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12/23/2013

The Cowboys knew Romo had a bad back when they gave him that contract

628x471Either ESPN reporter Adam Schefter is right, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is out for the season, or there is a chance he can play according to head coach Jason Garrett.

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Romo has a herniated disc. If Romo plays on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title, it likely means he will take the needle and hope for the best.

The realistic best case for the Cowboys, even with a healthy Romo, was to defeat the Eagles and maybe pull off a first round upset in the NFC Wildcard round at home. The Cowboys were not going to win a divisional game on the road, even with Romo playing.

Whatever happens, we now know for sure the story the Cowboys sold in the offseason that Romo had a simple "procedure" to remove a cyst on his back was total BS. The rumors that Romo had a herniated disc began in the offseason, and apparently there was some truth to such speculation.

But ...

March 29, 2013: Romo signed a six-year extension for $108 million, $55 million guaranteed
May 22, 2013: Romo had surgery to remove "cyst."

This means the Dallas Cowboys were well aware of Romo's back issues nearly two months after they gave him a monster contract. They obviously didn't think much of it.

12222013_redskins108-12221708201_s640x426In the early days of training camp, Garrett hinted that Romo's "cyst" procedure was an injury. At the time, I wrote in what should be an Pulitzer-winning column that this thing should be very worrisome.

Garrett said then: "The way it was described to me it was a micro procedure. I was around when Troy Aikman had a severe back injury and had surgery I think in late June in the ’93 season, if I’m not mistaken. Relatively speaking, and I don’t like to compare things, they described this as a micro procedure as opposed to some of the other back injuries that guys have to deal with. You have to err on the side of caution.”

The concern is not the cash, but the back. Romo is 33, and he gets hit. Once a back goes bad, it's hard to make it right. Especially when they are routinely hit, or bent out of shape, as can happen to an NFL quarterback.

This was never some little cyst deal, or a "toothache" as Jerry Jones described it in the offseason.
This was a calculated/prayer that a surgery would repair the back, and Romo could play through the contract not having to sweat his "cyst".

It is Week 17 on the first year of Romo's extension, and even if the problem in the spring is not 100 percent the same issue he is having now to think there is not some correlation is a reach.

Don't rule out Romo giving it a "shot" on Sunday night and playing. Just know he won't be right. And that this issue began in the spring, before the Cowboys locked him up for another six years.

Twitter @MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

RGIII

What a twist. What a story line. Simply amazing. I'm interested to see how this turns out. If Garrett had a $7 million dollar buy-out I could see him pulling an RGIII and telling Romo to rest up for next season. But lets face it; Red is gone if Dallas loses. Why wouldn't he want to put Romo in there. Granted, putting Romo in is no assurance Dallas wins. Another interesting story is Romo taking the needle, winning, then going on a run in the playoffs. It would reverse the mountain of bad press he has helped write these past few years. And if you are Romo, why not play. You have a ton of guaranteed money. He can afford to play. Tons of story lines on this one. Stay tuned. Never a dull moment in big D.

the kidd in D

This story is awful. Terrible to see a fighter like Romo get injured this late in the season when his team needs him so badly.

I disagree with one part of your story. I think Jerry Jones knew what he was buying, injury and all, when he signed Romo for all that cash. I give Jerry credit for doing it. I'm not a huge Romo fan but he is a talented guy and there are only so many Peyton Manning or Tom Brady's out there. I give Jerry credit bc I didn't see any better options out there. I give Jerry credit because he takes risks. I don't see how you put together a championship team asap without taking risks. Jerry is a lousy GM and not good for this team but I do love it that he will spend the cash and take risks. This was a risk and a 'prayer'.

Winston

Well one of the things I love about Romo is, If he can suit up and play he will. I loved seeing him will them forward Sunday. Maybe there is more history to the injury than they let on. I love Romo and think he generally gets a raw deal from the fans all though he has some horrible timing with limited turnovers. I said last year though Jerry should NOT extend him. I would have liked to see him have Romo play out his last year and then pay him if he still felt the same. I wonder how that scenario would play out now?

Davidmar

I was one of the people who thought Romo's career in Dallas was over after the fateful interception at FedEx Field last season. There was plenty of chatter on the airwaves about possibly getting two first rounders, or at least a first and a second round pick, if Romo was dealt to the highest bidder before the draft. The Jets, Browns, Vikings, Raiders, etc... someone would have paid through the nose for Romo had he been on the trading block, I assure you. That is until Jerry signed him to the ridiculous contract. Now with the contract and recurring back issues I'm not sure he's tradable. It would have made sense for the Dallas organization to start rebuilding with plenty of salary cap space, while at the same time giving Romo a fresh start with a new organization. The Cowboys are now saddled with a 33 year-old quarterback with a bad back and an outrageously expensive contract. It doesn't get any worse for a team that's been 8-8, 8-8, and at present 8-7 the last three years.

