While Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has made considerable progress in his return from a preseason back injury, he has yet to be cleared to practice fully and could require another MRI to do so, according to sources. To this point his MRIs have pointed to on-target healing, but given Romo's prolonged absence, more time will be required.

If Romo were to be cleared to resume full activities next week -- with the Cowboys coming out of their bye -- it would still essentially rule him out for Week 9. Sources said there is no expectation Romo would be active even in a backup role for the Week 9 contest vs. the Eagles, and following that game, if the veteran is still on target, then coach Jason Garrett will face a decision on how he divides QB reps with the starting offense in practice.

The stellar performance of Dak Prescott has allowed the Cowboys to take every precaution with Romo; were the team floundering right now, then Romo's process might have been expedited. But at this point there is no reason to push anything with the Pro Bowl quarterback (unlike in years past). Soon enough owner Jerry Jones will have a decision to make about weighing in on if, or when, Romo returns to his starting role. However, at this point that crossroads looks to be Week 10 at the earliest. And given the fact that Romo has been out more than two months, he may require multiple weeks of practice before he is deemed fully game-ready.