IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys officially placed Tony Romo on the injured reserve/designated to return list with a fractured collarbone that does not require surgery.
Romo is eligible to begin practicing after six weeks (Nov. 4) and return to the active roster after eight weeks (Nov. 18), which means the earliest he can play is Nov. 22 at Miami. Head coach Jason Garrett estimated Monday that Romo would be sidelined around eight weeks.
The move creates a roster exemption for the Cowboys, and they need a backup quarterback for replacement starter Brandon Weeden.
Weeden missed a week in training camp with a concussion, but he got first-team practice reps the first two Wednesdays of the regular season while Romo took his customary rest days. When Romo left due to injury this past Sunday against the Eagles, Weeden completed 7 of 7 passes for 73 yards in relief, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in a 20-10 victory.
"This quarterback Weeden can drive the ball down field,"Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan. "He's a thing of beauty on throwing a football. His passing motion and just his arm, frankly, you won't see a more gifted passer – power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it. If he can basically prepare, be the starting quarterback and come in and execute and keep his head right,then I feel good about Weeden."
As for backup options, the Cowboys have Kellen Moore on the practice squad and they scheduled Tuesday workouts with veterans Christian Ponder, Matt Flynn, Josh Johnson and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Jones said the team wouldn't necessarily sign one of the workouts to the 53-man roster.