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Cowboys confirm Romo’s fractured rib, collapsed lung

Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have issued a statement saying that quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fractured rib in Sunday’s win over the 49ers, and that Romo suffered “pneumothorax.”

And every member of the sports media who received the statement asked in unison, “What the hell is pneumothorax?”

The National Institutes of Health explains: “A collapsed lung, or pneumothorax, is the collection of air in the space around the lungs. This buildup of air puts pressure on the lung, so it cannot expand as much as it normally does when you take a breath.”

Collapsed lungs are commonly caused by chest trauma, including rib fractures. Almost everyone who has a collapsed lung has shortness of breath as well as sharp chest pains that are made worse by deep breaths. It’s remarkable that despite that, Romo was able to not only keep playing but put on a brilliant performance in leading the Cowboys to a come-from-behind overtime victory.

Here’s the Cowboys’ statement in full: “Additional testing on the fractured rib of Tony Romo today revealed that he also has evidence of a pneumothorax—a condition that is not unusual for an injury such as the one Romo sustained in the game in San Francisco. Varying degrees of a pneumothorax can heal in differing time frames. The Cowboys medical team will continue to monitor the situation and conduct additional tests as the week progresses.”

Romo is expected to play next Monday against the Redskins.

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76 Responses to “Cowboys confirm Romo’s fractured rib, collapsed lung”
  1. ruffbufffire says: Sep 19, 2011 8:07 PM

    Better than a hemthorax

  2. 9to19 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:08 PM

    HOW CAN ONE MAN HAVE SO MUCH HEART!?

  3. zamco17 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:08 PM

    For those questioning his toughness, you crack a rib and throw a football. Accurately. Hats off to his determination.

  4. hooptie says: Sep 19, 2011 8:09 PM

    That’s not as bad as a sprained ankle.

    Signed,
    Jay Cutler

  5. ohhskins says: Sep 19, 2011 8:12 PM

    Good for him. The Skins want Romo in the game. There will be no excuses for dallas when they lose. HAIL!

  6. 5ringking33 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:15 PM

    On par with Emmitt’s shoulder in my book.

  7. stylinandprofilin says: Sep 19, 2011 8:15 PM

    Mr Romo u better sit this week coming up because if u play,orakpo and kerrigan are going to hurt u more than those lowly 49ers. Go skins 3-0.

  8. dionoil says: Sep 19, 2011 8:20 PM

    I’ve had a pneumothorax, I had a chest tube for 3 days. He’d be stupid to play Sunday. If he reinjures it, he’ll require surgery to attach his lung to his rib cage lining, and be out for the year

  9. cpizz says: Sep 19, 2011 8:22 PM

    I’m a Skins fan and hate the Cowboys, and Romo in particular,but he showed me something. Dudes got heart. Gutsy performance.

  10. favreforever says: Sep 19, 2011 8:24 PM

    Cowboys medical staff will continue to monitor the situation, then shoot him up the day of the game.

  11. gadgetdawg says: Sep 19, 2011 8:25 PM

    I’m not sure I understand the NFL. A concussion rates a forced removal from the game but a collapsed lung? No problem, carry on. I may be wrong but the lung thing sounds pretty serious.

  12. favreforever says: Sep 19, 2011 8:27 PM

    That is the quick, painful way to reduced lung capacity and shortness of breath. Otherwise it takes many years at two packs a day.

  13. rboyett says: Sep 19, 2011 8:27 PM

    I’m not a Romo fan by and stretch of the imagination.

    But that man played with heart and some big balls.

    He still makes too many errors but people need to get off his back. The man can play and LEAD his team.

    Just as long as he loses to my Saints. (^_^)

  14. petehemlock says: Sep 19, 2011 8:27 PM

    I’m sure a broken rib will hurt his golf swing.

  15. thagawdshow says: Sep 19, 2011 8:28 PM

    Now that is damn tough.

