As is typical when Jerry speaks, you have to read between the lines. Here's the first statement:
“The result was just as we expected, and he can really – I’ll put it like this, he has no more concern about this injury that has sidelineD him this year.”
That comment alone doesn't necessarily mean that Romo has fully healed. “No more concern” can simply mean that his progress has reached the point that there is no reason to think he will have a regression.
The second comment:
“I would remind us the doctors have said, once healed, this injury will have no going forward impact on his ability to play football. It should be as strong or stronger than it was before the injury.”
“Once healed” isn't the same as “healed,” clearly. But the fact that Jerry is even going down that road on a radio show indicates that Romo's ability to return to the field is rapidly approaching.
A little later in the interview, Jerry said that Dak Prescott's play has been a “luxury” that has afforded Dallas the ability to let Tony take full precautions with his health. He said that they can “pick our spots” when it comes to Romo's return.
So, looking ahead at the schedule, what spots make sense?
- WK 6 – @ Green Bay Packers
- WK 7 – BYE
- WK 8 – Philadelphia Eagles
- WK 9 – @ Cleveland Browns
- WK 10 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
- WK 11 – Baltimore Ravens
- WK 12 – Washington Redskins
It's only Wednesday, so we can't completely dismiss the idea that Romo might return to action this Sunday in Green Bay. If Dallas truly feels that he's the best option at quarterback, then going to Lambeau to face Aaron Rodgers is the kind of game you want Tony Romo back for.
On the whole, Romo returning this week seems highly unlikely. Not only would it rush him back to action two weeks before projection, but it would bring a sudden halt to the Dak Prescott Show and the momentum and consistency that comes with it. It would put Tony under tremendous pressure in the Cowboys toughest game so far this season.
Dallas' Week 8 game against the rival Eagles has been the projected date for Romo's return for a while. Not only is it an opponent that Romo knows very well, but it comes after the team's bye week. That extra week for Romo to practice with the first-team offense could be vital to immediate success in games.
That said, many will no doubt be clamoring for a showdown between Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz. If not for Ezekiel Elliott, it would be a two-horse race right now between Prescott and Wentz for Offensive Rookie of the Year. You know the Cowboys would love to send a shot across the bow of Philadelphia, and let Prescott go out in style, by winning the matchup of future franchise QBs.
The following is the start of a two-game road trip against AFC North teams. We just saw Tom Brady make his debut against the Cleveland Browns and rack up over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Rather than a tough battle against the Packers or Eagles, would it make more sense to give Tony Romo the same soft re-entry?
The debate about whether or not Romo should even get his job back is already raging through Cowboys Nation and will certainly intensify if Prescott gets the win in Green Bay. I will be diving into that topic hard during the bye week.
For now, though, all signs point to Tony Romo returning to duty sometime very soon. As Jerry said, the Cowboys can pick their spot as long as Dak Prescott continues to play at his current level.
That spot may be right around the corner.