Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo’s future probably brighter than Cowboys’ chances without him

The Cowboys will place quarterback Tony Romo on injured reserve, ending his season, but their season remains alive despite their 3-8 record.
The Cowboys will place quarterback Tony Romo on injured reserve, ending his season, but their season remains alive despite their 3-8 record. AP

The Cowboys’ playoff hopes remain alive. But Tony Romo’s future probably is brighter than the team’s chances this season without him.

“We think Tony has a lot of football left in him,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Unfortunate for him, the collarbone was broken a couple of times this year. We do think that’s an injury that will heal. We do think the back injury has gotten better and better over time. He’s more able to handle the work day to day and the work week to week. I think that’s improved. We do think the collarbone will heal, and he’s got a lot of football ahead of him.”

Romo, who went 3-1 as the team’s starter this year, fractured his left collarbone for the second time in 10 weeks. He will not need surgery, and the team expects a full recovery.

The Cowboys will place Romo on injured reserve, activating Kellen Moore from the practice squad as the backup quarterback.

With an expected rehab timeframe of eight weeks, Romo should return for the offseason program.

“We don’t anticipate this being a long-term thing at all,” Garrett said. “It’s the nature of quarterbacks. Sometimes when they get tackled they get tackled here, and their bodyweight and the bodyweight of the defender lands on them. It’s happened to him. I don’t think it’s necessarily a weakness that he had. That’s happened before. We think he’s going to come back and be as strong as he’s ever been, and he’s going to be able to play without any issues.”

Romo, 35, also broke his left collarbone in 2010, missing the final 10 games of that season. He underwent two back surgeries in 2013 and fractured two transverse process in his back last season, costing him one game in each of the past two seasons.

“Tony’s a great competitor,” Garrett said. “Tony wants to play as much as anybody, wants to play at a high level and help our team, and when that gets taken away from you early on in the season, you have to watch, that’s challenging. And then you get a chance to come back and then it happens again, those are not easy. There’s a tremendous investment that everybody makes in this, and the commitment that he’s made to our team over the course of his career, the investment he has made has been significant -- when you can’t go out there and play because of injury -- that can be frustrating for everybody.

“But somehow, some way, you’ve got to get your mind right, and you’ve got to start again. It’s a clean slate, think about the right things to get yourself back with your rehab and your treatment and get focused on the future. And he’s certainly doing that even though it’s not an easy thing to do.”