IRVING (AP) – Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are hurting after a gutsy but painful victory.
Romo finished their 27-24 overtime win at San Francisco with a fractured rib and evidence of having a collapsed lung while helping the Cowboys avoid an 0-2 start. They may have also suffered some heavy losses before their home opener.
Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin reaggravated a hamstring injury after three touchdown catches Sunday, running back Felix Jones sustained a shoulder injury and starting center Phil Costa reinjured his right knee.
While coach Jason Garrett refused Monday to be specific about the extent of the injuries, he is giving his team an extra day off this week. Part of the reason for that is to give players some extra time to heal before the home opener against Washington next Monday night. They will get their normal day off Tuesday, then won’t practice the next day either.
“We’re also going to give them Wednesday off and try to catch up a little bit on the rehab and try to get some guys healthy,” Garrett said. “The players will be in here lifting and doing their rehab and doing some work on their own for the Redskins game.”
Romo took a hit on the opening drive of the game. After leaving before halftime and getting treatment, he returned in the final minute of the third quarter. He threw for 201 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a 77-yard completion to Jesse Holley on the Cowboys’ first offensive snap in overtime to set up Dan Bailey’s game-winning field goal.
The fact that Romo returned to finish the 49ers game seems to be a good indication, especially with extra time off, that he should be able to play against Washington.
“I would not think there’s any reason to think he won’t be able to play Monday,” Garrett said. “We’re certainly hopeful.”
Garrett said Romo did an outstanding job, which was “certainly challenging with a cracked rib.”
The coach didn’t mention any other injury for the quarterback, but the team issued a statement later Monday night that additional testing of the rib had revealed evidence of a collapsed lung.
The team said the condition, known as pneumothorax, wasn’t unusual for an injury such as the one Romo sustained against the 49ers. The collection of air in the space around the lungs can put pressure on the lung so it can’t expand as much as it normally would when taking a breath.
Team doctors will monitor Romo and conduct more tests later in the week.
Austin was bothered by his hamstring issue throughout training camp, and didn’t play in overtime Sunday after a running play that set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. Jones got hurt early in the game, and Costa came out after halftime.
Garrett said they were all day-to-day and wouldn’t speculate on whether Austin, Jones or Costa would be ready for the next game.
“We have a number of guys that I don’t want to get into each one, but for the most part they’re coming in and getting their rehab today and I think they’ve done a nice job coming back the first day,” he said. “We’ll just see how they progress day to day as the week goes on. … The fact we have an extra day will certainly help everyone.”
Neither Romo, Austin nor Jones were in the locker room Monday during the 45-minute period earlier in the day when it was opened to the media.
The Cowboys went into the 49ers game without receiver Dez Bryant, who didn’t practice any last week because of a bruised thigh. His return will be more vital if Austin will be out for a game or more.
“We’re hopeful that that thing gets drained out a little bit this week and he can run a little more in practice,” Garrett said of Bryant.
As for Austin, Garrett said he preferred to talk about the receiver’s performance Sunday rather than the injury that was already bothering him. Austin had nine catches for 143 yards. On his last TD, he leaped over a defender and then was able to keep his body parallel to the ground long enough after diving to get the ball in the end zone, pulling Dallas within 24-21 with 6:55 to play.
“That last one that he makes when he jumps over the guy and comes down and keeps himself up and uses his hand so his knee doesn’t hit the ground, that has a lot to do with his athletic ability,” Garrett said. `He’s a tremendous competitor, he’s a guy who you want on his side. He played a great game.”
Teammates, meanwhile said they weren’t surprised by Romo’s gritty performance, which came a week after he had two turnovers in the final 10 minutes of a 27-24 season-opening loss at the New York Jets.
“We never questioned his grit. We know he wants to win. He’s one of the guys that prepares the hardest in this facility,” defensive end Marcus Spears said. “Obviously the public perception after the Jets game was that he was the worst quarterback in the history of the Cowboys and then this past week he’s the best.”
With his two TD passes against the 49ers, Romo became the first Cowboys quarterback to throw touchdowns in 20 consecutive games.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)