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.
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.
In 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.
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