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Troy Aikman: Tony Romo's back could be factor going forward

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com


Troy Aikman says back injuries, not concussions, led to his retirement. (USATSI)

Tony Romo's season is officially over. He was placed on injured reserve Friday after undergoing back surgery -- and days after owner and general manger Jerry Jones said the Cowboys quarterback was suffering from back spasms and could possibly play Sunday against the Eagles.

And while Jones said that he has no plans to use a high-round draft pick on a quarterback, Hall of Famer and former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman says Romo's back issues should concern the organization.

"There are a lot of people that believe the concussions led to my retirement, but nothing could be further from the truth," Aikman told the Dallas Morning News. "I then, nor now, have ever experienced anything that had to deal with the concussions. I had surgery back when I was 26. I was young when I had my first back surgery following our first Super Bowl victory and didn't miss any time for it.

"Then, going into my last year, I was having some back issues," Aikman continued. "I took epidural shots, as I understand Tony [Romo] had this week, and the first time I took them was before the Jacksonville game that season in 2000, and I remember on the day of the game, waking up, and I'd never felt better for a game in my life. My back felt pain free for the first time in years. And in the first quarter, we completely turned Tony Brackens loose and he slammed me on the turf right flat on my back, and immediately, my back went into spasms. I was done for the day. So that good feeling lasted about half of a quarter. And I took shots the following week hoping that I could recapture the pain-free symptoms, and it never took again. So, that is why I retired."

Jones hopes Romo, who signed a six-year, $108 million extension last spring, will be ready for offseason workouts in May. Aikman, meanwhile, sounds wary about what the future could hold for the 33-year-old quarterback who has now had two back surgeries.

"I think it would be a concern of mine if I was with the Cowboys, having back surgery once again and at his age," Aikman said. "It could be a factor going forward as far as his performance."

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