Romo Out?

Posted: December 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 73 Comments »

I spent Monday doing some family stuff. I logged onto Twitter in the early evening and saw some discussion about Tony Romo having a back injury, but I didn’t have time to read much about the situation.

Imagine my shock tonight when I started hearing that Romo was out for the rest of the year. Wow.

Adam Schefter is saying 100 percent definitively that Romo is out. He says Romo needs surgery and won’t be able to play again this season. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says he’s heard from sources that Romo does need the surgery, but the Cowboys aren’t ruling Romo out yet. Rapoport’s sources say it is highly unlikely he’ll play, but they’re hoping for some kind of miracle.

Jason Garrett and the Cowboys say this is a day-to-day situation.

Schefter explained that Dallas is doing the same thing that the Eagles did earlier in the year with Michael Vick. The Eagles knew Vick wasn’t ready to play, but let the situation drag out. That way the opponent had to prepare for him and Foles. The Eagles would then make the announcement late in the week, despite the fact everyone in the football world already knew that Foles was going to start.

This is crazy news. It sounds like Romo is really out. I don’t know what to think. Romo has horrible numbers in Week 17 games. But I also remember 2009 when he helped Dallas beat us 24-0. It’s fun to pick on him, but Romo really is one of the best QBs in the league.

It should be very beneficial to have Romo out, but I have to admit that it makes me nervous. Kyle Orton has been Romo’s backup for 2 years. He’s thrown a total of 15 regular season passes. There isn’t much useful tape of him as the Dallas QB. Heck, he only threw 22 passes in the 2013 preseason. The Eagles coaches will have to do some guessing.

Orton has started 69 games in the NFL. He’s a veteran QB who shouldn’t be overwhelmed by being thrust into the starting role. At the same time, he’s only 35-34 as a starter, with a career QB rating of 79.7. He showed promise in Chicago and Denver at times, but never could prove to be “the answer” at QB. There is a reason he’s the backup in Dallas.

It might be fun to start dreaming of the Eagles shutting out the Boys or resting their starters in the 3rd quarter since the game is so out of hand, but don’t count on that happening. Dallas still has some great weapons. This isn’t a team that will just lay down since they still have a division title to play for. And we know first hand about QBs having a shockingly good day and posting huge numbers.

That said, there is a big difference in Matt Cassel’s and Kyle Orton’s situations. Cassel had 3 starts under his belt this year when the Eagles faced him. There was no rust. He knew the weapons around him and they knew him. Cassel had already thrown 149 passes for the Vikings in 2013 when the Eagles came to town. Also, Dallas won’t have to completely change the offense. Orton can run the same stuff as Romo, just not as well. When Cassel started against the Eagles, he didn’t have his top 2 RBs so the coaches made changes to the offense on the fly.

If I were on the outside, I’d say the Romo injury gives the Eagles a huge advantage. As an Eagles fan, it has me nervous. You can bet the Cassel disaster will serve as a great motivational tool for the Eagles. They won’t let up with Romo out the way they might have if they’d steamrolled the Vikings. The taste of that humble pie should still be fresh in the mouths of the Eagles defense. Heck, Chip Kelly might still have some of that pie in the fridge. Everybody take a bite and never forget.

There will be approximately 37 million stories and rumors about the Cowboys QB situation between now and Sunday. I’m guessing I’ll be tired of this storyline by Tuesday at 4pm. This is gonna be a long week.


  • Jeff M.

    I know it hurts for any Eagles fan to give any Cowboys player a shred of credit – but I was truly fearful of Romo in this game, if for only the idea that he was “due” to win one of these NFC East or go home games. He’s earned the “choke” label at times but overall I think it’s way overblown and his ability to extend plays and find receivers open against our secondary was a legit concern. But the overwhelming sentiment I’ve heard and read tonight is that we were BETTER off facing Romo. lolwut.

    I know we’ve been scarred many times in the past as a fanbase, and Orton isn’t Jeff Tolzien – he’s capable of beating us. But if Orton manages to put up 350 and 4 TDs against us, Romo would have easily done that. There is no way this is not a big advantage for the Eagles.

