IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys' unpredictable 2013 season took another turn Monday, as reports surfaced that they may be without Tony Romo for their do-or-die season finale against Philadelphia.
Those reports broke late Monday afternoon that Romo, undergoing an MRI for a back injury suffered Sunday against Washington, would be unavailable for the rest of the season.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Romo is "undergoing treatment" for the injury, but he said the team had made no determination about his availability for this weekend's game.
"We have not made that determination at all at this point," Garrett said. "Like with any player the day after a game, you just want to see what the injury is. We've done that with Tony. We wanted to get him involved in treatment as quickly as we can, and we started that process."
The next step in that process will be constant evaluation. Garrett said the team will continue to evaluate the injury as the week continues before deciding his status for practicing or playing.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones called the injury a "tightening" in Romo's back immediately after Sunday's 24-23 win against Washington. He said Romo sustained the injury in practice, but he also aggravated the problem while evading pressure in the game's fourth quarter.
"It looked like he got leg whipped, his sock came down and he kind of kept his eyes up and made the completion," Garrett said. "You could tell he was hobbling a little bit there, but his reaction to me when he came off was more like 'My leg is bothering me.'"
Jones said Sunday night Romo would not miss the Eagles game, though that was before Romo underwent testing for the injury.
If Romo can't play, his replacement will be Kyle Orton, who was a starter in Chicago, Denver and Kansas City before signing with the Cowboys before the 2012 season. Orton is currently the only other quarterback on the roster, as Alex Tanney was signed off the team's practice squad by Cleveland on Nov. 26.
Garrett said the Cowboys will likely sign a backup for Orton sometime this week, as they'll need multiple quarterbacks to make it through the week of practice.
"We probably will sign another quarterback, just because Kyle Orton is the only other quarterback we have on our roster – we don't have a quarterback on our practice roster," he said. "We'll probably make that determination here in the next couple days." [embedded_ad]
Orton has seen action in three games with the Cowboys – two of those against the Bears. He also played during one possession of this year's season opener against the Giants, when Romo was injured just prior to halftime.
"Right now, we have a quarterback who is getting treatment for an injury he had yesterday in the ball game," Garrett said. "Kyle knows that he has to be ready. Kyle prepares like the starting quarterback each and every week."
Romo's back isn't a new topic of conversation this year. The Cowboys' franchise quarterback missed OTAs and minicamp in the spring after having an April surgery to remove a cyst on his back.