Aikman: I would be concerned about Romo’s back problems

One of the Dallas Cowboys’ biggest team leaders isn’t worried about quarterback Tony Romo’s back issues, but one of the franchise’s legends thinks there’s reason to be concerned.

Tight end Jason Witten has said several times this offseason that he expects Romo to come back in 2014 "better than ever."

Romo had surgery in December to repair a herniated disk, and he had a cyst removed on his back last May.

Troy Aikman knows first-hand what back issues can do to a quarterback. The Pro Football Hall of Famer underwent back surgery early in his career with the Cowboys in 1992, but he was still able to lead the team to three Super Bowl championships.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he’s at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman told "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned. I’m hopeful that he’s able to come back — everybody is."


Romo underwent surgery heading into the final week of the 2013 regular season. That forced head coach Jason Garrett to turn to backup Kyle Orton in Week 17 in a losing effort against the Philadelphia Eagles with a playoff spot on the line.

Orton is a veteran quarterback, but Aikman believes the Cowboys’ hopes rest on Romo getting healthy.

"This team won’t be the same if he’s not able to," Aikman said. "I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, ‘Hey, he’s ahead of schedule and everything’s going fine,’ I’m not sure how you can really measure that here in April."

The Cowboys signed former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden this offseason. Does Aikman think team owner Jerry Jones will pick up another one in the NFL Draft?

"Didn’t sound like it," he said. "I think Brandon Weeden obviously has some talent, and Kyle Orton, I’m assuming he’s back. I’ve always been a big Kyle Orton fan. I think he’s fully capable, and I think he proved that in the last game of the season. It doesn’t sound like they’ll be drafting anybody. But if they can find a free agent to come out and at some point down the road play like Tony has played, that’s a pretty good way to go."

Follow Louis Ojeda Jr. on Twitter @LouisOjedaJr