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No practice for Tony Romo Thursday, 'pain is the biggest issue'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jason Garrett won't rule Tony Romo in or out for Sunday quite yet.
Jason Garrett won't rule Tony Romo in or out for Sunday quite yet. (USATSI)

UPDATE: Tony Romo out for season after undergoing back surgery.

Does anyone actually think Tony Romo is going to play in Week 17? Sure doesn't seem like it, but Jason Garrett wouldn't rule out Romo when he spoke to the media Thursday.

Garrett did say that Romo won't practice on Thursday, that "certainly" Friday is a key day, and that he would likely need to practice this week in order to be ready for the game on Sunday night.

"You want him to practice," Garrett said. "We don't anticipate him practicing today so we'll see how he does the rest of the day and how he wakes up tomorrow and we'll go from there. You certainly want your quarterback to practice at some point during the week. Tony's obviously played a lot of football for us so there's some leeway there."

Asked how Romo could play, Garrett indicated that "pain is the biggest issue" for his quarterback.

"Pain is the biggest issue, pain and how that relates to how he can function," Garrett said. "You wake up in the morning and you evaluate it. Backs tend to impact your whole body and how you can function in day-to-day life. Hopefully he'll respond to treatment."

There's limited time to get that treatment done. The Cowboys have to prep for this game knowing who's starting under center, whether it's Romo or Kyle Orton.

"Suffice it to say he's doing everything he can to get ready to play," Garrett said. "It was more treatment today than it was meetings."

So when will we know if Romo's playing? Garrett was as vague as possible, pointing out that the Cowboys approach injury issues "individually."

"We don't have any of those hard and fast rules. We try to take each of those situations individually," Garrett said. "There's an art to evaluating each individual injury."

In other words, Romo can run up into Saturday or Sunday before we actually know whether or not he's playing. Garrett repeatedly cited "waking up" which means Sunday morning might be his cutoff for picking a quarterback.

For the Eagles, it's not a concern. At least not to Chip Kelly.

"I don't think it changes their offense much just because of who their backup is," Kelly said. "They're going to stick to what they do. They've got playmakers in Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. I don't anticipate Kyle's going to come in and they're going to run the option up and down the field."

That's too bad, because Orton running the option would be fun to watch.

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