  16. 4512dawg4512 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:28 PM

    Tony Romo = MAN…. end of discussion

  17. jetsarestacked says: Sep 19, 2011 8:31 PM

    the cowboys should play their 3rd string qb. the jets literally almost killed drew bledsoe when he got a pneumothorax. maybe they will have the same kind of luck and have an all time great just in need of a shot

  18. deconjonesbitchslap says: Sep 19, 2011 8:32 PM

    pretty impressive, romo.

  19. trainsaw says: Sep 19, 2011 8:32 PM

    I’m a Cowboys fan and always thought Romo got a hard time for his mistakes, but dear god don’t anoint him the next Favre w/ this performance

  20. youboettcha says: Sep 19, 2011 8:35 PM

    Collapsed Lung, Punctured Lung.

    Po-tay-tuh, Po-tah-tuh.

    NFL.com said it was a punctured lung. Are they the same thing? Because a collapsed lung sounds pretty serious, like it has, you know, collapsed. It seems like the term collapsed implies that the lung is not taking in air when Romo takes a breath, like he won that game with one lung.

  21. jbl429 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:37 PM

    Wow. I’m generally harsh on Romo because I’m a Giants fan and he has a nack for screwing things up, but, I gotta give it to him. He’s tough as nails for playing through all that.

  22. ctiggs says: Sep 19, 2011 8:39 PM

    good

  23. itsmammoth says: Sep 19, 2011 8:43 PM

    Holy Moly.

    Can’t tell this man nothin’!

    That’s pretty crazy, for anyone!

  24. baddegg says: Sep 19, 2011 8:45 PM

    Wow. I’m a long time Redskins fan and hate the Cowboys. But I have to say, Romo is one tough customer. Major props to that dude.

  25. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 8:47 PM

    Legendary.

  26. senordickhaus says: Sep 19, 2011 8:49 PM

    Wow. Kudos to Romo for having major brass balls. Holy shat.

  27. truehog21 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:56 PM

    wow……hell yeah he coming back in thats what happens when your back up is better then your starter!!!! lol HTTR

  28. staph1nfection says: Sep 19, 2011 9:00 PM

    I fractured my rib eight weeks ago, and I still can’t breathe deeply enough to hike up a mountain.

  29. egls7 says: Sep 19, 2011 9:11 PM

    my respect for him has grown

  30. buckeyebrownsfan says: Sep 19, 2011 9:15 PM

    Mans game Romo. I type this as I watch two Giants fake an injury in order to slow down the Rams hurry up.

  31. bcjim says: Sep 19, 2011 9:15 PM

    Either it is not as serious as Jerrah is saying or he will not be playing Sunday.

    Either way, Romo is a great player, and I too am a Redskin fan.

    The oter 52 Cowgirls can go pound sand.

  32. geniusfan says: Sep 19, 2011 9:17 PM

    “Legendary.”

    Really? Really? It was a regular season game against the 49ers Legendary? Hahahahah. Your obviously a Cowboys fan which explains the comment but nothing that any player in NFL history has ever done in week two can be considered legendary.

    Nope legends are made in December, January, and especially February. Ask Brady, Roethlisberger, Rodgers they have done it when it really matters.

    Romo was great last week but he still has a long way to go.

  33. mod976 says: Sep 19, 2011 9:23 PM

    Well if Dallas issued the statement it must be true then. What a bunch of GulliCOWS err bulls. Dan Pastorini he ain’t people. Tough yes, but a collapsed lung are we really supposed to believe he would have even been cleared to play if they had to re-inflate his lung???

  34. ivegotbigblogs says: Sep 19, 2011 9:32 PM

    Take that Jay (I’m gonna wuss out in NFC championship game) Cutler.

  35. josh928 says: Sep 19, 2011 9:37 PM

    Cowboys, haven’t ever been a romo fan. Crumbles in pressure situations, and his commitment to the game was always in question….but dang…..if any normal person suffers that kinda thing were prolly in bed crying for a month. He strapped em up and led them to victory. Good on u romo

  36. drgfri says: Sep 19, 2011 9:45 PM

    The entire Cowboys training staff should be FIRED! This was malpractice to let him play. Amateur, reckless, and stupid. This isn’t a “toughness” issue, it’s one where the staff should have stepped in and shut him down. Way to play with your star QBs life losers!

