IRVING, Texas -- Realistically the Dallas Cowboys' 2015 season ended for sure the second time Tony Romo suffered a broken left collarbone on Thanksgiving, if not the first time he suffered the injury in Week 2. But technically the Cowboys' playoff hopes did not die until Dec. 19.
Had Dallas made the playoffs, Romo said he could have returned this weekend for the wild-card round, six weeks removed from the hairline fracture suffered against the Carolina Panthers.
“I would have figured out a way obviously to get back out there,” Romo said. “That’s what we play the game for, playing those games. It’s disappointing that we’re not in that part of it right now. Believe me we’re going to do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Romo said the decision to put a plate in his collarbone, which has been broken three times since 2010, will be made this month. He will have another CT scan to determine the bone growth. When he first suffered the injury on Sept. 20 he had nine fractures in the collarbone. After the Panthers game, a CT scan revealed a hairline fracture in an area where bone was growing.
Romo also hinted at other options besides a plate, but did not elaborate.
“There are some other ways you can help,” Romo said. “I think that’ll hopefully ensure it becomes very minimal to likely happen again, and that’s encouraging.”
Romo knew he was taking a risk when he returned to game action on Nov. 22 against the Miami Dolphins after missing eight weeks. But he does not believe the collarbone will prevent him from playing at a high level again.
In fact, Romo believes he will be healthier in 2016 because he will be further removed from the major back surgery he had in 2013 that has altered his practice schedule the past two seasons.
“It’s not as if there’s a huge rehab process that goes into a bone,” Romo said. “It just takes time and it heals and it strengthens and then you come back and it’s strong. That’s how it works. And then there are ways you can help strengthen it and there are ways you can help ensure it doesn’t happen [again]. It happens a lot where the collarbone gets re-broken. You take that risk when you go back out there. We knew that. But it was worth it at the time. Your season was hanging in the balance and you go and you lay it on the line. That’s what we all want to do. But as far as going forward, I’ll be a much healthier version going forward actually than I was the last couple of years as my back continues to strengthen and the bone will be healed.”