IRVING, Texas – It's looking more and more likely that Brandon Weeden will start Sunday against Arizona, but the Cowboys aren't willing to rule Tony Romo out just yet.
In fact, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday the team likely won't make a ruling on Romo's status until Sunday morning, right before kickoff against the Cardinals.
"We have to make that decision at gametime, when it's day-to-day," Jones said in an interview with 105.3 The Fan. "We turn that in – obviously you've got your 53-man roster, and we have to turn our actives in within an hour before the game. So that's when you'll know."
NFL teams are only allowed to use 46 of their 53 roster members on game day, which means they'll have to announce Romo's availability by about an hour before the Cowboys' noon kickoff on Sunday. Romo did not practice Friday – his third-straight absence of the week – while he continues to recover from a back contusion.
Regardless, Jones said the team intends to monitor him through the weekend.
"Again, we will see as the week goes along. We've got about three more days before we make the decision," Jones said.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett echoed those sentiments at his Friday morning press conference. Typically, coaches would prefer a player be able to participate in practice by the end of the week. For a player as experienced as Romo, though, Garrett said it's possible to get ready during the team's Saturday walkthrough.
"Obviously, we have to see him move around at some point before the game starts," Garrett said. "Hopefully he can do something today, and then we'll have a walkthrough tomorrow. We've still got about 48 hours until the game, so we want to give him every chance."
Brandon Weeden has typically taken starting reps on Wednesdays this season, as Romo usually rests on the first practice day of the week. Weeden, in his first year with the Cowboys, has worked all three days of the practice week as the team's starter in case Romo is unavailable.
[embeddedad0]"Obviously he's less experienced than Tony is running this offense, but he seems comfortable," Garrett said. "I think the biggest thing is, we have a next-man-up philosophy … The next guy comes in there, he's a pro football player – he's trained, he's prepared. Brandon's got a lot of work with our first unit."
In the meantime, Jones said Romo has been an active participant in the preparation for the Cardinals while he attempts to rehab the injury.
"He's moving around, and he's doing stuff in the back there to get the stiffness out – kind of like a bicycle-type thing. He's moving around, been in the meetings today," Jones said.