By Shawn S. Lealos

The Dallas Cowboys have lost seven straight games since Tony Romo was injured in the second game of the 2015 NFL season. That means that the best they can finish is 9-7, and if they lose one more game there is little chance that an 8-8 team will make the playoffs. With that said, Romo is on his way back and the team has cleaned out some excess baggage as they prepare for the final run of the season. Here is a look at the Cowboys’ team headlines as they prepare to take on the Miami Dolphins.

Tony Romo is Coming Back

The Cowboys have yet to remove the injured tag from Tony Romo and have not activated him yet. However, Romo has been practicing and is ready to come back when the Cowboys activate him. Most believe that it will happen this week, and Romo wants to come back. He posted a Twitter message this week that showed a video from the movie Major League about winning it all. Romo also did an interview where he said that the Cowboys “aren’t done yet.” If Romo comes back this week, and Dallas wins, fans will assume they have a chance. The season isn’t over with yet, and Romo’s return is the only thing that keeps hope alive.

Cowboys Cut Brandon Weeden

While Jason Garrett has said that he has not decided on whether Romo will be back this week, the team released backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, which almost assures Romo’s return. Weeden lost his starts this season, but that was more the fault of play calling than Weeden’s play. He was accurate, but didn’t really see the field as well as hoped and threw too many quick short passes. With Weeden gone, that leaves Matt Cassel, who also didn’t win a single start, and Romo at quarterback. Weeden didn’t stay unemployed for long, as the Houston Texans signed him to back up T.J. Yates just in case Brian Hoyer misses the game because of a concussion suffered on Monday night.

Cowboys Cut Christine Michael and Thin Out RB Corps

The second player that the Cowboys released this week was running back Christine Michael. A lot of Cowboys fans wanted to see Michael get more carries ever since the team traded a conditional 2016 draft pick for him at the start of the season. However, the Cowboys never trusted him enough to give him many carries over his tenure in Dallas. As a result, Dallas waived him this week, but because they kept him for so long, they will lose their draft pick to Seattle anyway. The Cowboys had already dropped Joseph Randle, so they are left with just injury prone Darren McFadden as their starter and backups named Rod Smith and Trey Williams. The next day, the Cowboys signed former Seattle Seahawks running back Robert Turbin, who has run for 988 yards in his three plus NFL seasons.

Greg Hardy’s Future in Dallas in Doubt

A few weeks back, Jerry Jones said that he was happy with Greg Hardy and called him a team leader. Jones knew that the Cowboys would face scrutiny when they signed the player, based on the alleged domestic abuse in his past, but he is too valuable of a player to remain unsigned. He has really done an admirable job on the field and Dallas’ defense is better thanks to his presence. Jones even hinted that the Cowboys would like to retain him long term. However, Hardy got into some more controversy this week when he went to Twitter and continued to claim his innocence, saying people against him were showing prejudice. After that, Jones was asked again and this time said he was not sure. He said that the Cowboys will see if Hardy can deliver what is expected from him and they will determine at that time if he is someone they will keep around. Hardy needs to keep a low profile off the field and a high profile on the field if he wants a future in Dallas.

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.