Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

December 28, 2013

Cowboys’ Romo has surgery, out for Eagles finale

Irving, Texas — Tony Romo’s season is over, and the Dallas Cowboys will have to win without their star quarterback in a third straight playoffs-or-bust finale.

Coach Jason Garrett said Romo had back surgery Friday, and Kyle Orton will start when Dallas faces Philadelphia on Sunday night with the NFC East title and a postseason berth on the line.

Garrett said Romo underwent treatment all week in hopes of playing after injuring his back in a season-saving 24-23 victory against Washington. The winning touchdown came after the injury on Romo’s fourth-down pass to DeMarco Murray in the final 2 minutes.

Romo hurt himself when he tripped over his foot while trying to escape pressure earlier in the fourth quarter.

“He might have had his finest hour against the Redskins last week, what he did at the end of that ballgame under the circumstances,” Garrett said. “Pretty special.”

Romo lost the past two winner-take-all finales — to the New York Giants two years ago and Washington last season. He also lost to the Eagles in the same situation in 2008 and now will miss a chance to improve his 1-6 record in elimination games.

“He’s devastated,” Garrett said. “Devastated. He puts a lot into this.”

Philadelphia (9-6) is trying to complete a worst-to-first turnaround from a 4-12 season under first-year coach Chip Kelly. The Cowboys (8-7) want to end a three-year playoff drought and avoid a third 8-8 finish in Garrett’s three full seasons as coach.

Dallas will have to do it without its defensive leader, too.

Linebacker Sean Lee will miss his third straight game with a sprained neck. He’ll wind up sidelined for five of the last six regular-season games. He was out for two with a hamstring injury.

Lee was forced to watch last year’s season-ending loss to the Redskins with a toe injury sustained in the sixth game.

“You have this picture of how the season is going to go and two years in a row, it doesn’t go the right way from a personal standpoint, from a physical standpoint,” Lee said. “I’m just trying to stay positive, trying to help out any way I can, but I hate not being on the football field.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show that the team and Romo hoped an injection would ease the pain enough to allow him to play. But his condition didn’t improve, and Jones said doctors advised it was better not to wait for surgery.

Jones said the hope is that Romo will be ready for offseason practices in May.

Romo missed all the offseason workouts this year after surgery to remove a cyst from his back in April. Garrett and Jones said the latest injury is not related, but wouldn’t be more specific about Friday’s procedure.

News of the second back surgery comes nine months after Romo signed a six-year, $108 million extension with $55 million guaranteed.

“He played very well coming off the first procedure he had in the spring,” Garrett said. “We are completely confident he’s going to rehab and come back 100 percent.”

Orton, who declined to talk to reporters Friday, will make his first start since the finale in 2011, when he finished the season in Kansas City after getting replaced by Tim Tebow in Denver. He’s appeared in three games and thrown just 15 passes in two seasons as Romo’s backup.

“We’ve been operating as if Kyle Orton is going to be our starting quarterback,” Garrett said. “At the same time we were trying to do whatever we could to see if we could help Tony and get him back as quickly as possible. We just felt like this was the best course of action.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog
More