    • AnirudhJ

      *Scott Tolzien. But I think this proves your point.

  • Vick or Nick

    Look. Heres the deal.

    If the Eagles front 7 can generate the type of pressure they did against the Bears, then it won’t matter who starts at QB for the cowboys. It’ll be a long day for that offense.

    All this injury does is give Dallas fans something to hide behind when the Eagles whip them in their own billion dollar stadium.

    • Anders

      Last game really showed why a great pass rush can really mask weak secondary

      • Vick or Nick

        It would help the Defense if we can score early and take the crowd out of the game.

    • Ark87

      Romo had a way of making magic out of avoiding pressure. If there is one thing to take away from the QB change, it’s that we can bring pressure without reservation.

  • OregonDucker

    The Vikings loss taught the Eagles an important lesson. Chip teams are usually quick learners. Let’s hope so.

  • Jamie Parker

    2006 – Cowboys win and Eagles loss gives the Cowboys the division. Cowboys had the early game and hosted the 2-13 Lions. And lost. Then Romo botched that famous game winning FG try in the playoffs.

    2007 – Cowboys wrapped up the division and #1 seed and the backups lost that week 17 game while the starters rested for the playoffs. Then they lost that first playoff game to the Giants.

    2008 – A do or die game in Philly with the Eagles. We all know what happened — 44-6.

    2009 – A winner takes the division game with the Eagles. They whooped us 24-0. Then whooped up on us some more the following week. Their one and only post season win since ’96. McNabb got fired for losing 3 games to the Cowboys in the same season.

    2010 – 5-10 Cowboys starters whipped up on the Eagles backups, 14-13. With a defensive TD.

    2011 – A do or die game against the Giants. The ‘boys showed up again, losing a heart breaker, 31-14.

    2012 – Another do or die game, this time against the Redskins. The score got a little closer, but the song remained the same, losing 28-18.

    2013 – Yet another do or die game, This time against the Eagles. Tony Romo says, “Screw this crap. I’m going home.”

  • T_S_O_P

    I would just like to offer my Budweiser moment from our last game. I fell asleep roughly around the 4th quarter of the ‘Hawks Cards game. I began to stir in the middle of the night and wondered if I could get away with flipping on the iPad to check the score. All I saw was a bunch of 3s. Was it sleep in my eyes? Was it 3 each, 33 each or was it 33-3?

    So I tuned in to GamePass (not worth the money for British customers by the way) and caught a couple of series, a 3 an out by Chicago, a fumble by Celek, and a drive up until the 4th down conversion by the Bears. I realised the team didn’t need me watching, I was clearly a jinx, and I turned over and went back to sleep.

    Now the Dallas game has been flexed, should I wake again some time around 3:45 am and get any bad luck the Eagles are going to get, out of the way, or just sleep through it?

    • bentheimmigrant

      You should stay up. I forgot i had a dentist appt yesterday morning. So little sleep.

      btw… Why don’t you like gamepass?

      • Anders

        Im very happy with mine, but I do not get blackouts like British people does

        • bentheimmigrant

          Yeah, the blackouts are annoying, but there’s only two of them. All the primetime games are available. And there are always… ways… to watch the blackouts.

      • T_S_O_P

        The Sky thing is so annoying, if I wanted Sky I’d pay for it and the blackout is exclusive to the UK and devoid in Europe. I didn’t buy GamePass this year until Oct, because our early schedule, meant it wasn’t worth buying, because I would rarely get the chance to use it to watch games live. There were back to back Sky games this year (Wash and Det), that is half a month where I am paying for nothing. Nothing! With the 2 flexed games, it now means, if relying on my paid service, that out of the last 5 games, I could’ve only watched 1 live!!! The flexed games are better as I have the option to stay up or watch them as soon as I wake up. The Sky games suck, because you have to wait over 24 hours. Then GamePass freezes on the iPad, giving worse service than the illicit P2P services that I have no clue about. It is the last time with GamePass. Alas I said that last year too.

