ARLINGTON Rookie sensation Dak Prescott is set be the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback for the Sept. 11 season opener against the New York Giants and most likely the first six games of the season, at least.
Still, the team has some decisions to make at quarterback regarding a possible backup for Prescott and the status of injured star Tony Romo, who is out six to 10 weeks weeks with a fractured bone in his back.
The Cowboys visited with former Cleveland Browns quarterback Austin Davis on Wednesday in hopes of signing him as insurance for Thursday’s preseason game against the Houston Texans and maybe longer.
Prescott will not play against the Texans. Jameill Showers will start and is expected to play the entire game.
But the Cowboys have no other quarterbacks on the roster and want to sign Davis in case something happens to Showers.
Davis wants assurances he will be with the team longer than a couple of days.
The Cowboys are looking at Davis as a possible veteran backup for Prescott until Romo returns, but are also reserving the right to switch him out for an upgrade following final cuts on Saturday.
So there is no deal as of yet.
“That’s just a work in progress, I don’t want to speculate on where that is going to end up,” vice president Stephen Jones said. “Obviously, he’s done some good things in this league and competed against us in a very competitive way. He’s obviously someone of interest to us right now.”
Romo will be on the 53-man roster when it is completed on Saturday, but the Cowboys could also move him to injured reserve/designated for return, sidelining him for the first eight weeks of the season while freeing up a roster spot.
The situation with Romo is delicate because if there is a chance he could return sooner then the Cowboys want to be able to exercise that option.
“We’ve got to have him through the 53 cut before we could put him on designated-to-return – if we wanted to consider that,” Jones said. “But it may be that we just keep him on the roster. We’ll just see.”
Romo suffered a compression fracture to his L1 vertebrae. His time frame for a return is wide ranging.
Because there was no ligament damage, Romo could start rehabbing as soon as three weeks, per a source. Then it’s a matter of the bone healing and how much pain he can withstand. He has played with fractured bones in his back before.
If he goes on injured reserve/designated to return, he would be sidelined for the first seven games of the season. The Cowboys have a bye Week 7. The earliest he could return would be against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 6.
“We’re getting our hands around it, and of course we’ll be needing to make that decision – obviously sometime later in the weekend,” Jones said.