It’s the news none of us wanted to hear. Tony Romo has a broken L1 vertebrae in his back. it’s the result of a hit he sustained on the third offensive play against the Seahawks on Thursday. Early indications are Tony Romo could miss 6-10 weeks.
According to ESPN, during a conference call Saturday, head coach Jason Garrett declined to rule out Tony Romo for the 2016 home-opener in Dallas, against the New York Giants. It is unclear at this time what type of fracture Romo suffered, and the type could affect his time-frame to return.
Tony Romo is widely considered the best quarterback the Dallas Cowboys have had since Troy Aikman, and we (Inside The Star) consider that a major understatement.
The Cowboys have been in “win now” mode for two, going on three years, with a strong feeling that a Super Bowl at this stage would be more for Tony Romo than perhaps any other player on the team, aside from maybe Jason Witten.
Heading into 2016 with a stacked offense, and rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys had high hopes of making a deep playoff run, led by Tony Romo. Now, once Romo returns from injury, it’s not even clear what kind of shape he’ll be in. Romo has played in only half a dozen games since the 2015 preseason.
Due to recent changes to league rules concerning the injured reserved list, teams can now place players on IR and, without prior designation, activate one player from IR during the season. This will help save the roster spot while Romo is out.
Options Without Tony Romo
Rookie quarterback, Dak Prescott, has looked far superior than his experience would indicate. Even though it’s only been preseason action so far, Thursday’s night game in Seattle saw him playing the Seahawks’ vaunted defense for all but three of the first half snaps.
Fans are heavily divided on whether or not Prescott is ready to see significant playing time in Romo’s absence, but experts all agree that these early flashes are just that, flashes.
I’m of the opinion that Dak Prescott needs more time learning and preparing before getting the nod at QB, but that’s a moot point now.
As it stands now, two of the four quarterbacks on the roster are going to be out until around the bye week. Kellen Moore broke his left ankle during training camp. That leaves just Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers, which will surely send the Cowboys’ front office running for a veteran.
Jason Garrett is known for preferring veteran experience at perhaps the most crucial position on the team. In 2015, that veteran presence was filled by the combined efforts of Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore. There are still several free agent quarterbacks, but none which instill the confidence we’d like moving forward.
Near the top of the list is probably QB, Josh McCown of the Cleveland Browns.
We’ll stay on top of the situation and provide updates as they become available. For an up-to-the-minute look, follow us on Twitter at @CowboysNation for more throughout the day.