According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tony Romo will miss the rest of the season because of a back injury. And just moments ago it was revealed that No. 9 has been diagnosed with a herniated disk that will require surgery according to Schefter’s ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen.
This is just absolute season crushing news for the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) as they prepare the host the Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) in the de facto NFC East Championship Game Week 17. After playing perhaps one his greatest 4th quarters in his career with an injured back, Romo can no longer play in the biggest game of the season.
Cowboys Nation prepare yourselves for Kyle Orton. Orton is a more than capable backup, but he’s definitely not Romo. Orton has started 69 games in his career and he’s just one game above .500 in those starts, with the last one coming as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011.
Head Coach Jason Garrett stated in his press conference that Romo’s day-to-day, but you have to wonder if he’s just saying that to divert their opponent a little longer. It’s now really up to Garrett and other leaders of this team to get the team ready for next Sunday.
Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and DeMarco Murray, Garrett is relying on you.
The ‘Boys still control their own destiny and this trio must create the openings in the running and passing game for Orton to succeed. Hey, maybe the team can achieve more of a balance on offense with the journeyman backup at the helm, as the Cowboys must control time of possession to keep the Eagles’ high-flying offense off the field.
After Tony Romo’s carried this team on his back all season, even much so that his back is now actually injured, it’ll now be expected for DeMarco Murray to shoulder the load. Expect No. 18 to turn around and hand the ball off to No. 29 at least 25-30 times next Sunday night. If the Cowboys stick to their guns and feed Murray the ball, I believe they will still have a puncher’s chance to win the division and make the playoffs. A small chance is still a chance nonetheless.
In all reality however, it seems as if an 8-8 record and a fourth consecutive season on the couch is almost a sure thing. After fans saw Romo earn some vindication yesterday heading into the division title game, it’s truly a shame that Romo can no longer attempt to rewrite the script for his 2013 Dallas Cowboys.