Tony Romo was injured when he took a knee into his back during the Monday Night Football loss to the Washington Redskins. He returned at the end of that game, but was ineffective because of the pain and Dallas lost in overtime. Romo decided he wouldn’t return for the Arizona Cardinals game unless he was effective and he didn’t play, another Dallas loss. The Cowboys have already flown out to London for their next game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Romo made the trip.
Now, even if a player isn’t planning on playing, making the trip to London is a big deal and they might try to make the trip regardless. However, with Romo’s problems being a back injury, on top of an already bad back after two surgeries, a cross-continental plane trip is not something he should do for no reason. Standing on the sidelines and watching Brandon Weeden starting again is not a good reason to sit on a plane for half a day. That tells fans that they should expect to see Tony Romo playing on Sunday.
The question, however, is should Tony Romo play on Sunday?
Tony Romo wants to play and the Cowboys want him under center. In his start last week, Brandon Weeden couldn’t seem to get comfortable in the offense. Even with one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Dez Bryant, Weeden couldn’t move the team down the field. Neither Terrance Williams nor Dez Bryant even caught a pass until the final drive of the game. The big thing to remember is that the Arizona Cardinals have the best record in the NFC.
However, the Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-8. They are easily one of the worst teams in the NFL, ranking 25th against the pass and 24th against the run. The Cardinals had the third ranked rush defense and since they didn’t feel Weeden was a threat, they just stacked the line to stop DeMarco Murray. The Jaguars can’t stop anyone, so Murray should be back on track this week, regardless of the quarterback problems.
After the Jacksonville Jaguars game, the Dallas Cowboys get their bye week. If Dallas started Brandon Weeden for one more game, that would mean Romo could rest his back completely until the Cowboys play the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football on Nov. 23. Rushing him back for a game against an overmatched Jacksonville Jaguars means less rest for Romo.
If Dallas is so determined to bring Tony Romo back for a game in London, it proves they have no faith whatsoever left in Brandon Weeden. With that thought, they might as well give Dustin Vaughan a chance to take over the backup role and cut their losses. Romo is optimistic that he can start and the Cowboys feel he is ready to return as long as he can handle the pain. The Cowboys just have to hope that rushing him back for an easier game, overseas, doesn’t come back to hurt them during the brutal second half of their 2014 NFL schedule.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.