Should Tony Romo play in next Monday's game against the Redskins?
DALLAS — After a game one collapse, Tony Romo was seen by most as a goat. It may have been unfair, as he was very effective overall against a strong New York Jets defense. But that perception echoed what many already thought of the Cowboys' quarterback.
After Sunday's come-from-behind performance, Romo has earned a reprieve from criticism. And as news continues to come out about what he went through to return to the field after a first-half injury, the legend of his performance will keep growing.
Romo sustained a series of hard hits throughout the game on Sunday, leaving the field late in the second quarter after throwing a touchdown pass to Miles Austin. At the time, it was his injury was said to be a fractured rib.
But the team has confirmed that an MRI conducted Monday concluded that Romo showed evidence of a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) in addition to the fractured rib.
The rib issue was initially believed to be severe enough to keep him sidelined throughout the game. Cowboys Media Relations Coordinator Jancy Briles walked into the press box and told members of the Dallas-Fort Worth media (including our own Joe Trahan) that the quarterback had been ruled out for the game. Romo returned to the field less than a minute after the announcement, replacing Jon Kitna, who had thrown two interceptions during his absence.
He then completed twelve of sixteen passes for 201 yards and a touchdown, leading the Cowboys back from a ten-point deficit to an eventual overtime victory.
The puncture is believed to be small, and head coach Jason Garrett said today he can't think of a reason Romo won't be ready to play next Monday night against the Washington Redskins.
Regardless, when the story of this game is told, it won't be about Miles Austin's transcendent three-touchdown performance. It won't be about Jesse Holley, who went from "reality TV story" to "late-game savior" within the span of around fifteen minutes.
It will be about a quarterback who showed more courage, late-game tenacity and resistance to pain than we in Dallas have seen for a long time.
From a medical perspective, it seems like Romo made a terrible decision in returning to the field yesterday. But from the perspective of a football player intent on winning every possible game, he showed more than any of his detractors would dream of crediting him for.
The story of Cowboys vs 49ers on September 18 will be the story of Tony Romo: Injured Hero.