        • bentheimmigrant

          Yes. I too know nothing about those illicit options…

          I also watch more than just the eagles games, so that helps.

          • Anders

            Yea, I watch at least 3 games per week and often also have red zone channel open

    • deg0ey

      GamePass is awesome! Admittedly it helps if you have Sky Sports too so that you can still watch the blacked out games, but compared to my experiences of trying to watch college football, GamePass is the best thing ever.

      As a slight aside, if you want to avoid the blackouts, this is really handy – I used it to get Canadian coverage of the Stanley Cup earlier in the year and it worked pretty well.

      • bentheimmigrant

        I can’t stand the sky coverage. I’d rather have American adverts than go back to the studio all the time.
        also, are the free servers fast enough for gamepass?

        • deg0ey

          American advertising is awesome! ‘Tell your doctor to prescribe you these drugs you probably don’t need!’

          • bentheimmigrant

            I know, right? I lived there half my life and it still blows me away that no one thinks advertising prescription meds is wierd.

          • Anders

            I always found black outs market monopols (only having access to 1 provider in an area) weird in a country there claim they are the land of the free

          • Lewwyn

            At least you can tune that out. The Sky sports commentary is just on point enough to keep you listening, only to make you want to tear your hair out.

        • BlindChow

          I like AND better.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Haha. So many times. Also, drink some light beer and buy a truck that you’ll never use for its intended purpose!

          • Anders

            Or listening to the play by play guy say the advertising thing in a very monotone way

  • NinjaP

    I thought the eagles would kill them if romo was healthy, not afraid with him out.

  • ICDogg


  • Anders

    Im on my phone so can’t link, but people should go over too and watch the McCoy video, but watch Jason Peters on the play. I had to change pants after watching it

    • deg0ey
      • Anders

        I love how he just tosses the guy and then get down field

    • TheRogerPodacter

      thanks, that one is always next on my list of football news in the morning after stopping here. : )

  • Cafone

    Really it shouldn’t matter who the Cowboys have at QB. With their defense, the Eagles should put up 60 points. This is a game our offense should win for us.

  • ICDogg

    speculation on Romo’s injury and it’s possible relation to previous offseason surgery

  • Scott J

    I’m looking forward to watching Dez Bryant’s sideline antics. Romo isn’t bothered by Bryant yelling at him because his girlfriend does it all the time. Orton may yell back. This could become a circus in Jerry World.

    • P_P_K

      “,,,because his girlfriend does it all the time.” Good one!

  • dan quisenberry

    Never underestimate the danger of a backup QB playing for next years meal ticket.

  • Rage114

    IMO, the biggest difference between the Vikings game and this game, should Orton be the starter, is that the Vikings had to completely scrap the game plan once it was known Peterson and Gerhart (sp) would be out.
    If Orton has to step in for Romo, I expect the Dallas offense to be very similar.
    It’s not an excuse but it appeared to me that the Eagles just were on their heels the entire Vikings game, reacting a step too late.

  • GermanEagle

    I may be in the minority here, but Romo’s injury is giving the Cowboys a huge a break. I won’t be surprised if Orton plays like the Webbs and Cassells in this world and shock Eagles country with an upset victory.

    • fran35

      Please don’t speak of this. I have the same thoughts looming in my head, but I dare not speak them. I am more scared of this situation than the proposition of facing a healthy Romo.

    • P_P_K

      Coal in your stocking!

  • GaEagle1023 – Tom

    Last film on Orton is him being replaced by Tim Tebow

    • BlindChow

      Actually, later that year Orton was traded to KC, where he led the only team to beat the 15-1 Packers.

      • ACViking


        Sorry for reposting the same comment. Hadn’t read thru everything yet.

        Be wary of Orton is the lesson.

      • GaEagle1023 – Tom

        We should score at will on Dallas. I like what Chris Collinsworth said the other night. Said when Kelly hired Billy Davis and they were putting this thing together, Kelly told Davis “I don’t want other teams having drives of 15 plays. Coach the D like I coach the O. Go after them. If you screw up, we’ll score.”
        That’s my coach right there.