  37. quadya says: Sep 19, 2011 9:46 PM

    Uh…man’s game T.

  38. m4carrol says: Sep 19, 2011 9:47 PM

    What… Did Jessica crush him?

  39. toiletking says: Sep 19, 2011 9:48 PM

    If I got the kind of shot that the trainers gave Romo at halftime I could play with one of my lungs hanging out my nose.

    Romo is a wussy wuss who needs drugs to finish football games.

  40. nflofficeadmin says: Sep 19, 2011 9:55 PM

    Good for you Tony. Now go win a championship.

  41. turgidsen says: Sep 19, 2011 9:57 PM

    eaglesblow says:
    Sep 19, 2011 8:47 PM
    Legendary.

    I agree if its the truth. However I find it very difficult to believe that Romo was able to play, much less at the level he was playing, with a collapsed lung. This smells of a PR stunt by Jerry Jones . The media has been lighting Romo up since the Jets debacle. Romo is heroic with his cracked rib when leading the cowboys to victory in OT. Another LEGENDARY Cowboy something that has been noticeably missing under the Jerrah regime.This is great way to rally the troops behind HIS QB and get sympathy for his franchised which has recently been accused of having sense of entitlement issues.

  42. birdobeamen says: Sep 19, 2011 10:02 PM

    I’m an Eagles fan and I now respect Tony Romo.

  43. footdronline says: Sep 19, 2011 10:02 PM

    Cowboys Tony Romo Has a Broken Rib and Pneumothorax. Read about this condition: http://bit.ly/oRauRG

  44. happybunnyj says: Sep 19, 2011 10:09 PM

    After the game Witten said guys told Romo to speak up in the huddle because they couldn’t hear him and he said “I can’t.”

    Definitely an effect of someone w/a damaged lung.

    You have to be physically AND mentally tough to do what he did.

  45. petey2you says: Sep 19, 2011 10:27 PM

    Not a Cowboys fan by any strech, but damn impressive to not only play with the severe injuries, but lead the comeback win, and maybe saving thier season in the process!

  46. robertallen1958 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:38 PM

    if you are a true cowboy fan then this is really no surprise, last year when he broke his collarbone, someone tried to help him up and the first thing out of his mouth was” did we get the first down?” so to us “real” fans this is what tony has always been, now don’t get me wrong but it is nice to see everyone else notice! but thats just Tony!

  47. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 10:39 PM

    I agree if its the truth. However I find it very difficult to believe that Romo was able to play, much less at the level he was playing, with a collapsed lung. This smells of a PR stunt by Jerry Jones .

    =====================

    As if it’s not enough to do what he did with JUST a cracked rib. The Cowboys aren’t going to mess with injury reports, especially something like this. It’s too easy to verify. It’s not a judgment issue.

  48. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 10:41 PM

    If I got the kind of shot that the trainers gave Romo at halftime I could play with one of my lungs hanging out my nose.

    ==================

    No you couldn’t. You can’t play healthy, how are you going to play with an injury, even if you get shots?

  49. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 10:58 PM

    Really? Really? It was a regular season game against the 49ers Legendary? Hahahahah. Your obviously a Cowboys fan which explains the comment but nothing that any player in NFL history has ever done in week two can be considered legendary.

    ===============

    Yeah, legendary. Your problem is that you have no sense of history. You need that to truly appreciate the special moments that happen outside the playoffs, too. Montana in week 3 in 1989. The Jets in week 8 of the 2000 season. Romo’s performance yesterday. You’re just too full of hate.

  50. phillychzstk2012 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:05 PM

    i had a pneumothorax over a month ago and im still not right.

  51. hoggy301 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:08 PM

    Notice how the redskins fans don’t come on the blog with all that negativity about the Boys; but turn the tables and they’d be talking all kinds a sh** about the Skins. I hate the Cowboys, as a Skins fan should: but he was brave and I can respect that. Nice

  52. krashie21 says: Sep 19, 2011 11:16 PM

    I like where this is headed.

    Meredith was likely a top-5 of all-time in terms of toughness…….

