Tony Romo underwent back surgery Friday morning, eliminating his chances of playing in Sunday’s game against Philadelphia and thereby diminishing the chances of the Dallas Cowboys advancing to the playoffs.
Kyle Orton, an experienced backup quarterback, will sub for Romo, who played admirably through pain in leading Dallas to a last-minute win over Washington last week. His back problems did not allow him to practice all week. ESPN reported on Monday that he would be out for the season, but the team refused to concede that, hoping Romo’s back would loosen up during a week of rest and treatment.
When it was obvious that was not going to work, and after much consultation with Dallas-area doctors, Romo and the Cowboys decided on surgery.
“It was the right decision for him and the right decision for the organization,” coach Jason Garrett said.
The Cowboys (8-7) play the Eagles (9-6) on Sunday, with the winner clinching the NFC East title and a playoff spot.
Romo, who received an epidural on Monday for a herniated disk in his back, finishes the season having thrown for 3,828 yards and 31 touchdowns.
“He’ll start his road to recovery, sooner rather than later,” Garrett said. “We’re completely confident he will rehab and come back at 100 percent.”
Romo has played through pain countless times throughout his career, including playing multiple weeks with a cracked rib and punctured lung during the 2011 season. He managed to continue to play in last week’s game against the Redskins, directing a late game-winning drive with pain down his right leg.
Now, after the surgery, Romo and the Cowboys hope he is available for the start of training camp for next season.