Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is eligible to return on November 22 (Week 11) after being stuck on the IR/designated to return list since Week 3.
However, the question as to whether the Cowboys should even bother starting Romo, risking further injury, has come up due to the team’s current 2-6 dreary status in the NFC East.
Putting the idea of sitting Romo to rest, owner Jerry Jones addressed the question head-on, speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas (h/t ESPN.com).
“When he gets on the field against Miami, and it most assuredly will be at this juncture, there’s no set of circumstances that we wouldn’t play him and play him with hopes of winning that game and winning the rest of the ballgames. I think not only our game but sports in general, if you’ve got an opportunity, if you got a chance to win this thing, then you take it.”
With Matt Cassel on schedule to play just one more game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10, Romo will take part in practice for a second consecutive week, likely starting on Thursday.
Head coach Jason Garrett noted that Romo practiced well last Friday while he worked with a scout team on seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. This week, Cassel will practice with the first team in order to prepare for for Sunday’s game.
The chances of the Cowboys making it to the playoffs appear to be a long-shot at this time, although a win versus Tampa Bay would keep them in the race — barely. Currently, the Cowboys trail the leading New York Giants (5-4) by two games in the loss column in their division, and sit only one win behind Washington (3-5).
Jones realizes that in addition to Romo returning, they could use the help from other teams.
“We haven’t looked at the rest of the league, but we’ve been doing math as far as the rest of the division. Your players aren’t doing that. Your players are aware, but they are focused on the preparation for Tampa in this case.”
Jones’ comments do make sense. With eight more games still on the horizon for Dallas, any one of their divisional rivals could certainly falter along the way, giving the Cowboys some space to seize their opportunity.
In other words, don’t count the Cowboys out just yet.