Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo talks future and possibility of inserting plate to strengthen collarbone during radio interview

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo played only four games this season after twice fracturing his collarbone.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo played only four games this season after twice fracturing his collarbone. AP

In a measure aimed at preventing further injury on his left collarbone, Tony Romo mentioned the possibility of having a plate inserted.

Romo talked about the possible offseason surgery during a radio interview on KTCK-AM on Monday, his first public comments since re-fracturing his left collarbone during the Thanksgiving Day game against the Carolina Panthers.

Romo, who turns 36 in April, broke his collarbone in a Week 2 win at Philadelphia, forcing him to miss the next seven games. The Cowboys went 0-7 during that stretch, but Romo returned and led them to a victory against Miami on Nov. 22.

A short week followed with the Thanksgiving game, and Romo fractured the left collarbone again and is out for the season. Romo missed the final 10 games of the 2010 season with a similar injury.

He has never had surgery on the collarbone.

This season has shown just how valuable Romo is to the Cowboys. They have gone 1-10 without him starting at quarterback, as they’ve shuffled through Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and now Kellen Moore.

But Romo sounded optimistic about his future, and owner Jerry Jones has repeatedly said he believes Romo has several more good years ahead of him.

“From my perspective, I feel very strongly about the way that I’m going to be able to play going forward,” Romo said.

Romo put together the best season of his career in 2014, leading the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and NFC East title. He garnered MVP votes after completing 69.9 percent of his passes for 3,705 yards with 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

This season, of course, went south, and the hope is Romo is able to rebound to his ’14 form next season. And the Cowboys are essentially tied to Romo for the foreseeable future, given his cap hit.

Romo will count $20.835 million against the cap next season, followed by $24.7 million in 2017, $25.2 million in 2018 and $23.7 million in 2019.

This will leave the Cowboys with an interesting decision going into next spring’s draft, as they are likely going to have a top-five pick for the first time since 2003. Do they use that selection to acquire a piece to win now with Romo? Or, if they see a quarterback of the future, do they go that route?

Romo’s thoughts?

“I think you draft whoever the best player is that’s going to help your football team,” Romo said. “If there is a [quarterback] that’s really special, then you have to take a guy who in some ways is really special.

“But when you go through the evaluation process, you can’t reach. Wherever we’re going to end up, you’re going to have a good player, and you’ve got to ensure that you’re going to get a great player regardless.

“If that turns out to be quarterback, if that’s the best player, then we’ve got to take him.”