Sunday, December 5, 2010
Updated: December 6, 8:56 AM ET
Tony Romo remains uncertain of return
By Calvin Watkins
INDIANAPOLIS -- It's been a little more than six weeks since Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken left collarbone in a loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 25.
The injury was supposed to keep Romo out from six to eight weeks, and a second X-ray on Nov. 22 showed the bone was still healing.
Romo is throwing but said following the Cowboys 38-35 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday that he's still feeling discomfort. He has trouble laying on his left shoulder and can't really drive the ball when he throws it in practice.
He's not sure when he'll return to the Cowboys, who are 3-3 without him in 2010.
"That's not up to me, that's up to other people," Romo said. "The debate is for me to get healthy and play football, that's what I do. At the end of the day, a couple of things in life you try and do and one of them for me is obviously playing football, If I could play football. You're always wanting to come back."
The hardest part for Romo is waiting. He does his rehab in the weight room as the rest of the team practices. During games, Romo watches from the sidelines, sometimes with a headset, and offers suggestions to backup quarterback Jon Kitna and other teammates.
"It's been hard," said tight end Jason Witten, a close friend of Romo's. "He's handled it really well. He lives for Sundays, that's one of his greatest traits. He's so competitive. I know it's hard. I've been impressed day in and day out, but he has a game plan for this season."
That game plan is to get healthy quickly, but Romo can't force the issue and has to be patient.
Interim Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and team owner Jerry Jones haven't indicated whether Romo will play again this season and seem to be hinging on the progress of his collarbone before deciding.
Jones said he visited with Romo prior to the Colts game, describing talks regarding the starting quarterback's health as good.
"He's having to look to the future," Jones said.
Kitna won the first two games of the Garrett era after Wade Phillips was fired following the 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 7.
Under Garrett, the Cowboys have made numerous changes which range from a new dress code, hanging digital clocks outside the locker room, increasing the intensity in practices and making players wear full pads on Wednesdays.
Romo, who wouldn't answer a specific question about his feelings regarding Phillips' firing, does like what's going on at Valley Ranch these days.
The quarterback does like Phillips personally, and after the Cowboys knocked off the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints last year the two shared a private moment when Romo told the coach he was proud of him.
But Phillips is gone now. Garrett is in charge of a locker room that seems to believe in what he's doing.
"We're in a bottom-line business," Romo said. "Playing this game it's obviously enjoyable, [and] fun for people like me and [Garrett] and stuff because we like to compete. But it's winning and losing that matters and from that prospective, I think nobody can argue that [Garrett has] done a good job."
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag.