Report: Tony Romo Is Expected to Play for the Cowboys in Week 17

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(Photo: Getty Images)

It may sound crazy, but the Dallas Cowboys have a lot riding on their meaningless Week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Because in a change of plans the Cowboys plan on playing backup quarterback and four-time Pro Bowler Tony Romo, who hasn't played all year after suffering another serious back injury during the preseason.

Dak Prescott will get the start and a shot to break the NFL record for wins by a rookie quarterback, but according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Romo and Mark Sanchez are expected to see the field in a game that will have no effect on their standing as the NFC's No. 1 seed.

And that could greatly affect the futures of Romo and the franchise.

It's likely that, should Romo play instead of Sanchez in mop-up duty, his performance won't change how teams feel about him in the offseason—especially if he just sees the field for a quick three-and-out.

But if the game gets out of hand early and Romo leads two spectacular touchdown drives, teams frothing at the mouth for a quarterback this offseason—say, the Houston Texans or the Denver Broncos—might get more competitive for his services, netting the Cowboys a bigger trade return.

On the other hand, should Romo play and seriously re-injure himself, the Cowboys will have tanked the demand for a once valuable trade chip.