The Cowboys rank fourth in total defense and lead the league in sacks. That’s a far cry from last season when they ranked as the worst in team history. But it’s not far off the 2009 team that was one of the franchise’s best.
Linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who leads the league in sacks with four, said this year’s unit has the potential to be even better than two years ago.
“I think we are better than any defense we have had here,” Ware said. “We have had some good defenses, but this is totally different. We are playing fundamentally sound and not making a lot of mistakes with what we got. We have a lot of guys hurt and not out there, and we are playing really well.”
The Cowboys have been helped by the emergence of defensive end Jason Hatcher, who had two sacks against the 49ers, and the re-emergence of Anthony Spencer, who has two sacks, two quarterback pressures and a tackle for loss.
Ware said the unpredictability of the defense is the reason they are allowing only 283 yards per game.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can rush the passer and stop the run,” Ware said. “We’ve got guys that can move. Usually in the 3-4, you’ve got three big lineman and four big linebackers and corners that cover. Now, we’ve got guys up front. We are not the big bulky guys in the 3-4. We’ve got guys that can slant a little more and make the offensive line think is he coming underneath or he is going to stay right there. Or is [nose tackle] Jay [Ratliff] actually dropping this play? It makes you think.”
Ware is on pace for 32 sacks this season. Although he hopes to keep up that pace, he knows realistically, that isn’t going to happen. His career best was 20 in 2008. He also led the league last season, with 15.5.
“In the latter part of the season, they know what they are in store for,” Ware said of opposing offenses. “Now, they don’t know where I am. But it could lead to something more, because we are so unpredictable. Usually, they would say he plays the right side. He has had 10 sacks. We are going to focus our blocking there. But when you play the left, the middle, the right, you don’t know where I am coming from. It’s exciting. If it’s going good now, it could be better later.”
While the Cowboys did make an effort to upgrade their left guard position last week with the insertion of veteran Derrick Dockery to the lineup, they can’t be too concerned with this week’s starter. In fact, it will be the same guy they felt comfortable starting against the Jets in Week One.
The left guard carousel goes back to Bill Nagy, the seventh-round pick from Wisconsin, who missed last week’s game with a neck injury. The Cowboys planned on replacing Nagy with Dockery anyway. But now that Dockery is out indefinitely with a sprained MCL/fractured tibia in his right leg, the focus shifts back to Nagy.
“I’ve stayed ready the whole time,” the rookie guard said. “I’m good to go.”
Nagy said it wasn’t easy to sit back last week in San Francisco, especially after starting the season opener in the Meadowlands.
“It’s always hard watching. Always hard not to be out there,” said Nagy, who kept himself busy on the sidelines. “I was getting the calls. I hung out with Stephen McGee and getting some of the calls and just trying to learn.”
Speaking of learning, Nagy said he’s received plenty of tips and pointers from Dockery, an eight-year veteran.
“(Dockery has) helped a ton,” Nagy said. “Even in the Jets game, he was on the sidelines coaching me after every series. Even in the meetings . . . just all the older guys have been a big help.”
RELATED: Nagy ready to start
Rookie Bill Nagy started the season opener. He missed last week with a neck injury, but an injury to Derrick Dockery has Nagy back in the starting lineup.
Nagy’s neck is fully healed. He practiced Thursday and Friday and will start Monday night.
“I’m doing everything out there, so I’m good to go,” Nagy said.
Nagy played 70 snaps in the season opener. Though Nagy played with good technique, the Cowboys just felt like the 6-3, 303-pounder didn’t get enough push against the Jets. So Dockery, who is 22 pounds heavier and has eight years more of experience, had been taking first-team snaps when Nagy injured his neck in the Sept. 14 practice.
“It definitely was a setback for sure,” Nagy said. “…It’s always hard watching, not being out there. I was getting the calls. I was hanging out with Stephen McGee, getting some of the calls, just trying to learn and to help the guys with whatever they needed.”
If Tony Romo does play, it means Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall will be able to put his “helmet on whatever’s hurt.”
What are Romo’s thoughts on Hall’s declaration?
“I mean, that’s what people do,” Romo said. “That’s part of playing football. If they’re able to get a clean shot on my ribs consistently throughout the game, then we’re probably not doing that well anyway.
“I’m sure I’ll target whoever’s targeting my ribs in the passing game.”
