The Dallas Cowboys will not have Tony Romo to open the 2016 NFL season.
The veteran quarterback has sustained a broken bone in his back, the team announced Saturday. Pro Football Talk adds that Romo is expected to miss around two months, while Ian Rapoport adds the injury that will linger all season.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back, per source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 27, 2016
My understanding is that best-case scenario is that #Cowboys QB Tony Romo returns by mid-season. He broke a different bone than last time.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2016
The broken bone is an injury that may linger for #Cowboys QB Tony Romo this season. I'm told he'll likely need an epidural to play.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2016
During Thursday night's preseason game in Seattle, Romo suffered a back injury that forced him from the game just three plays in. It appeared Romo was fine walking along the sideline afterwards. Obviously it wasn't with news Romo has yet another serious injury on his surgically-repaired back.
As for 2016, Romo projects to return around the time Dallas plays host to the Cincinnati Bengals, at least based on PFT's projection. Six weeks from now puts Romo at a return date around Week 4 vs the San Francisco 49ers, one week before the Bengals head to Dallas.
For all we really know, this could sideline Romo even longer if the Cowboys opt to play it safe. One thing we do know is that Week 5 matchup will see the Bengals facing either Romo coming off a prolonged absence, or a rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott.
Prescott has looked very impressive this preseason, but he's the kind of quarterback that should thrive in games where little-to-no game planning is done. Once the regular season is here and teams actually build an entire game plan adjusted to Prescott's abilities, he may suddenly go from looking like Cam Newton to playing like Tim Tebow.
At least, that's what the Bengals hope happens if Dak is the Cowboys quarterback they face. Playing in Dallas is never easy, especially with just decent quarterback play, but with no Romo, they may not have much of that in 2016.