  • SteveH

    One advantage to Orton instead of Romo is that Orton isn’t nearly as elusive. I always feel like that’s the wild card with Romo, you could end up giving up big plays because he evades the pass rush and someone breaks free downfield after 8 seconds. That stuff drives me nuts.

    • P_P_K

      Very true.

  • Corry

    Watching SportsCenter and they’re talking about Orton coming in for Romo and Mark Brunell made a good point that Tommy had touched on. Orton hasn’t really played in 2 years, and the speed of the game could take him by surprise.

    • Ark87

      That isn’t how backups play against the Eagles. Veteran backups wait specifically for this opportunity, a chance (one of the few and last) to chase a dream. Eagles better prepare like Orton is going to play a career game.

      • Corry

        That’s true, and kickers also save their career/NFL record setting kicks for game winners against the Eagles, too.

        • P_P_K

          You are your buddy Ark87 are killing me.

  • Mike Roman

    “This isn’t a team that will just lay down since they still have a division title to play for.”

    I disagree. I think that’s exactly the type of team that Dallas is.

  • GermanEagle

    I’m not being funny but every time the Eagles win big and/or play against a lesser opponent with backups he seems to keep coming across a bit cocky and overconfident. I hope the Eagles players don’t follow him on Twitter these days.

    • TommyLawlor

      Don’t follow who on Twitter?

      • GermanEagle

        Fixed. 😉
        Merry Xmas buddy!

  • CrackSammich

    It warms my heart that there’s a strong possibility that the Cowboys will go 8-8 again for third straight year.

  • Ark87

    Anybody else have a suspicion in the back of their head that this whole thing is an elaborate and opportunist hoax by Jerry? Mind games!

    • jshort

      Somewhat, but got chastised for it.

    • ICDogg

      Actually I think it’s the other way around. I think the injury dates back quite some time and they have been covering it up for a long time. He has even had surgery for it before.

  • Bob Brewer

    Here’s where is think Romo’s injury might help Dallas: I think that having Orton in the game might force Callahan/Garrett/Jones/whoever is calling plays to run more. They can get pass happy and Romo being out make them run it more.

    Until the Eagles go up 3 touchdowns…

    • D3FB

      That’s fine by me. Our run defense is solid to above average. Much rather contend with Demarco than Dez.

  • CrackSammich

    Also important to keep in mind: If Foles has a game like he did last go around with the Cowboys, he has Vick backing him up, not Barkley. I’d still feel pretty confident with Vick running the show.

    • iceberg584

      I wonder how much/long it would take for Chip to go to the bullpen like that. Obviously, it’s a one-game season at this point with everything at stake, but it’d be fairly confidence shattering for Foles if he were to get yanked at halftime with the score 14-0 or something.

  • ACViking

    Re: Orton’s No Babe Laufenberg

    I have a very healthy respect for Orton.

    In 2011, after Orton was cut in mid-season by the Broncos, he joined the KC Chiefs.

    His first start for KC came in Week 14 against the 13-0 Green Bay Packers. Orton hadn’t played since Week 5.

    Against the Packers, Orton went 23-31, 299, 0-0.

    And the Chiefs handed the 15-1 Packers their only loss of 2011 regular season, 19-14.

    So, yes, I have a healthy respect for Orton and what he can do in a pinch. He’s very careful with the football — only throwing more INTs than TDs once, in his 2005 rookie season.

    So whatever the Cowboys’ defense may do, Orton is a QB to be respected.

    • Bob Brewer

      I know they have played better than most expected, but I think the Eagles’s defense is good enough to not respect the opponent’s offense.

      • ACViking

        Absolutely. I think the players and coaches get it.

        The entirety of the fan-base? Who knows.

    • ICDogg

      Yeah, Orton is capable of having a very good game occasionally. I wouldn’t dismiss that possibility at all. Plus, it forces the Cowboys to show us something a little different that we may or may not be as ready for.

  • ACViking

    Re: Orton’s Long Layoff

    Yes, he’s not thrown any regular season passes in just under two seasons.

