IRVING, Texas — Tony Romo’s status could be a game-time decision against Arizona on Sunday, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The quarterback is coming off his third back injury in 18 months, and Jones said on his radio show Wednesday that Romo’s injury would not end his season.
The owner said his 34-year-old quarterback’s availability might come down to pain tolerance after sustaining a back contusion on a third-quarter sack in a 20-17 overtime loss to Washington on Monday. Romo missed about a quarter before returning.
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Jones reiterated the injury isn’t related to a herniated disk that led to surgery after a game against Washington last December. Jones also said the latest injury is unrelated to a cyst removal from Romo’s back in April 2013.
There is "nothing medically" that would prevent Romo from playing, Jones said.
If it does come down to pain, Romo has a history of playing with it. He played through the herniated disk against the Redskins last season and came back after fracturing his ribs and puncturing a lung against San Francisco in 2011. In both games, Romo led fourth-quarter comeback victories.
Brandon Weeden led the Cowboys to points on both possessions that Romo missed, and he will start if Romo can’t play. That would also mean rookie Dustin Vaughan would be activated from the practice squad for the first time.
Jones said he went to the training room as soon as Romo went out on a direct hit on his back from linebacker Keenan Robinson. After an X-ray determined no structural damage and doctors said Romo could return, the owner relayed that information to coach Jason Garrett on the sideline.
Romo took a pain-killing injection before returning against the Redskins, and Garrett declined to say whether he would prefer that Romo play without one.
Jones indicated Romo wouldn’t practice Thursday because that will be the first full-pad workout of the week. Romo has skipped the first full practice every week during the regular season as part of his post-surgery routine.
"If Romo’s ready to play, he can play," Jones said. "Now whether or not he can withstand the things that go with that, relative to pain and relative to execute, that’s a big issue. That’s a big if. But if he can do it, then he’ll play."