Cowboys QB Tony Romo won't play in preseason game vs. Chargers

Tony Romo, 34, had back surgery in December. (USATSI)
Tony Romo, 34, had back surgery in December. (USATSI)

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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who underwent back surgery in December but has been participating in training camp, won't play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Chargers.

“We’ve talked about it a little bit, and we’re going to be smart,” Romo said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams. “… Most likely I’ll probably sit out the San Diego game and play in Game 2 and go from there.”

Last week, owner and general manager Jerry Jones announced that Romo was "100 percent" recovered from the surgery, but Jones also said the team was "that close" to drafting Johnny Manziel, a revelation that may or may not be true. Either way, Romo, 34, won't be on the field when the Cowboys face the Chargers, which means we'll get our first look at backups Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie.

Meanwhile, back in April, Hall of Famer and former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman -- who retired at age 34 -- wondered if Romo would ever fully recover from back surgery.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said at the time. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."

Or, it turns out, August.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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