The Dallas Cowboys can’t seem to catch a break. Hours after their dramatic win over the Washington Redskins and a week before their season defining game against the Philadelphia Eagles it seems like they’ll have to go on for the rest of this season, whether it’s only one more or game or slightly more, without Tony Romo, suffering from a herniated disk.
This means in normal circumstances that Romo will undergo surgery and rest for the next three of four months. Conclusion? Unable to play against the Eagles, a must win game for both teams, with the winner claiming the NFC East title and goes to the playoff. This is the third consecutive season in which the Cowboys have found themselves in a must win game at the end of the season with their playoff hopes on the line, losing the previous two against the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.
Jason Garrett refuses to close the curtain on Romo’s season. The Cowboys have a decent enough backup, Kyle Orton, but changing a quarterback at this point sounds like a recipe for a loss, especially against the red hot Eagles, coming off scoring 54 points against the Chicago Bears.
We have not made that determination at all at this point. Like with any player, the day after a game you just want to see what the injury is and we’ve done that with Tony and we want to get him involved in treatment as quickly as we can and we started that process.
It was easy to see Romo limping around the field, playing without any mobility in the pockets, during the final quarter in the win over the Redskins, taking a hit at some point that aggravated his back situation. He still pulled off throwing the game winning touchdown, but that was probably stretching whatever he had left in him to the limit, and Romo has been known to play through a wide variety of injuries.
Kyle Orton is 35-34 as a starter in the NFL, but hasn’t started a game since the season finale of the 2011 season for the Kansas City Chiefs. He has attempted only 15 passes since becoming a Cowboys player before the 2012 season, and will also have to handle a mediocre offensive line which Romo managed with due to his excellent mobility. Orton can move, but there’s going to be obvious rust, coming at the worst timing possible for the Cowboys.
For Garrett, there’s no point in conceding the status of his starting quarterback right now. Maybe for him more than anyone the game against the Eagles doesn’t only mean the happy or sad ending to the season, but his future as a head coach in Dallas, as three consecutive seasons of missing out on the playoffs due to late season losses and especially the final game might be too much for Jerry Jones to ignore this time.