The return of Tony Romo has lost its luster for the Dallas Cowboys.
The team found out first-hand how difficult it is to win in the NFL without your starting quarterback, going 0-7 without Romo and seeing their playoff hopes vanish in the process.
Brandon Weeden couldn’t get the job done the first three games, and Matt Cassel wasn’t the savior the final four.
Romo is now set to return to a team that is coming off a demoralizing 10-6 loss in Tampa on Sunday. At 2-7, the Cowboys playoff hopes are essentially done but that won’t prevent Romo from starting next Sunday in Miami.
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Asked if Sunday’s loss to the Bucs would change the team’s approach with Romo, owner Jerry Jones said: “No. Not at all.
“It’s in the long-term best interest of our team to, if he’s ready to play this week of course, it’s in our long-term best interest to go out and win a ballgame.”
Romo broke his left collarbone in a Week 2 victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia, and the Cowboys placed him on short-term injured reserve. He returned to practice two weeks ago, running the scout team a couple days each week in seven-on-seven and team drills.
The reports on Romo have been positive, and there appears to be little concern that Romo would come back at a time when he’d have to play two games over a five-day stretch with Sunday’s game in Miami followed by the Thanksgiving Day game against Carolina.
“Tony has had a good couple weeks of practice with us,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We anticipate him being able to practice this week.”
That should give a much-needed boost to an offense that has stalled without him.
Cassel and Weeden each threw more interceptions than touchdowns in their respective stretches, and simply didn’t get the job done.
Cassel finished Sunday’s game 19 of 30 passing for 186 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
“We had some opportunities. We didn’t take advantage of it,” Cassel said. “You have to give them credit. They played well all day.”