IRVING, Texas– Tony Romo will miss the remainder of the 2015 season with a hairline fracture in his left collarbone and will not have surgery, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday morning on 105.3 The Fan.
Romo injured his left collarbone for the second time in as many months in the third quarter of the Cowboys' 33-14 Thanksgiving Day loss to the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium. The team said after the game that X-rays were inconclusive and the veteran quarterback was scheduled to undergo further tests Friday to determine the extent of the injury.
"He does have a hairline of a fracture there at the same location and he is out for the year," Jones said in his weekly Friday radio appearance.
Romo fractured his left collarbone Sept. 20 against the Eagles and did not have surgery. He spent the next eight weeks on the injured reserve/designated to return list and made his return last Sunday in the Cowboys' 24-14 victory over the Dolphins.
Wearing a sling in his postgame press conference Thursday night, Romo said his shoulder had "a similar type feeling" as the first injury.
Playing his second game in five days following the eight-week layoff, Romo completed only 11 of 21 passes for 106 yards and threw three interceptions that led to 17 of the Panthers' 23 points in the first half. Two were returned for touchdowns.
"Some of the poor decisions that were made were just uncharacteristic and very frustrating," he said after the game. "It cost our team today and put us in a big hole. You can't do that against good football teams and I am disappointed that I couldn't play better."
On the final play of the third quarter, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis drove Romo to the turf on a sack for a 10-yard loss. After spending several minutes on the ground, he left the field with assistance from team athletic trainers.
Cassel replaced Romo in fourth quarter, but by then Carolina (11-0) already had a commanding 30-6 lead against Dallas (3-8). Cassel completed 13 of 19 passes for 93 yards and a late touchdown to Cole Beasley.
Romo started four games this season – Weeks 1 and 2 and the two games over the Thanksgiving stretch. He completed 83 of 132 passes (68.6 percent) for 884 yards, 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for a 79.4 passer rating.
His four appearances are his lowest in a season since became the starter in 2006, and not coincidentally, the Cowboys' three wins are their lowest total through 11 games since 2010, when Romo fractured his collarbone and missed the final 10 games that year.
After losing seven straight without him this season, the franchise had high hopes that Romo's November return would spark a December rally.
"Of course, the dream was if Tony could have come in, been the catalyst, played similarly to have results that we had the week before in Miami, against a great team, a really great team – Carolina is so impressive – if we could have done that, it would have been the beginning of maybe something special," Jones said.
With five regular-season games left, the Cowboys are still only two games behind in the NFC East race. Playoff hopes are fading, and if they're to have a strong finish to this season, they'll have to do so without Romo.