Tony Romo Has Broken Bone in His Back, Is Out Indefinitely

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

On Thursday, Tony Romo was knocked out of his Dallas Cowboys' preseason matchup with the Seattle Seahawks on a from-behind tackle from Cliff Avril.

The quarterback lobbied to return, and just about everyone in the organization insisted he was held out as a precautionary measure.

On Saturday, we learned that the situation is much worse—Romo broke a bone in his back and is out indefinitely. The quarterback has had back issues before, requiring surgery in 2013 and missing a game due to transverse process fractures in 2014. 

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says this injury is unrelated.

"Again it's not related to the other back issues that he's had (and is) very specific to the hit he took the other night at the game," Garrett said in a conference call to announce the injury on Saturday. "And he came out and he was lobbying to go back in. We decided to not have him go back in, and then he actually felt fine after the game. Then he woke up on Friday morning and didn't feel so good and (the back) stiffened up on him, and that's when we did the MRI. And that's what we found."

According to ESPN, the injury is a compression fracture of L1 vertebra and will not require surgery, though Romo "could miss six to 10 weeks."

Rookie Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick out of Mississippi State, would start in his place.

The head coach maintained that the injury will not jeopardize the quarterback's entire season.

"We don't believe that to be the case at all," Garrett said. The coach also wouldn't rule out his quarterback playing in Week 1.

Romo missed 12 games in 2015 to collarbone and shoulder problems. He missed single games each of the prior two seasons with aforementioned back issues.

"He's driven for this not to be like last year," said Stephen Jones, Cowboys executive vice president and son of Cowboys owner and evil security guard in a movie Jerry Jones. "He's certainly not deterred and he really feels like it's going to be different, but he can get through this, and he also feels very confident that our team can win football games without him while he's not here. He's driven to help Dak win football games for us so that when he gets back that we have a great chance to have a great season, get in the tournament and contend for a championship. Nothing's changed."

That last sentence is especially true.


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