Hall said if Romo does play he hopes to get some corner blitzes to take a shot.
“If he’s blitzing, that means he’s not covering,” Romo said. “So we’ll attack the guy he’s covering.”
IRVING, Texas — Kicker David Buehler (groin) is the latest addition to the Cowboys’ extensive injury report, having practiced on a limited basis Friday.
That said, there’s a chance the Cowboys will keep one kicker active — rookie Dan Bailey — for the first time season.
Bailey handled only place kicks in the first two games, making 3 of 4 attempts, including one to force overtime against San Francisco and one to win the game last Sunday, 27-24. He missed a 21-yard attempt in the first half.
The Cowboys kept Buehler on the roster partly because of his proficiency on kickoffs; he tied for the most from 2009-10 (51) and is tied for sixth this year (5).
Bailey says he can kick off if needed.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” he said. “It’s something that I keep in my back pocket and work on, maybe not as much as field goals but I keep it up and keep my leg strength up.
“I’ve just got to in and execute like they want me to, if that’s the case. Who knows? David’s a pretty tough guy.”
Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett on Thursday defended his cornerback, DeAngelo Hall, who drew criticism for saying he would target the injured ribs of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo when the teams play Monday night.
“Think about it: He’s not allowed to hit him in the head, and you can’t hit him below the knees, so there’s only one place you can hit him,” Haslett told the Washington Post. “It’s just a shame (Romo) is hurt. (Hall) was joking more than anything. … But, realistically, it’s the only place you can hit the quarterback.”
BALTIMORE (AP) — Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando “Zeus” Brown was found dead Friday at his Baltimore home. He was 40.
The cause of death wasn’t known.
Fire spokesman Battalion Chief Kevin Cartwright said firefighters were called about 11 a.m. Friday because Brown was unresponsive at his home near the Inner Harbor. Cartwright said Brown was dead when firefighters arrived.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said firefighters called police, routine procedure in such cases. He said there were no signs of trauma or suspicious activity.
The Ravens learned of Brown’s death during practice.
“We send our condolences to the family of Orlando Brown,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Everybody knew what he meant to this organization. We’re forever grateful for what he did for the present team. We can’t express enough sorrow for his loss.”
Born Dec. 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., Brown played 10 NFL seasons, including four with the Cleveland Browns (1993-95 and 1999) and six with the Ravens (1996-98 and 2003-05). He started 119 of his 129 games.
Ravens director of player development Harry Swayne, Brown’s former teammate and fellow tackle, called Brown “a big old puppy dog with a little bit of a bark.
“He had a lot of friends around the league. He was one of the best guys. It’s a tough loss.”
Brown always will be remembered for shoving official Jeff Triplette in a 1999 game between Cleveland and Jacksonville.
Brown was suspended for knocking down Triplette after the official threw a weighted penalty flag that accidentally struck the massive tackle in the right eye. The 6-foot-7, 350-pounder stormed onto the field and pushed Triplette.
Brown, whose father was blind from glaucoma, said concern for his eyesight caused him to confront Triplette. Brown was hospitalized for six days with bleeding behind the eye. He sued the NFL for $200 million, settling the lawsuit for $25 million.
He missed the next three seasons because of the injury, returning to football and the Ravens for the 2003 season.
Browns tackle Tony Pashos played three seasons in Baltimore with Brown, known as “Zeus” around the league.
“He was a really good teammate,” Pashos said. “I came in under him as a backup. Even when Zeus wasn’t on the team he came around and supported us. He loved us. He loved football. He could never walk away. Man, I can’t believe it. I remember the attitude he brought to the building to the room. He tried hard. He told the young guys throughout practice to try hard and work on technique but then when it comes to games, it’s about taking the other guy’s will. And he was the apex of that. He did do that.”
Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick said Brown will always be one of his favorites.
“He brought such passion and physicality to practices and games,” Billick said in a statement released by the Ravens. “There is no way to quantify his heart, his actual love to play football. The game was so important to him.”
Brown was a frequent visitor to the Ravens’ practices, tutoring young linemen Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood.
“He took time out of his busy schedule over the last couple of months to work with me to help me grow as a player,” Harewood said. “To have a player and man of his stature do that for a young player like myself says all you need to know about him.”
Brown was divorced and is survived by three sons.
Tony Romo says it hurts when he laughs.
