OXNARD, Calif. – Tony Romo is unlikely to play this weekend at the Hall of Fame Game. The starting quarterback said as he walked off the practice field Friday he doesn't think he'll be on the field Sunday against the Dolphins in a game that will feature mostly Cowboys rookies and backups.
"We have five games, so I think the coaches are going to be smart about the process," he said.
Romo said the coaches know what's best for the football team and he'll listen to whatever the coaches tell him. He's not the type to sit out when he's healthy, even practicing earlier this week when head coach Jason Garrett expected him to get a veteran off day.
Garrett has said that Romo's healthy, so they're not keeping him out because of an injury.
"I've been doing good," Romo said. "It's been a great camp. I'm playing where I feel very comfortable right now."
Romo will be among a long list of players unexpected to play or in a limited role Sunday. Wide receiver Terrance Williams may have joined that list with the last practice on Friday, after he went down on his back and was checked for a concussion on the sideline.
Williams didn't return to practice, but Romo thought the young Baylor receiver and the other new receivers have done well adjusting to the Cowboys' offense thus far.
"They're coming along," Romo said. "They're doing better and better each day. They're improving and figuring out some of the nuances of the offense. I think the guys have done a good job of that."
The Cowboys' coaches may be keeping Romo out to keep him out of harm's way with five total preseason games a depleted offensive line. Tackles Jermey Parnell and Demetress Bell have been held out of practice. Guard Nate Livings just underwent knee surgery and guards Ray Dominguez and Jeff Olson are hurt.
Ryan Cook and Kevin Kowalski, who can play both guard and center, are both out as well, leaving just Ronald Leary and David Arkin as the only true guards who are healthy. The Cowboys finally received some good news on the line with the return of Mackenzy Bernadeau to practice this week, but he's unlikely to play Sunday.
"As guys get healthy, it's going to help us a lot," Romo said. "That's one of the big things we need, is for people to get healthy."
Injuries have also crept through the roster at other spots. The defensive line's been damaged since the start of camp, with Tyrone Crawford getting lost for the year, Anthony Spencer getting knee surgery and Jay Ratliff hurting his hamstring in the conditioning test.
Linebacker Alex Albright's unlikely to play with a back injury. Tight end Andre Smith is dealing with a hamstring injury, while James Hanna just returned from one of his own, so the coaches may elect to keep them out as well.
Other healthy starters may just get the first preseason game to rest and prepare for the next four. That includes Romo, who doesn't think he'll be among the Cowboys playing Sunday.