ARLINGTON, Texas – With preseason complete, the Cowboys have a 53-man roster to decide and positions to sort out – most notably their depth at quarterback.
Rookie Dak Prescott is expected to start until Tony Romo returns from a fractured bone in his back sometime in the regular season. His timetable is currently unclear, but team officials have acknowledged the possibility of placing Romo on the short-term injured reserve list, which would require him to sit out the first eight weeks.
If the Cowboys were to choose that route, Romo first would be placed on the initial 53-man roster that must be finalized by Saturday.
"It's a difficult one," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "We're going to wait right down to the last minute and still gather information and then when we ultimately decide to make that decision in terms of what we need to do with Tony, we'll certainly make that call."
The Cowboys held out Prescott (rest) in Thursday's preseason finale, and first-year quarterback played Jameill Showers played the entire game. Earlier in the day the team signed Jerrod Johnson, recently waived by the Ravens, for depth in the game.
Like the rest of the league, the Cowboys will monitor the waiver wire this weekend for possible free-agent help across their roster. Jones was asked specifically about whether the team needs a veteran backup to Prescott while Romo is sidelined.
"We'll evaluate everything," Jones said. "Don't want to commit one way or another. We'll see where we end up. We want to make the best decision possible for the team."
On Wednesday the Cowboys met with free agent Austin Davis, a career 10-game starter with the Rams and Browns, but did not reach an agreement on a contract. Jones said signing Davis is still a possibility, however.[embeddedad0]
"I think he wants to see what his options are," Jones said. "Obviously this is a unique situation here. We've got a young guy who everybody thinks a lot of and we've also got one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL that will be back this year to help us compete for a championship.
"It's a unique situation when a quarterback takes a look at it and tries to figure out where he's going to fit. I'm sure that's what Austin looked at and he's trying to figure out if there might be a better place for him. We certainly can understand that and we'll just go from there."