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Cowboys place Romo on IR, can return Nov. 22

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Quarterback Tony Romo will be placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. He is eligible to be activated for the Dallas Cowboys’ Nov. 22 game against the Miami Dolphins.

Romo eschewed surgery to allow the fractured clavicle to hear naturally. The typical recovery time is eight weeks.

Without Romo, the Cowboys are turning the keys to the offense over to Brandon Weeden, who is 5-16 as a starter with the Cowboys and Cleveland Browns.

The Cowboys are still determining who will take Romo’s spot on the 53-man roster, and what the quarterback depth chart looks like behind Weeden.

“We’ve been hard at it,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “I don’t think it’s fair to throw out any names yet. There’s a lot of ways to acquire players. You can get them off the street. You can get them off of other people’s practice squads. You can trade for them. There’s a lot of ways to look at it. Certainly we’re going to uncover every stone knowing that Tony is probably going to be out for weeks here.

“We’ve got to take a look at it and see here what’s going to be the alternative if Brandon were to have an injury, God forbid, but if he were to have an injury who’s up next. So, we’re certainly looking at that. Probably we’ll end up having some guys to work out over the next day or two and we’ll go from there and make a decision from there.”

Jones wouldn’t rule out asking a veteran such as former Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton to come out of retirement.

“I wouldn’t rule anybody out.” Jones said. “Anybody who’s had success and played well in the NFL and isn’t on a team or is on another team that might be, that team might be willing to move him, we’ll look at him.”

Still, the Cowboys have faith in Weeden as starter.

The question is can he win games? He was the No. 22 overall draft pick for the Cleveland Browns in 2012.

He has an eight-game losing streak, with his last victory coming in a 30-7 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 9, 2012. The Cowboys are 6-9 in the 15 games they have played without Romo since he became the starter in 2006.

There is no question that the loss of Romo with a fractured clavicle cast a pall over the Cowboys’ 20-10 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. And it certainly put dreams of a Super Bowl on hold.

“Sure, sure, to be honest with you sure,” Jones said when asked if the Romo injury takes away some of the excitement of the victory. “Not having Tony is a big deal.”

It was a Romo injury and subsequent missed games that derailed the Cowboys the last two times they followed up division titles by missing the playoffs the following season.

In 2008, he missed three games with a fractured finger after the Cowboys went 13-3 in 2007. The Cowboys finished 9-7 in 2008 and missed the playoffs in the final game of the season.

After the Cowboys went 11-5 in 2009, Romo fractured his left collarbone in 2010. He missed the final 10 games of the season and the Cowboys finished 6-10. In the middle of all that, Wade Phillips was replaced as head coach by Jason Garrett when the team was 1-7.

But Jones also believes the Cowboys are better equipped to survive while Romo rehabs because there is confidence in Weeden in the interim. Jones believes the whole team is deeper in talent this year than when Romo was sidelined in the past.

“I’ll be ready to go when I come back,” Romo said Sunday night.


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