Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo may be a hero for leading his team to victory despite suffering a fractured rib and collapsed lung on Sunday. But one former NFL quarterback says the Cowboys’ medical staff is far from heroic.
In fact, Boomer Esiason is calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate why the Cowboys cleared Romo to play with a seemingly serious injury.
“What the hell are the Cowboys’ doctors doing? Are you allowed to play with a punctured lung, a collapsed lung, broken ribs? Is that what the NFL is now? Or do we actually care about the players? Or is it all just lip service? I think Roger Goodell has got to look at that particular situation very seriously,” Esiason told USA Today.
Esiason sees hypocrisy in the NFL glorifying players like Romo toughing out injuries and then failing to take care of retired players who live with the consequences of such injuries.
“These are the injuries that sustain,” Esiason said. “They last with you. They pop up. Then you have to go before some arbitration board to say you need money, because you need rehabilitation and you need help, and you can’t get it, because they’re saying it probably happened after you played. I mean, it’s asinine.”
There’s also hypocrisy in the league changing rules in an effort to keep the game safe while simultaneously allowing team doctors to give players painkillers to get them through games when they’ve already been hurt.
“I hear all this lip service about how we have to take care of the players,” Esiason said. “We have to move the kickoff up, we have to limit the amount of high-speed collisions, we can’t hit the QB any more. And yet we have a guy who has two cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and we’re going to shoot him up with a numbing agent and put him back in the game? There’s something inherently wrong with that.”
Esiason raises good points. After Sunday’s game, no one can question Tony Romo’s toughness. But questions remain about the Cowboys’ medical staff’s competence.