By now, Dallas fans must know exactly what that feels like. It has been more than 11 years since multiply concussed Hall of Famer Troy Aikman was forced to retire as the last, great quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Since that moment, America’s team has been on a bizarre, epic, gut-wrenchingly hilarious and, at times, nonsensical quest to replace Aikman. And, more often than not, the results have left Cowboys fans in the same state as Romo: in too much pain to laugh.
And then there’s Romo. His pain comes from a fractured rib and a small puncture of his lung suffered in a gutsy 27-24 come-from-behind win in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers. A victory that solidified Romo as a warrior while also helping to distance him from his all-too-familiar fourth-quarter meltdown in Week 1 against the New York Jets. The question remains: Is Romo a goat or the G.O.A.T.? Is he a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback or the guy who has laid an egg in nearly every big game of his career? Actually, he’s both.
It’s a wild fluctuation that not only epitomizes Romo’s career but pretty much sums up most of the past decade under center in Dallas. Crazed? Cross? Confused?
Fret not, dear FlemFilers, for I can sum up the Dallas Cowboys’ decade long quarterback quandary in just one sentence.
Remember, Troy Aikman never really wanted to leave the Cowboys, a team he had led to three Super Bowl titles and 90 wins in the 1990s; instead, on March 7, 2001, to avoid paying a $7 million roster bonus, the Cowboys waived the future Hall of Fame quarterback who had suffered, by today’s standards, a ridiculously dangerous 10 concussions in his 12-year career, including four in his final two seasons, the last of which came courtesy of Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, who, on Dec. 10, 2000, launched Aikman, scrambling at what you might describe as the speed of kudzu, practically up into Jerry Jones‘ luxury box, a devastating hit that Aikman says he still can’t remember and Jones probably would like to forget because it prompted him, after letting backup Randall Cunningham go, to reach badly in the 2001 draft, selecting former University of Georgia standout Quincy Carter with the 53rd pick overall, essentially handing him the starting job as a rookie, the first bad move in what would be a long, bizarre string of them for Carter, who, that first season, split time with draft bust Ryan Leaf, Anthony Wright and Clint Stoerner who, it turns out, is not a crooner but a former QB for Arkansas whose pro career is best noted for the eclectic team names he represented (in order: Claymores, Admirals, Desperados, Kats, Soul and Team Arkansas) and the fact that he holds the honor of being the only QB ever beaten out by both Leon Murray and Quincy Carter, who, in turn, was supplanted the next season (2002) in Dallas by Chad Hutchinson despite the fact that Hutchinson hadn’t played football since his senior year at Stanford in 1998 and had a release so slow you could measure it with a sundial — tiny details that did not stop always shrewd Jones from offering him a seven-year contract and a $3.1 million bonus along with comparisons to Hall of Famer Roger Staubach (by coach Dave Campo who should have referenced Babe Laufenberg instead) — money and compliments Hutchinson repaid by going 2-7 with the Cowboys before eventually getting shipped to Chicago where, in the 2005 preseason, he went from starting to out of football in four days; yes, 96 hours; more evidence of a failed experiment in Dallas that returned Carter to the starter in 2003, when he led the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and the wild-card playoffs (Carolina 29, Dallas 10) before he was abruptly cut during 2004 training camp amid rumors he had failed a drug test; Carter signed with the Jets, spent time in a drug rehab facility, went to the CFL, was arrested on marijuana possession charges in 2006, signed with the Arena Football League, got kicked off that team for skipping practice (Practice? We’re talkin ’bout practice? Yes), somehow landed a tryout with the Dolphins in 2008, didn’t get signed, was arrested in February 2009 on accusations of drunk driving and pot possession and again that May for violating his probation, signed with the Abilene Ruff Riders of something called the Indoor Football League (I played in this league, too, against my brothers on the carpet in my parents’ living room) until Carter was a no-show at a game forcing the team to start a guy named (honest to god, people, you can’t make this stuff up; there are laws …) David Bowie, after which Carter had not been heard from again until this past October when he was arrested on battery charges: a saga so inexplicable it would ruin the career of most NFL GMs — unless, of course, he also owns the team, in which case, then, in 2004 he just signs his latest pipe dream, Drew Henson: Tom Brady‘s former backup at Michigan, Henson was taken in the sixth round of the 2003 draft by the Houston Texans but instead chose to play major league baseball, a decision he parlayed into an eight-game career with the Yankees (he went 1-for-9) before Jones blew a third-round pick in the 2005 draft (no big deal, there aren’t any good players left in the third round … except for maybe Frank Gore and Justin Tuck, who were drafted in the third round that year) to entice the Texans to trade Henson, who offered a bit of perspective into Jones‘ skills as a talent evaluator by going 4-for-12 