    They didn’t come any tougher than Roger.

    In Troy’s last season he needed spinal epidurals just to get on the field.

    Romo is among them in this category along with all the statistics……maybe now the page is turning somehow……..

    And for this ‘Boys fan, it’s welcome and going to be nothing anyone will want to miss.

  53. geniusfan says: Sep 19, 2011 11:47 PM

    “Yeah, legendary. Your problem is that you have no sense of history. You need that to truly appreciate the special moments that happen outside the playoffs, too. Montana in week 3 in 1989. The Jets in week 8 of the 2000 season. Romo’s performance yesterday. You’re just too full of hate.”

    Well you’re a cowboys fan. I’m not an Eagles fan but what do Cowboys fans always tell Eagles fans?

    Lolllz still no rings we gotzz ringz. Your fanbase constantly derides the Eagles because they haven’t won a superbowl you disregard their current run of success while your team has been pretty bad since Aikman and the boys left town.

    I’m not a hater it was a great performance I like Romo he’s unfairly criticized for trying to make plays for his team to win. But it was still only week two and it’s not legendary.

    So what way do you want it Cowboys fan? Does the regular season matter or not? For the Cowboys it does but for teams like the Eagles it doesn’t since they have no ringzz? Your call.

  54. briang123 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:00 AM

    Romo also had his right arm amputated before OT but that didn’t stop him from hitting Holley with that pass.

  55. hailyeah11 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:00 AM

    Not only is playing with a cracked rib and collapsed lung stupid and foolish, it’s actually being a bad teammate as well… The only thing this proves is Tony Romo and his training staff has a lack of confidence in his back up (Jon Kitna) A good team member doesn’t play hurt if it could hurt his team, and this could hurt his team a lot more than a week two loss to a non divisional opponent. Imagine if Tony did further damage and put himself out for the season instead of that game, or worse for his own personal health. You all are sick for cheering on this kind of reckless behavior… Bravery is something to be championed and when it comes to playing injured there’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity… If you can’t speak loud enough in the huddle cause you can’t breathe – Jon Kitna playing for your team is a better option. As much as I have been dreaming about the Redskins sacking the crap out of Romo this week, I hope they do the smart thing and make 100% certain that he is contact ready, be cause this is a defense that Really hits the quarterback and I can’t imagine with all the rivalry and all anyone will go easy on him.

  56. ilovefoolsball says: Sep 20, 2011 12:43 AM

    “oh he’s so tough”
    “such a tough guy, what courage, what heart”
    “he’s so brave, he’s so strong”
    “I want you Tony I want you”
    “I am so sad you got married, I saw the video online”
    “I wish I could breathe life back into your collapsed lung”
    “You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, it’s true, saw your face, in a crowded place, and I don’t know what to do, because I’ll never be with you”

    -The Dallas and National media after Tony Romo “courageously” played and probably hurt himself more, good job.

    So now we have a kicker for the cowboys with a big package that should play linebacker and a QB with a degenerate breath maker, how…romantic.

  57. gassiusclay says: Sep 20, 2011 1:22 AM

    No way he plays…gonna be out 2-3 weeks in my medical opinion (anesthesiologist).

  58. halfdoctor84 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:24 AM

    jus created the account… by the way im not the expert but noticed that bloggers with the experience of the pneumothorax (experts… them and pulmonologists… obviously) failed to clarify the varying degrees of this injury…….

    fairly simply put…… breathing happens cuz the diaphragm pulls(more like stretches) the edge of the lungs downwards… actually expanding the lung in a sort while the other portions of the lung remain fixed …… essentially increasing the space of a closed compartment without actually adding volume (air)….. this actually in turn creates a greater negative pressure (=vacuum) .. so when u open ur mouth after the diaphragm expansion .. air rushes in (inspiration)…. opposite in breathing out(expiration)…

    as u can see… its essential for then lungs to maintain this vaacum… when theres a hole (puncture) pressure equilibriates to the outside pressure (the space outside the lung…. still in the body but def not the essential negative pressure…vaacuum…… ) …. breathing doesnt happen…. thats y a puncture can n may lead to a pneumothorax(collapse) but not necessarily if its small enough that it can be plugged by anything thats floating around in there (sorry this is where its obvious im still a bad student)

