Cowboys’ Romo has surgery, out for Eagles finale
Tony Romo’s season is over, and the Dallas Cowboys will have to
win without their star quarterback in a third straight
Coach Jason Garrett said Romo had back surgery Friday, and Kyle
Orton will start when Dallas faces Philadelphia on Sunday night
with the NFC East title and a postseason berth on the line.
Garrett said Romo underwent treatment all week in hopes of
playing after injuring his back in a season-saving 24-23 victory
against Washington. The winning touchdown came after the injury on
Romo’s fourth-down pass to DeMarco Murray in the final 2
Romo hurt himself when he tripped over his foot while trying to
escape pressure earlier in the fourth quarter.
”He might have had his finest hour against the Redskins last
week, what he did at the end of that ballgame under the
circumstances,” Garrett said. ”Pretty special.”
Romo lost the past two winner-take-all finales – to the New York
Giants two years ago and Washington last season. He also lost to
the Eagles in the same situation in 2008 and now will miss a chance
to improve his 1-6 record in elimination games.
”He’s devastated,” Garrett said. ”Devastated. He puts a lot
Philadelphia (9-6) is trying to complete a worst-to-first
turnaround from a 4-12 season under first-year coach Chip Kelly.
The Cowboys (8-7) want to end a three-year playoff drought and
avoid a third 8-8 finish in Garrett’s three full seasons as
Dallas will have to do it without its defensive leader, too.
Linebacker Sean Lee will miss his third straight game with a
sprained neck. He’ll wind up sidelined for five of the last six
regular-season games. He was out for two with a hamstring
Lee was forced to watch last year’s season-ending loss to the
Redskins with a toe injury sustained in the sixth game.
”You have this picture of how the season is going to go and two
years in a row, it doesn’t go the right way from a personal
standpoint, from a physical standpoint,” Lee said. ”I’m just
trying to stay positive, trying to help out any way I can, but I
hate not being on the football field.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show that the team
and Romo hoped an injection would ease the pain enough to allow him
to play. But his condition didn’t improve, and Jones said doctors
advised it was better not to wait for surgery.
Jones said the hope is that Romo will be ready for offseason
practices in May.
Romo missed all the offseason workouts this year after surgery
to remove a cyst from his back in April. Garrett and Jones said the
latest injury is not related, but wouldn’t be more specific about
News of the second back surgery comes nine months after Romo
signed a six-year, $108 million extension with $55 million
”He played very well coming off the first procedure he had in
the spring,” Garrett said. ”We are completely confident he’s
going to rehab and come back 100 percent.”
Orton, who declined to talk to reporters Friday, will make his
first start since the finale in 2011, when he finished the season
in Kansas City after getting replaced by Tim Tebow in Denver. He’s
appeared in three games and thrown just 15 passes in two seasons as
”We’ve been operating as if Kyle Orton is going to be our
starting quarterback,” Garrett said. ”At the same time we were
trying to do whatever we could to see if we could help Tony and get
him back as quickly as possible. We just felt like this was the
best course of action.”
Notes: DE DeMarcus Ware missed practice because of an elbow
injury but told reporters he is playing. He’s listed as
questionable. … WR/KR Dwayne Harris and CB Morris Claiborne are
set to return from hamstring injuries. Both are probable. Harris
missed three of the past four games, and Claiborne missed six of
seven. … LB Ernie Sims is doubtful with a groin injury.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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