Cowboys quarterback Romo has season-ending surgery

Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:54pm EST
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(Reuters) - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has had season-ending back surgery on an injury suffered in last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins, head coach Jason Garrett said on Friday.

Back-up quarterback Kyle Orton, who has played only two games this season, will start this Sunday's crucial clash with the Philadelphia Eagles in which the winner will qualify for the NFL playoffs and the loser's season will be over.

"He's devastated," Garrett said of Romo. "He put a lot into this."

The Cowboys had earlier hoped the standout quarterback would be able to play on Sunday.

"We spent the week exhausting all options - treatment, rehab, all the different things - consulted a lot of people and we felt this was the best decision for him and our organization and we felt it was better to have this done sooner rather than later," Garrett told reporters.

"We felt like the surgery went well and Tony should be able to come home hopefully later today and start his rehabilitation for the 2013-14 season."

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he expected Romo back for pre-season team activities and the surgery would not force him to use an early-round pick on a quarterback in May's NFL draft.

"With my expectation of Tony's career, which I think will be for several years to come, it's too early to be drafting a highly ranked or, if you will, costly quarterback," Jones told Texas radio station KRLD-FM.


Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws the ball against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports