Should and will Tony Romo play in the Cowboys’ next game?

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Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who finished Sunday’s game against San Francisco with a fractured rib and a collapsed lung. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in with a comment of your own.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

Even though it’s unlikely the Cowboys will sit Tony Romo, and lots of players have winced their way through that type of injury on the field -– among them Dallas’ Don Meredith -– the club should strongly consider giving him the night off against the Redskins on Monday night.

It’s a long season, the level of attrition in the NFC East is brutal, and backup Jon Kitna played very well after Jason Garrett took over last season. Kitna is capable of outplaying Rex Grossman, the Washington starter who will be hard pressed to string together three victories without a blow-up game.


Besides, whoever would be taking the snaps for the Cowboys will be playing behind a line that includes rookies at center and right tackle, and Redskins castoff Derrick Dockery at left guard. That protection is a work in progress.

It’s all a moot point, though, because the Cowboys are going with a flak-jacketed Romo.

Joseph Schwerdt, South Florida Sun Sentinel

When Drew Bledsoe was sidelined by a punctured lung 10 years ago doctors told him he could end his life if he played. What they didn’t tell him is that it would all but end his career if he didn’t. Bledsoe sat and faded away. Tom Brady played and the rest fills the shelves of NFL Films.

No one should suggest Bledsoe should have played with his life on the line. But that doesn’t appear to be the case with Tony Romo. Nor does it appear Romo could lose his job to Jon Kitna. If the injury is not life-threatening and Romo can handle the pain he’ll probably play Monday night against Washington.

If Romo says he can go, the Cowboys must assess if they have a better chance at winning with him -– that’s likely. Expect Romo to play.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

If Tony Romo can do no further damage by playing, and if he can handle excruciating pain without allowing it to affect his performance, he should and will suit up Monday.

Based on what the Cowboys are saying, it appears they are not very concerned that Romo might do further damage to his fractured rib and punctured lung. So it appears likely he will receive medical clearance. Now it becomes a matter of pain management.

Romo did fine with that Sunday, when he threw for many of his 345 yards after the injury. He did say it hurt to breathe and talk, and he felt sick to his stomach. Pain like that can turn a heroic quarterback into a goat. The Cowboys have to hope Romo can continue to block it out.


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