    so in other words….. romo didnt have a collapsed lung (extreme extreme medical emergency…. cuz ur only breathing at most 50%… actually if that….. prbly much much less…… oxygen ud otherwise normallly breathe…. also exercise increases oxygen consumption greatly )

    if he did then woulda died….. instead he prbly got a small puncture (as far as i know it doesnt say collapse on espn). That opening before it was plugged by $*#$#% (sorry i dont kno…. maybe a clot)… air leaked out of the lung into the space outside the lungs (… also called pleural cavity) creating what is called pneumothorax(air in pleural cav) ….. the larger the puncture the more air travels thru the hole into the coverings(pleural cavity..also another closed compartment) of the lungs … crushing the lungs from directly outside … leading to a possible collapse …. basically squeezing it flat (prbly not to that extent…. but u get the picture)

    sorry… i was always a bad medstudent…. much much better at being a sportsstudent……. check PFT/espn/SI 20+ times daily each for long long time (super lame… i kno)… neways to any real doctors.. n everybody else… im sorry for the mistakes (certain … but the jist should be right… i think :)

    if anyone wants to retype this in english …. as opposed to my extended juvenile text message… be my guest… sleep time 12:25a….. boards in a 3 wks..ahhhhhhh!!!!

  59. halfdoctor84 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:38 AM

    ughh.. didnt proof read…… pneumothorax… doesnt mean collapse…. jus means air built up around the lung cav…. it can lead to collapse ….. as far playing on it and whats the protocol… no idea… Romo’s tough …. and as far as right n wrong bout playing …. man i dont think anyone on this board wouldnt do/give anything to be able to play football … hell I miss it everyday n i was never any good…. if it was me in his shoes ud have to pull my dead corpse off the field to keep me from playing … thats for sure

  60. scomibord says: Sep 20, 2011 1:56 AM

    Roger, where are you? concussion and you are out until an outside doctor clears you. a punctured lung, sure get back on the field. Training staff needs to be fired. idiot players want to whine and cry because their lives are so affected after their careers are over, now we see why

  61. oldhamletman says: Sep 20, 2011 2:35 AM

    right to play or not…. it’s pretty damn impressive, one might say legendary no matter the opponent, coming back into the game with a broken rib and one lung … and winning it….

    wow

  62. saintcasey says: Sep 20, 2011 3:16 AM

    Wow…you can’t re-inflate Romo’s lung by putting his balls on your chin and blowing. I can’t believe that all of you fools really believe that he played with a collapsed lung, or even had one! Think about it folks! Jeez!!!

  63. txhc says: Sep 20, 2011 4:00 AM

    “dionoil says:
    Sep 19, 2011 8:20 PM
    I’ve had a pneumothorax, I had a chest tube for 3 days. He’d be stupid to play Sunday. If he reinjures it, he’ll require surgery to attach his lung to his rib cage lining, and be out for the year”

    As much as I hate the thought of my Boys possibly losing to the Skins I have to agree with this. If he really does have a punctured lung then you have to shut him down to prevent further injury. The next several weeks are going to be rough anyway with the laundry list of injuries we have. Romo going out there and getting himself killed isn’t going to prove anything. He’s not going to win these games by himself, even though he’ll damn sure try. Kitna is one of the better backups in the league. I say give him plenty of reps this week in practice and give him the ball. No shame for Tony in sitting this one out if he’s got to. I’d rather miss him for 4-6 weeks than the whole season.

  64. tatum064 says: Sep 20, 2011 4:16 AM

    hailyeah11 says:
    Sep 20, 2011 12:00 AM
    Not only is playing with a cracked rib and collapsed lung stupid and foolish, it’s actually being a bad teammate as well… The only thing this proves is Tony Romo and his training staff has a lack of confidence in his back up (Jon Kitna) A good team member doesn’t play hurt if it could hurt his team

    It sure in the hell beats the stupid a$% grin and hat on backwards act…not to mention the fumbling by the goal line or fumbling when sacked or fumbling the fg to get bounced out of the playoffs.
    ===================================
    He couldve been a “good teammate”, and had the team in an 0-2 hole with Kitna starting the next week anyway.

