Tony Romo expected to play for Cowboys in Week 17

The ongoing speculation is over, as Tony Romo will reportedly play for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

For the past six games, the looming presence of a healthy Tony Romo has hung over the Dallas Cowboys and invited speculation about when or if he would take the field again. But rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has continued to play well, and he has stayed healthy most importantly, so Romo has continued to sit.

With a first-round bye and the No. 1 seed in the NFC safely locked up, the Cowboys are likely to rest many of their regulars as much as possible Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.  According to Todd Archer and Adam Schefter of ESPN, Romo is expected to see his first regular season action since Thanksgiving 2015 on Sunday.

Prescott will start the game, as he attempts to set the NFL record for wins by a rookie quarterback. Third-stringer Mark Sanchez is still expected to play the majority of the snaps on Sunday, and now Romo will be in the mix.

Prescott, Romo and Sanchez reportedly all took snaps in Thursday’s practice, but head coach Jason Garrett has not said how the three will be rotated against the Eagles and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was similarly non-committal. That said, with public confirmation or not, it’s easy to hypothesize about how the Cowboys will deploy their quarterbacks on Sunday.

Prescott will start against Philadelphia, barring an unforeseen shift in plans, while Sanchez should be the one to finish the game under center. Romo seems to fit in somewhere in the middle, perhaps in the second quarter after Prescott leaves the game and before Sanchez takes over in the second half.

By getting his first meaningful game action in 13 months, Romo would theoretically be ready if something happens to Prescott during the playoffs. If healthy he is a better option than Sanchez in that circumstance, but Romo’s presence on the field in Week 17 should be little more than ceremonial with the priority he leaves the game healthy.

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