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Why Is Tony Romo Not On Injured Reserve?

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Headlines - Explaining Why Tony Romo Is Not On Injured Reserve 1

When the curtains closed on the misery that was the 2015 Dallas Cowboys season we all dreamed about this week, Week 1, and its ensuing glory. We closed the curtains and our eyes, and we saw Tony Romo's valiant return as the centerpiece of the Dallas Cowboys. 12 days ago when he was lying on the field in Seattle... that dream turned into a nightmare.

We've seemingly woken up from this nightmare - perhaps only momentarily - as the Cowboys have currently decided to keep Tony Romo on the active roster, despite a prognosis that he would require 6-10 weeks of recovery time. What does that timetable have to do with this roster decision? When should Tony Romo come back? We've got the answers for you as always, here at Inside The Star.

What Would Putting Romo On IR Mean In Terms Of Time He Misses?

When NFL teams suffer the loss of a player for the whole season they typically put said player on the Injured Reserve list. This is like putting a player back on the shelf for the rest of the season, while keeping him as a member of that club, giving you the freedom to fill that roster spot with someone who can contribute now. Fairly simple stuff.

Beginning in 2012 the NFL implemented a "short-term IR" rule that allowed a team to only shelve a player temporarily. This unique IR spot is limited to one usage per team and requires that the player whom it is used on sit out at least six weeks before being eligible to practice and eight weeks before being eligible to return to the active roster. We saw the Cowboys use this exact distinction on Tony Romo just a season ago.

Cowboys Headlines - Explaining Why Tony Romo Is Not On Injured Reserve

There is a small change to this rule beginning this season. Previously the team using this "short-term IR" had to decide to use this when initially placing the player on IR. The IR Designation To Return (proper rule name) now does not need to be announced ahead of time. You can have one, three, five, or infinity players on Injured Reserve and see how their health is progressing before you exercise this option on the player you choose. This is the option that the Cowboys currently have with Tony Romo.

Should the Cowboys at any point decide to put Tony Romo on IR with the Designation To Return it would mean that he would have to sit out six weeks before being able to practice and eight weeks before being eligible to return to the active roster. This clock begins when you place the player, in this case Romo, on IR and tracks weeks - not games.

What Does Keeping Tony Romo On The Active Roster Cost The Cowboys?

The current plan is for Tony Romo to be on the Cowboys 53-Man Roster, but be one of the seven inactive players on Sundays until he is ready for a return. For as long as this is the case... Tony Romo is technically burning a roster spot.

Now it isn't a total match burn as some teams carry three quarterbacks and leave one inactive on Sundays anyway. When you look at the 2016 Cowboys though, you have to wonder if that spot could be better used in the interim on a guy like Deji Olatoye or a pass rusher that could seriously help what looks like a porous defense on paper.

What Can We Discern From Tony Romo Not Being Placed On IR?

Tony Romo's timetable to return is somewhere in the range of 6-10 weeks. As placing him on IR with the Designation To Return would sideline him for at least eight game weeks (having him return November 6th in Cleveland), the Cowboys must feel that Romo will be ready sooner.

The Cowboys have their Bye in Week 7 this season, so say Romo will miss 6-7 weeks. That would put him on track to return just one week before the Browns game for an October 30th home date against the Eagles right after the Bye. It actually makes a lot of sense for the Cowboys to simply carry Romo, while hoping their roster remains intact everywhere else, so that they can hold on to the IR with Designation To Return in case another player needs it down the road.

What do you think of this roster move regarding Tony Romo? Is it the right call? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "Why Is Tony Romo Not On Injured Reserve?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

1 Comment
  • Jess Haynie

    Was there anyone worth keeping in street clothes all year so that you lose your flexibility on Romo’s return date? I don’t think you could argue that there was.

Player News

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.

The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.

Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.

A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.

Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders

Jess Haynie



Jamize Olawale, Raiders

Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.

To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.

In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.

Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.

Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.

Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.

Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018 1

Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.

Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of...

While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018

Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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