Three days after the first reports emerged that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo won’t play again this season, coach Jason Garrett continues to refuse to rule him out for Sunday night’s Third Annual NFC East Championship game.
“Kyle Orton has taken the reps the last couple days,” Garrett told the Philadelphia media on Thursday, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “Tony Romo has not practiced. John Kitna has been taking the scout-team reps. We’ll see what Tony’s status is over the next couple days and what his availability is and proceed accordingly.”
Garrett was coy on the question of whether Romo’s back has improved since he injured it during Sunday’s win over the Redskins. Romo finished the game after tweaking his back; both Romo and owner Jerry Jones suggested after the victory that Romo had a back injury entering the contest.
“I think he’s still trying to get better each and every day,” Garrett said. “I think you’ll have to ask him specifically. It probably comes and goes a little bit. But he’s been in the facility the last couple days getting treatment and again, hopefully, it gets better as the week goes on.”
Teammate Jason Witten, who last year played in the season opener with an injured spleen despite being listed as doubtful, believes that Romo will do whatever he can to play.
“I know for a fact if there’s any way physically possible that he could do it, he’ll do it,” Witten said, via Frank. “He’s shown it throughout his career. Just the ultimate competitor, and I’ve never seen anything like it, the way he just continues to fight and find ways. . . . If he’s able at all, if he has a chance, then I know he would be out there.”
On Friday, we’ll find out whether Romo was able to practice, and which label the Cowboys apply to him in advance of Sunday’s playoff play-in game: out, doubtful, questionable, or probable.
Our guess? Just like Witten for Week One of the 2012 season, Romo will be listed as doubtful for Week 17.