    There was a guy named Earl Morrall. Didn’t play but 1 week in 20 over two seasons. Careful with the football. A lot like Orton in terms of mobility and arm strength.

    Anyway, in 1968 the guy Morrall was backing up hurt his elbow — so Morrall stepped in on opening day and had an MVP season. That was 1968 and the injured QB was Johnny Unitas. The team was the 13-1 Baltimore Colts (who didn’t but one game that year decided by 7 points or less.)

    Long time ago, sure. But Morrall was a pro’s pro. I suspect Orton’s the same kind of player.

    Won’t matter if the Eagles bring their “A” game. But Orton’s not going to lose the game for the Cowboys.

    • Ark87

      Good point. That O has enough talent to still be very good, even with a non-stellar yet efficient QB, much like the Bears with McCown. It should be their defense that sinks them (also much like the bears, wait…and the Eagles….wait…)

    • ICDogg

      Now all we need is Broadway Foles guaranteeing we’re going to win the game on Sunday.

  • Ark87

    Ark’s Theory of the Letdown/Upset:

    The old cliche is that the good team plays down to an opponent, taking it easy, getting sloppy and playing flat. I’m sure this is sometimes the case, but surely it’s more nuanced than that.

    What’s the difference between a good team and a bad team? The perceived talent discrepancy rarely matches reality. What makes the bad team bad? it can be the scheme, but most often comes down to execution, which can suffer from bad chemistry and/or bad coaching. Either way bad teams are bad because of persistent weaknesses. Any team, not just good teams, game plans to exploit the weaknesses of the other team. What happens when the bad team plays good football? The good team is suddenly at a loss, their preparation goes out the window. You spent the week preparing for Matt Cassel, and 80’s Joe Montana showed up in a Delorian wearing a Cassel jersey. What the hell? Didn’t prep for this, didn’t scheme for this.

    Point is, it is in a game-planners nature to scheme to exploit weaknesses, ie. count on a bad team to be bad. I bring this up because of recent memory of the Vikings game, and an anxiety of being heavy favorites this Sunday. The hope is that we game plan for the best possible version of Dallas we can imagine, not the team everybody expects.

    • OregonDucker


  • ICDogg

    From Jene Bramel’s twitter timeline yesterday: (multiple tweets combined)

    Okay, what follows is a brain dump and some of my own speculation informed by discussions with a neurosurgeon this afternoon. First, I suspect, after Romo’s comments yesterday and tone of Garrett’s response today, that Romo’s offseason surgery was spine related. Strange that Romo took nearly 3 months (April-July) to be cleared for practice after “cyst removal” — suggests more than superficial thing. Possible that surgery was to address a degenerative cyst that had formed near spine, putting pressure on nerve root. Rehab after surgery to remove such a cyst can take 2-3+ months, on par with length of Romo’s preseason absence. If cyst recurred, surgery would be necessary. Often times, that surgery would also include a fusion procedure. Romo said yesterday current issue involves different spot in his back. And now reports of herniated disc. So, latest issue may be unrelated. But multiple levels of spinal surgery and disc / nerve root related issues an obvious concern. Connected in that sense. If new herniation at different level, Cowboys may be trying rest, anti-inflammatories, epidural injection, etc. to get him functional. But lots of reports that surgery inevitable, says that what was seen on MRI isn’t something that treatment likely successful for. Too early for long term outlook. Depends on severity, whether recurrent or not, how close two inj are if not to same level, type of surg. Ability to return this season dependent on symptoms. If somehow can resolve pain, weakness, etc, has a chance to return in 2013. Surgery could mean microdiscectomy, could mean fusion, or both. Key w/ that will be whether surgery is at different level than prev surg. And now we’re getting pretty far down speculative yellow brick road. This is Dallas and Romo, so expect lots of additional details to come.

    • ICDogg

      My speculation on top of this is that this has been bothering Romo for several weeks (have you seen him throw anything with velocity lately?), and that they have already tried lots of things to keep him going, and may be out of such options.

  • ICDogg