of the last five games he’s played, including the third preseason game at Seattle earlier this year, with a broken bone. He fractured his collarbone twice last season, forcing him to miss 12 games, and sustained a compression fracture in his lower back this preseason that was expected to keep him out until early November.

In that time, though, Prescott has emerged and supplanted Romo in the starting role.

Coach Jason Garrett echoed Jones’ statement, saying he would “absolutely” feel comfortable with Romo entering a playoff game without any regular-season snaps.

“You want all players to play, you want them to play every practice snap, you want them to play every game snap,” Garrett said. “That’s probably when they’re at their best, but you also have some different concerns with everybody. Tony has done a nice job in the role that he’s been in preparing to play each week. If called upon, he’ll be ready to go.”

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