for 31 yards on Thanksgiving Day 2004 in his only start as a Cowboy — a performance that inspired Bill Parcells to send Henson to NFL Europe for a season before waiving him in favor of some kid named Tony Romo, a move that eventually allowed Detroit to scoop up Henson, who again turned into a turkey on Thanksgiving, going 1-of-2 with back-to-back fumbles before exiting quietly from pro sports, something his replacement in Dallas, 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde wasn’t quite as good at: Dallas’ 2004 squad was Testaverde‘s fifth team and the sixth time he finished in the top three in the league with interceptions (he had 20 in 2004), a contributing factor to the Cowboys’ 6-10 record and Parcells‘ decision in 2005 to bring in Drew Bledsoe, 33, a free agent with a cannon arm, a warrior spirit and the escapability of bedrock who finished 9-7 with the Cowboys and moved into the top 10 in all-time passing yards (43,447 yards or just slightly longer than the driving distance from Dallas to the Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington); a milestone that earned him the Cowboys’ unwavering support for almost six whole games in 2006, at least until a Monday night game in New York when, having been sacked four times, Bledsoe was picked in the end zone by Sam Madison on what would have been a go-ahead score, a “recipe for disaster,” according to Parcells, who benched Bledsoe at halftime (and subsequently ended his career), turning the Cowboys over to Romo, a decision that thrilled Dallas fans all the way up until he threw an interception on his very first snap as a Cowboy, the first of three that day, including one Kevin Dockery returned 96 yards for the game-clinching score, something that, at the time, seemed like a temporary setback for gifted Romo who originally had signed with the Cowboys three years earlier as an undrafted rookie free agent (with a 40 time of 5.0) out of Eastern Illinois, where he won the Walter Payton Award as the best player in Division I-AA developing skills that he displayed in the final 10 games of 2006 with a 65.28 completion percentage (second highest in the NFL) and a 95.1 passer rating that was the third highest in Cowboys history — the only blip being a Christmas Day game he played in front of then-girlfriend Carrie Underwood when he threw for a career-low 142 yards — a small glitch encountered while guiding the team back to the playoffs against Seattle, where Romo led the Cowboys on an eight-play, 70-yard drive that set up a 19-yard chip shot with 1:19 to go for the team’s first postseason W in a decade; inexplicably, though, Romo, still the team’s holder, botched the snap, then tried to run the ball around the left end, only to be chased down from behind at the last possible second, and at the doorstep of a wide-open end zone, by a hustling Jordan Banineaux who left a dumbfounded Romo sitting on the goal line by himself pondering one of the biggest gaffes in playoff history and prompting Seattle coach Mike Holmgren to say, “that just doesn’t happen” — a phrase that became something of a motto for Romo, starting in 2007 when the 12-1 Cowboys were rolling toward the playoffs until, some say, Romo‘s new girlfriend Jessica Simpson showed up at a game against the Eagles in a pink No. 9 jersey (which always reminded me of that scene in “The Wedding Singer” when Adam Sandler tells his ex-girlfriend to take off his Van Halen T-shirt before she jinxes the band and breaks it up) and Romo, who had just signed a $67.5 million contract extension, responded with three picks, two fumbles and a bruised thumb in a 10-6 upset loss that still didn’t keep the Cowboys from getting the all-important bye week that Romo famously used to go to Cabo with whatshername before losing to the Giants in the divisional playoffs, a loss Romo clinched with a pick on his final throw into the end zone, making the Cowboys the first No. 1 seed in the NFC to lose in the divisional round in the past 20 years, a revelation that, perhaps, led to T.O.‘s tearfully defending his QB, and then, a year later, accusing him of playing favorites with his pass targets at least until Week 6 of 2008, when Romo broke his right pinkie on the first play of overtime in a 30-24 loss at Arizona, causing him to sit for three games (Brad Johnson went 1-2) before returning to, later, face the Eagles in the regular-season finale with a playoff game on the line, a game in which Romo threw for 183 yards, no TDs and a pick, once again creating questions about his play under pressure, something that disappeared in 2009 when Romo (after breaking up with Simpson) threw for a career-high 4,483 yards and made his third Pro Bowl, but then resurfaced, with gusto, when, after an 11-5 season and a wild-card win, Romo was sacked six times, lost two fumbles and threw a pick in a 34-3 blowout loss to the Vikings — a pattern of panic, underperformance and pain (How do you feel? I Aik, man) that has plagued Cowboys QBs for more than a decade: in 2010, when Romo started 1-5 before breaking his clavicle (he was replaced by Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee), and again in 2011, when Romo (under the guidance of head coach Jason Garrett, himself a former backup Cowboys QB) blew the Jets game and then, in Week 2, heroically returned from rib and lung injuries to beat the 49ers in OT, motivated, one can only guess, by the thought of Jerry Jones on the hunt for another quarterback, something that must make folks in Dallas hurt when they laugh.
