Dallas Cowboys keep Tony Romo options open, despite broken clavicle

By The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 10, 2015 at 9:11 AM
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IRVING, Texas -- Dallas quarterback Tony Romo played catch before Monday night's game in Washington, and the Cowboys intend to keep him off injured reserve as long as they are in the playoff hunt.

Romo sustained a broken left clavicle for the second time this season during the Thanksgiving game against Carolina, and he is expected to be sidelined at least six to eight weeks.

That will keep him out the rest of the regular season, but the Cowboys want to at least keep open the possibility of bringing him back for the postseason should they make a run.

"The reason we have not put him on IR is because of the timing of his injury," coach Jason Garrett said. "We say whatever it is, eight weeks, there is still season left, so we'll play that situation out, but we're all behind Matt (Cassel) and what he's going to do for our team, and we'll see what happens if we get to that point."

--Cowboys coach Jason Garrett adjusted the team's schedule because of the short week after arriving back in Dallas at 5 a.m. CT on Tuesday following a 19-16 victory against the Washington Redskins on Monday night. The team is getting ready for the quick turnaround for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

The players had Tuesday off, and the Wednesday practice was moved to late in the afternoon so they could have the morning off.

Garrett said he wanted to give the players a little more time off their feet.

The Cowboys will not practice in pads this week and probably not next week either with another short week ahead. The team will host the New York Jets on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Garrett doesn't know when the Cowboys will practice in pads again, if at all for the rest of the season.

"We'll take them day by day after that," Garrett said. "We have a couple of short weeks coming up, so it becomes a little bit more challenging."

--Kicker Dan Bailey won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his work in the Washington game.

Bailey hit all four field-goal attempts, including the 54-yard game-winner with nine seconds remaining. It marks the second time this season a Dallas player has won a player of the week honor. Sean Lee was NFC defensive player of the week for his efforts against the Eagles in Week 2.

Bailey now has won three special teams player of the week honors, tied with Billy Cundiff and Dwayne Harris for the most in team history.

Bailey has 10 career game-winning field goals in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or in overtime. Since 2011, Bailey is the only player in the NFL with at least 10 such field goals.

Bailey is 25-for-26 this season. He hit from 38, 34, 20 and 54 yards on Monday night.

Bailey's only miss this season came on a 48-yard attempt at Tampa Bay, breaking a streak of 21 consecutive.

--Punter Chris Jones never previously experienced the bottom of the pile until Monday.

Redskins returner DeSean Jackson fumbled a Jones punt with 1:26 remaining. Dallas safety J.J. Wilcox knocked out the ball, and linebacker Damien Wilson unknowingly kicked the loose ball. Jones, who was just standing and watching, found himself in the right place at the right time.

"I was like, 'Get the ball, wrap it up and hang on for dear life, and hopefully they'll come over and save me,'" Jones said. "It just kind of popped out my way. It wasn't taking any crazy bounces, so I was able to get on it and hug it like a ... I don't know what. I don't know how I had it. It was everything I could do just to hang on."

Jones knew he was safe when Dallas defensive back Danny McCray jumped on top of him, and he hung onto his first career fumble recovery. The Cowboys have only one other fumble recovery this season.

"I could hear Danny," Jones said. "He jumped on me and said, 'I got you. I got you.' I said, 'All right, we're good. We've got a couple of guys against their guys, so we'll be all right.' "

--Wide receiver Dez Bryant is headed back to the scene of the crime, the place where the non-catch happened against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs last year even though every drunk guy at the bar knows he caught the ball.

"I can't wait for Green Bay," Bryant said. "That catch is behind me. It's behind me. It's nothing I can do. Why dwell on it? You can't dwell on something that you can't change. I'm just gonna go out there and work hard that's all I can do."

--Quarterback Matt Cassel broke through against the Redskins on Monday night. He finally won a game as a starter for the Cowboys after losing his previous four attempts, stopping an 0-7 streak for Dallas quarterbacks not named Tony Romo this season. It was the first win for a Cowboys quarterback other than Romo since the 2010 season final by Stephen McGee.

"Absolutely," Cassel said when asked if he was relieved. "I mean, when you go out there and you haven't won a game yet and you finally get one, of course there's a sense of relief.

"But at the same time, there's a sense of excitement that I think we all believed in it, to finally get it done, especially with the circumstances. We've been in a lot of those games this year in which we obviously came out on the wrong end. To finally do it and come out on the right end of it, it felt good for all of us and it also gave us confidence going forward -- when these situations come back up -- that we can get the job done."

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