Daniel

Why not wait for "The Rest Of The Story?"

Richard Naylor

Great article.

DavidMar's comments are right on the money.

Jerry the horrible playoff team building GM strikes. Now it is on something huge like a 8 year $108 million mistake. That will be a millstone around the team's neck for years.

Steven Hecht

Ironically, I have had both a cyst removed from my back and a L4-L5 herniated disk which underwent a discectomy on October 8th. I don't see any reason Romo can't play if he can withstand the pain. I chewed Percosetts every day until I had my surgery and they greatly helped with the pain

Fredbailey

Just another stupid decision by the king hillbilly.

Not a OhNo fan here. I disagree with all who think he is either a leader or winner- but I do hope he will be ok...

mark ellmore

Romo can have a simple procedure to repair the disc, do a ton of core work, and be back like new in 6 mos. playing. i had 2 in 2005, one in april and one in october due to a bad rehab regimen. once that got fixed after round two, game on. i am perfect and playing competitive golf, raquetball, and flag football. it is all about core strength. they will only remove a very tiny portion of disc material. david gerrard had the same injury and he is back, and he is an old bum. romo will be fine and in better core condition.

sean, lamesa texas

It's unfortunate. This story will be a wild ride till kick off. Our boys have battled all season. I know we have one more win in us. My focus will be coming away with a 'W' on Sunday. The Cowboys faithful will be out on Sunday. Watch. We will be loud and proud this Sunday when it matters most.

DallasGeorge

I am not a fan of the present Cowboys but I cannot believe the earlier comments that advocate a hurt quarterback 'sucking it up' or 'taking the needle' or 'chewing pain killers' to try to win a big game. If Romo is hurt now, he is very likely to be 'hurter' by next Monday morning if he plays.

One game isn't going to turn this team around: that begins and ends with Jerry Jones. Nor will Romo secure personal vindication by trying to suck it up for this game.

Tim Romero

I would not be surprised to see Romo play. It takes a special brand of competitiveness to be a Pro athlete. The shame of it is that I don't believe winning this game and reaching the playoffs will change anything. Winning won't suddenly change a sub 500 team (they may have been an above 500 team two or three games into the year but not now) into a Super Bowl contender. JJ the GM builds this team on a year to year basis with no thought to the future. Each year he hopes and prays he has the right pieces together to vindicate 18 years of failure.

Bobke

I noticed early in the year that Romo's delivery on deep balls was just a tad different than in the past. He seemed to be slightly pushing the ball and not extending his right arm as much as he had in previous seasons. Guess I know why know.

Joseph P. Brenner

All I can say is DALLAS NEEDS TO GO TO THE PLAYOFFS SOOOOOON!!! This team has been average for a very long time. Clean house. Trade Romo. Do whatever. But get in the playoffs. Be a compelling, exciting, and competitive football team soon.

Phillip Elliot

Romo needs to eat pain meds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You want to make it in the big leagues, you have to master the medicine of the game. I got a lot of years out of my body doing it that way. Romo needs to embrace the needle, man up, and get out there.

Paul Crewe

Playing hurt is part of the game. It's football it comes with the territory. I hope Romo suits up. His city and team need him.

Coach Venner, California Atoms

I hope Romo plays. If Dallas had Gus on their sidelines I wouldn't be as anxious about Romo not playing, but as Dallas does not have a field goal kicking mule on their side line, I hope he is well enough to play.

Rod Tidwell, Arizona Cardinals

Romo got some serious "Show me the money" dollars. He should play.

Willie Beamen

All us quarterbacks play hurt from one time or another. I played injured most of the time my last year with the Sharks. My coach, Tony D'Amato would not have signed me with the Arizona Aztecs had he not seen first hand the pain and injuries you have to tuff out to play and win.

Shane Falco

I'm pulling for Romo!

Dr. Harvey Mandrake

I made sure all the players under my care could play on Sunday. Trust me, I could get Romo ready for this game.

RAY

I have been a Cowboy fan since they moved from KC.But I think Romo needs to think more about his health more than the money.Really what else does he have prove. He's up there with Don,Roger,Danny,Troy !!! Good luck Tony !!!

Hugh

Dallas was never in KC.

Hugh

Dallas Texans became the KC Chiefs and the Cowboys were an expansion team in Dallas.

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