TBAB note: Got your own favorite Cowboys quarterback moments/nightmares? Share them with us.
David Fleming is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and a columnist for ESPN.com. While covering the NFL for the past 16 years at Sports Illustrated and ESPN, he has written more than 30 cover stories and two books (“Noah’s Rainbow” and “Breaker Boys“), and his work has been anthologized in “The Best American Sports Writing.”
Abe Elam and Terence Newman practiced together for the first time Thursday.
Elam, a veteran safety signed, signed with the Cowboys on Aug. 5 to help implement new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme. But that was two days after Newman suffered a groin injury.
Newman had been out since then until Thursday, when he got back on the field.
“It was good getting him back out there, working on the communication, getting him used to some of the things,” Elam said. “He’s been doing a good job in the classroom, learning, discussing things and bringing some stuff to our attention, as well. So it’s good. It’s good to have Terence back.”
Newman, a nine-year veteran, is coming off a season in which he made career highs in interceptions (5) and tackles (81).
“It’s definitely great to have a Pro Bowl corner and a mainstay like Terence that has been here and been a solid player for us,” Elam said. “Experienced guy in the back end, who knows how to get prepared and can definitely challenge the team’s top receiver.”
Troy Aikman obviously understands the pressure that comes with being the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, so he is the perfect person to discuss Tony Romo’s performance against the 49ers last Sunday.
Romo’s ability to return with a broken rib and punctured lung and lead his team to victory would seemingly go a long way in terms of earning the respect of his teammates. But Aikman recently said Romo possessed that respect among the veteran players before the 27-24 win in San Francisco.
“He already had the respect of those players, and the young guys, they don’t really know much different anyway,” Aikman said on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket (KTCK-AM). “I think it was very positive. I think the best part of it was that it came on the heels of a week of a lot of criticism. In a game where there was a lot of pressure on him to go out and play well, he did that. And he did it in heroic fashion.
“I think it goes a long way, and affords him some time to get people off his back.”
Aikman, an NFL analyst for FOX, also chatted about the Cowboys’ Monday night opponent, the Washington Redskins. He was in the broadcast booth for Washington’s Week 1 victory over the Giants. He called the Redskins a “dangerous team” and said that the organization is benefiting from some addition by subtraction.
“I like them. I like the things that they’ve done,” he said. “When they got rid of Albert Haynesworth, and I guess to a little lesser extent Clinton Portis and Donovan McNabb, that they got better because the locker room got better. They’ve got some younger players and everybody’s kind of buying in to what Mike Shanahan’s doing.”
However, there is one member of the Redskins that Aikman doesn’t believe in – starting quarterback Rex Grossman.
“I don’t know that Rex over the long haul will be able to get it done for them,” Aikman said.
Each Sunday, one of the best, most important matchups on the field often goes unnoticed. The battle between a quarterback’s blind side tackle and the premier pass rusher on the defense shapes the course of a lot of games.
So when Mike Shanahan made Oklahoma left tackle Trent Williams his first draft pick with the Redskins last year, No. 4 overall, there’s a pretty good chance he was thinking about weeks like this, and the test it will be to block one of the league’s best rushers, DeMarcus Ware.
The Cowboys are moving Ware around a lot more this year under Rob Ryan, but just wait, in some of the most crucial passing situations of the game he’ll be lined up across from Williams. Whoever wins that matchup could very well determine who wins the game.
