Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys insist they are better equipped to handle Romo’s absence this season

Brandon Weeden, left, was 7-for-7 passing in his relief to Tony Romo on Sunday against the Eagles.
Brandon Weeden, left, was 7-for-7 passing in his relief to Tony Romo on Sunday against the Eagles. Star-Telegram

Tony Romo, his left arm in a sling, stated the obvious after the Dallas Cowboys’ expensive 20-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It never feels good whenever you get hurt,” the quarterback said.

He was talking more about being out of the lineup than he was about the actual pain from his broken left collarbone. The Cowboys concede they will miss Romo the next few weeks.

“You don’t replace a guy like Tony, and the way he’s playing right now and what all he does for our football team,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said.

In the third quarter, Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks sacked Romo, with the quarterback bearing all of Hicks’ 236 pounds as Hicks drove Romo’s left shoulder into the ground. It was a similar hit that New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley put on Romo in 2010, breaking Romo’s left collarbone.

You don’t replace a guy like Tony, and the way he’s playing right now and what all he does for our football team.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten

X-rays taken Sunday clearly show the fracture, Romo said, but he will undergo a CT scan Monday as further evaluation. He did not require surgery in 2010 and was given a six- to eight-week timetable for a return, though he missed the final 10 games.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed seven games with a broken left collarbone in 2013, and then-Eagles quarterback Nick Foles missed eight games with the same injury in 2014.

So likely for the next six to eight weeks, the Cowboys are forced to make do without Romo. They are only 6-9 without Romo since he became the starter in 2006.

“Not having Tony is a big deal,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “I don’t want to underplay that. But I do like our team. Just gather the troops and suit up. We’ve got the [Atlanta] Falcons next.”

The Cowboys insist they are better able to withstand Romo’s extended absence this season, because they are a better team.

“I’m confident of that,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “You say, ‘Well, equipped to win as easy as having Romo at quarterback?’ Of course not. No. No. We’re a different team. But we’re a team that can win football games in the NFL without Romo.”

The Cowboys have more confidence in Brandon Weeden now than last season. He started a 28-17 loss to Arizona in 2014 when Romo had a back injury and went only 18-for-33 passing for 183 yards with a touchdown, two interceptions and a 55.5 passer rating.

Not having Tony is a big deal. I don’t want to underplay that. But I do like our team. Just gather the troops and suit up.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones

“The good thing is that I have started quite a few games in this league, so I know from a preparation standpoint, I have done that,” Weeden said. “It is not like I have not played. Now granted, I am still a fourth-year guy, in my second organization, so it is a challenge, but I just have to prepare every week. I have to over-prepare and get ready to go execute.

“We have a lot of weapons, a lot of good weapons, so my job is to make it easy on those guys, let them do their jobs, get them those one-on-one matchups, and let them do what they do best.”

Weeden, 31, has a personal eight-game losing streak, dating to 2012, and has a 5-16 record in his career as a starter. But he now has two years in the Cowboys’ system — the first time in his career he’s had back-to-back seasons in the same system — and he practices with the first team every Wednesday.

Weeden went 7 for 7 for 73 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown to Terrance Williams, in place of Romo on Sunday.

“That’s his job. He’s a good football player,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We have him in that role for a reason. He’s been able to come in and play well for us in his time with the Cowboys. He’s a veteran player, and I think he’s more and more comfortable with what we’re doing, and I think a lot of that showed in his play today.

“…I have a lot of confidence in Brandon. More importantly, his teammates have lot of confidence in him.”

The Star-Telegram beat writers discuss the Cowboys' costly win in Philly.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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