IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) — The Dallas Cowboys announced that quarterback Tony Romo underwent back surgery on Friday and will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Head coach Jason Garrett said the decision was made late Thursday afternoon to pursue surgery.
Kyle Orton will start on Sunday in a de facto NFC East Championship game against Philadelphia at AT&T Stadium. The team signed 41-year-old veteran Jon Kitna to serve as his backup.
Romo injured his back in the fourth quarter against Washington on Sunday, but team officials were holding out hope that Romo would be able to play.
“Since his injury Sunday, we had been hoping that he would respond to the treatment, the injection that he was getting,” said Jerry Jones on 105.3 The Fan. “We were hoping that he would get comfortable enough…it was pretty apparent yesterday that it was not responding.”
Jones would not go into any specifics on the surgery, choosing just to call it “back surgery”.
“We feel like the surgery went well and Tony should be able to come home today,” said Garrett during the announcement.
The team was advised by “many people” to pursue the surgery as soon as possible, according to Jones.
“The quicker that you could relieve those symptoms, the better off he was in his long-term recovery. Everybody agreed that we ought to have surgery this morning.”
Jones says Romo is “extremely disappointed” at the outcome, praising his efforts in Sunday’s comeback win over the Redskins.
“It was a real super human effort for him to finish the game the other day and make the plays he made to get us here.”
Jones also noted that the surgery is not related to the offseason surgery that Romo underwent in which a cyst was removed from his back. That surgery caused Romo to miss the team’s OTAs.
Jones says the team anticipates Romo returning in the spring in time for camp. He also dispelled thoughts that Romo’s time with the Cowboys is coming to an end.
“My expectations are…Tony Romo will be the Cowboys QB for years to come.”
Without Romo, the Cowboys will be facing their third straight ‘division championship’ game. Last season, Dallas lost to Washington to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs. The Giants captured the NFC East crown in 2012 with a week 17 win over Dallas.
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