Dallas quarterback Tony Romo had back surgery and will miss the rest of the National Football League season, including the Cowboys’ showdown tomorrow night with the Philadelphia Eagles for a playoff spot.
Romo, who was injured Dec. 22 while leading Dallas to a comeback win against the Washington Redskins, had been trying to recover in time for the National Football Conference East division-deciding game at home against the Eagles.
“As we discussed it as yesterday wore on, this was the best decision for him and for our organization moving forward,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said yesterday at a televised news conference, declining to discuss the specifics of the surgery. “They felt like doing it sooner rather than later was important, so that’s why we did it this morning.”
Kyle Orton will get the start for Dallas against the Eagles. Jon Kitna, who was signed out of retirement this week, will serve as Orton’s backup.
Garrett, who didn’t give a specific timetable for Romo’s recovery, said the injury wasn’t related to past surgery that kept Romo out of practices the previous offseason. Romo had a cyst removed from his back in May.
“The surgery went well and Tony should be able to come home later today and begin his rehabilitation for the 2014 season,” Garrett said of the latest procedure.
Romo’s status had been in question since he hurt his back while leading the Cowboys (8-7) to a 24-23 win in Washington, visibly suffering from pain while leading the team to a game-winning score. He tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray on fourth-and-goal with 68 seconds remaining to give Dallas the win.
“Tony did an unbelievable job helping us get to this point,” Garrett said. “He might have had his finest hour against the Redskins.”