Tony Romo will make his 2016 debut on the first day of 2017.
Romo, who has missed the entire season after suffering a back injury in the preseason and then being demoted in favor of Dak Prescott, is expected to play on Sunday, January 1, against the Eagles, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
That appears to be a change in plans for the Cowboys, who had previously indicated that they wouldn’t risk an injury to Romo in a meaningless game and would turn to Mark Sanchez if they decided to give Prescott some rest in the regular season finale.
The Cowboys may want to make sure Romo isn’t too rusty in case they need him in the playoffs. Prescott is the unquestioned starter, but if he were to get hurt in the postseason, they’d turn to Romo to try to guide them to the Super Bowl.
The Cowboys may also want to show other teams that Romo can still play, in the hopes that they can trade him in the offseason.
Romo’s last regular-season game was Thanksgiving of 2015, when he threw three interceptions and suffered the second of his three recent serious injuries.