Romo is not expected to play for at least six weeks and might be out until November with a compression fracture in his back, the third major back injury of his career. But instead of placing him on injured reserve -- one player per team can be recalled from IR during the regular season -- the Cowboys kept Romo on the final roster.
"There's no one valuable enough to take up the last spot to see how he does," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
The Cowboys are planning to run another battery of tests of Romo's ailing back Tuesday. The goal is to gauge healing of the fracture and determine a more precise timeline for his recovery. Jones said last week any return date is purely speculation at this point.
The injured reserve route assured Romo would not play in a game until Nov. 6.
But the broken bone requires six weeks to heal entirely, but conditioning and whether Romo can withstand the constant torque required to throw the ball thousands of times per week in the regular season.
Because of Romo's history of back issues -- two transverse process fractures, disk surgery and a spinal cyst -- and multiple clavicle injuries, the Cowboys are likely to take their time getting him back on the field.
"He's very driven, driven to do what it takes to get back," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said of Romo. "It's unfortunate for Tony to have some of these things, but the last thing in the world we're worried about with Tony is being fragile. He is undeterred. When he does get back, we're ready to make a run."