  65. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 20, 2011 5:26 AM

    If be played for most other teams, you wouldn’t even be hearing about it….

  66. matiberio says: Sep 20, 2011 7:05 AM

    I used to race motorcycles professionally. Crashed hard at Daytona one year. Broke a collar bone, a shoulder blade, some ribs and punctured a lung. I could barely breathe after it happened. If his team mates honestly reported that he couldn’t speak in the huddle, I believe the story… I got a chest tube, and was in the hospital for the better part of a week. HMMV…

  67. contract says: Sep 20, 2011 7:10 AM

    Yeah … I ain’t buying it.

  68. eaglesblow says: Sep 20, 2011 7:52 AM

    If be played for most other teams, you wouldn’t even be hearing about it….

    ===========

    whats your point?

  69. eaglesblow says: Sep 20, 2011 7:56 AM

    You all are sick for cheering on this kind of reckless behavior…

    ==============

    As if you really care about Romo’s health…

  70. eaglesblow says: Sep 20, 2011 8:06 AM

    So what way do you want it Cowboys fan? Does the regular season matter or not? For the Cowboys it does but for teams like the Eagles it doesn’t since they have no ringzz? Your call.

    =================

    Of course the regular season matters! If you don’t do well enough in the regular season, you don’t get to the post-season. What does this have to do with your juvenile and hater-ish opinion that special things only happen in December or later?

    I didn’t mention the miracle in the meadowlands (either version) but I could have. Are you mad that I didn’t mention an Eagles special moment? Well I just did. Jeez, sorry I didn’t mention every legendary play that’s ever happened before December in NFL history.

    As far as the Eagles’ current “run of success” is concerned, if something special happens (like Jackson’s punt return at the end of regulation to beat the Giants), I’ll acknowledge it. But I can promise you that I won’t equate it with winning a Super Bowl, just as I didn’t equate Tony Romo’s legendary performance with winning a Super Bowl.

  71. geezohman says: Sep 20, 2011 9:02 AM

    my son had that condition, occurring 4 years apart, for those not playing sports, it occurs typically in tall thin people also, where the body may ‘outgrow’ the lung, creating a partial pinhole tear. it was very painful for my son, who use to run cross country.

    the second time it happened, again very painful, rushed him to the hospital, later he had ‘lung’ surgery to ‘sew’ up the partial lung collaspse.

    Would not want to see my son in that kind of pain again. couldn’t control his breathing, taking shorter and shorter breaths.. tried to take him directly to the hospital, could not drive him 3 miles, stopped at fire station, to get immediate help, oxygen, etc.

    my hat is off to Romo, he’s crazy to play this week. sorry Bradshaw… there is a need to protect players more and more. I’ m a diehard Steeler fan and do not like the old Americas team, but Romo…. go get some luvin

  72. pondbridge says: Sep 20, 2011 9:12 AM

    The Anti-Cutler.

  73. descendency says: Sep 20, 2011 9:16 AM

    Toughest choker ever.

  74. dallasisbetter says: Sep 20, 2011 9:17 AM

    Someone said the training staff should be fired for letting him play….are you freaking kidding?? Do you really think at the time they knew about a puncture lung you idiot? read the articles fool.

    I also read all this disbelief as if they are making up the small puncture of his lung. Seriously, are you in grade school?

    A serious injury yes but not the worst thing to ever happen but still courageous nevertheless.

    To all you Cowboy haters – ask yourself why you hate the boys so much. The answer – simple jealousy……

  75. cowboysblowgoats says: Sep 20, 2011 2:54 PM

    “Cowboys confirm Romo’s fractured rib, collapsed lung”

    and a goats wang in his pie hole.

  76. eaglesblow says: Sep 20, 2011 7:47 PM

    @ ilovefoolsball

    All that stuff reads like it came straight from some chick’s diary. Jilted lover syndrome much?

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