Ware had three sacks against Washington last year, when Williams was a rookie, but is expecting the young tackle to improve.
“He still has that same athleticism, but he’s a lot smarter now,” Ware said. “He knows where he fits in the scheme, he doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s a great player, one of those long-time tackles.”
With Ware locked up in a long-term contract, and Williams in just the second season of his rookie deal, with a bright future, it’s a battle that could be waged 10 or 15 times in the coming years.
The very direction of the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry will be in a lot of ways determined by whether or not Williams can handle Ware. The 23-year old blocker has at least an idea of what he needs to do to slow down the league’s leading sacker.
“Just be consistent and focus on ever play, not get lazy,” Williams said. “Because he can capitalize on your mistakes real fast, and that’s just the type of players he is – smart … I haven’t really seen anything that he has problems with, so like I say, I think he’s one of the best in the league and it’s going to be a great challenge.”
Safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, almost a forgotten player on the team’s practice squad this season, was wearing a white No. 11 jersey for Friday’s practice and was getting some reps at wide receiver on the scout team.
Whether this is a permanent move or not, or simply trying to give the defense more looks for the Redskins game, Owusu-Ansah does give a little more speed to the offensive scout team. Teddy Williams is still on the practice squad but suffered a foot injury. Andre Holmes is also on the practice squad but at 6-5, 208, he doesn’t exactly resemble the playmaking ability of Redskins receiver and Cowboys-killer Santana Moss.
Owusu-Ansah, a fourth round pick of the Cowboys in 2010, actually began training camp as a first-team safety along with Barry Church. That was before Gerald Sensabaugh and Abram Elam signed their one-year contracts. Owusu-Ansah never made a big impact in the preseason games and was released on Sept. 3 when the rosters were trimmed to 53.
Playing at tiny Indiana (Pa.), a Division II school, Owusu-Ansah was easily the best athlete on the field for most games. He played both safety and cornerback, and returned punts and kickoffs, and he also had a brief offensive stint at tailback.
|Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys|
|Name||Position||Injury||Practice Status||Game Status|
|Miles Austin||WR||Hamstring||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Dez Bryant||WR||Thigh||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Phil Costa||C||Knee||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|G||Knee||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Felix Jones||RB||Shoulder||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Tony Romo||QB||Ribs||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|CB||Ankle||Did Not Participate In Practice||—|
|Mike Jenkins||CB||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||—|
|Bill Nagy||G||Neck||Full Participation in Practice||—|
|CB||Groin||Full Participation in Practice||—|
|LB||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||—|
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone for having a winning record in week 2! We all finished 8-8, or better. Week 3 features eight divisional match-ups, four conference games, and a former Superbowl (XVI/XXIII) re-match. Should be a challeging week! Good luck everyone!
REMINDER: Click on the link located on the top right corner of this blog for ‘instant access’ to our Real Men Of Genius Pro Pick-Em group
CT scan shows Tony Romo’s punctured lung has healed (Click on photo to watch video)
IRVING, Texas — The results of a CT scan of a small puncture in Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s lung shows the injury has healed, which could lead to him playing in the Monday night home opener against the Washington Redskins, a source said Friday morning.
But there are no guarantees Romo will play.
He still has a fractured rib, which he suffered along with the lung injury in a Week 2 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
“Tony certainly had his examination [Thursday] and everything is on go as we would hoped it would be and expected it to be relative to his lung status,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday on ESPN’s “NFL 32” show.
“That still doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to play Monday night, but still that’s on go.”
Romo did not practice Thursday, and a source tells ESPN’s Ed Werder that he also won’t practice Friday because the Cowboys don’t want to inject him with a painkiller.
The Cowboys still have a practice Saturday, plus a walkthrough Sunday in which he could get ready to play. Romo also could try to get some work in Monday night at Cowboys Stadium.
However, Romo did throw a few passes Thursday and was fitted for a protective vest for his rib cage.
“He threw around a few balls today but that was it. He really didn’t practice,” Jones said. “So we’ll ease up on him here this week. He’ll have the game plan and a feel for what we want to do out there and we’ll see how it is when we get to game day.”
If Romo is unable to play Monday night, backup Jon Kitna would get the start. But Kitna is of the belief Romo will start.
“I fully expect him to play,” Kitna said.