Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Friday, January 10, 2014
Final Exam: History says Romo will return

By Calvin Watkins

In the summer of 1993, Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman underwent surgery for a herniated disc. Dr. Robert Watkins said at the time Aikman would miss six-to-12 weeks and there was a chance he would start the season on time.

Romo
Watkins said he removed a disc fragment one-inch wide and 1 1/2 inch long. Aikman's recovery went fine and he started the season on time.

Fast forward to the current quarterback, Tony Romo, who underwent surgery for a herniated disc a few weeks ago and is projected to return for the 2014 season.

Romo was older than Aikman was when he had his surgery, but it's expected that when he returns there shouldn't be any problems.

Aikman led the NFL in completion percentage at 69.1 percent and finished 10th in passing yards (3,100) and touchdowns (10). More importantly, Aikman led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl title that season.

There's no guarantee Romo will return on time, but from what team officials are saying he should be ready like Aikman was. The key for Romo is his weight. He was over his playing weight last summer, because his conditioning was slowed due to back surgery to remove a cyst.

Questioning Romo's abilities to return from a serious surgery is understandable, but his toughness shouldn't be questioned. Romo is one of the tough guys on the Cowboys' team and he made a statement 72 hours after back surgery, by showing up to team meetings following the regular-season loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, which eliminated the Cowboys from playoff contention.

Romo will be fine for 2014 because as Aikman's surgery demonstrated, you can return from a back injury and play well.