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Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Updated: December 25, 3:31 PM ET
Jerry Jones won't rule out Tony Romo

By Calvin Watkins
ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday morning there's still a chance quarterback Tony Romo might play in the win-or-go-home game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday that Romo is out for the season with a back injury. Romo has a herniated disk in the lumbar region and needs to have surgery, a source told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen.

"He is going through treatment beginning [Monday], and if that treatment has positive implications that it certainly has a chance to have, then he should not be ruled out in any way for this game," Jones said Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan Dallas-Fort Worth. "On the other hand, we paid a lot of money several years ago for just this very circumstance.

"Should we be in a situation where a game, or a possible intermittent time when Tony couldn't play, get the very best [we] can, and that's why we signed Kyle Orton for over $10 million three years ago, just for this very occasion."

Jones, who said he spoke with Romo from the doctor's office on Monday afternoon, noted the quarterback was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.

However, on Thursday, Romo was limping during the early portions of practice and while talking with quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, motioning to his hip area. Asked after practice why he was limping, Romo said it was just normal soreness and that he was OK.

Romo didn't practice with a limp the next day or during the Redskins game until he was tripped up while escaping pressure.

"The facts are, I assure you structurally if his doctor clears him, which he can and it's possible, obviously he won't if Tony is in pain or Tony can't function," Jones said. "But to the extent he's cleared, he can very well play."

The Cowboys normally don't reveal whether players will miss games regardless of whether the player or media reports say otherwise. But it's clear the Cowboys are preparing for life without Romo, at least for the regular-season finale.

Dallas moved to help their quarterback depth, agreeing to a deal with 41-year-old veteran Jon Kitna, pending a physical, the team reported on its website Tuesday night.

David Carr, Tyler Thigpen, John Skelton, Caleb Hanie and Richard Bartel also worked out for the team, multiple sources told ESPNDallas.com.

The goal is to have a scout-team quarterback so Orton can work with the first-team offense in preparation for the Eagles game.

Orton has 69 career starts and is 35-34. He hasn't started since the 2011 regular-season finale with Kansas City.

"Feel great about Kyle Orton," coach Jason Garrett said Monday afternoon. "We'll evaluate Tony on a day-by-day this week. In the meantime, Kyle will be the guy that's taking the snaps until Tony is ready to go. Again, that's what we do at every position, is get ready to go and get ready for the next opportunity that we have, and obviously it's Philadelphia Sunday night."

Information from ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer was used in this report.