RVING, Texas - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said quarterback Tony Romo will play Sunday night in the regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles if he is cleared medically. Jones said the team would be confident in the decision considering Romo just pulled off the feat in Sunday's victory over the Washington Redskins.
"The most important thing is if he feels better as the week goes along, there is nothing structurally to prevent him from playing. He might be cleared to play," Jones told the Dallas Morning News.
Coach Jason Garrett insisted Romo's status was not yet determined despite reports that an MRI exam revealed a herniated disc that will require another back surgery. Romo had a cyst removed from his back and was out for most of the offseason, but the two issues appear unrelated, Garrett said.
Tight end Jason Witten said the Cowboys will support either starter in the make-or-break finale.
"We have not made that determination at all, at this point," Garrett said when asked if Romo has been shut down for the season. "I don't want to get into the medical part of it but I will tell you what his status is going to be going forward. He's going to get treatment each day. He's been getting treatment all day, he'll continue to get it, and we'll evaluate it on a day by day basis and see what his status is for Wednesday and for this coming week."
Romo is dealing with "back spasms" according to Jones, and had similar issues leading up to the Week 16 game against the Redskins. Romo played and guided the Cowboys to a 24-23 victory, setting up a winner-takes-all battle for the NFC East title at home Sunday night.
Romo limped noticeably while handing off on running plays in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, Romo completed 17 of 27 passes for 226 yards, including the game-winning touchdown to DeMarco Murray on fourth-and-goal from the Washington 10-yard line with 1:08 to play.
Garrett called it a "hip or back type injury," and said the team will see how Romo responds to treatment over the next few days.
"Again, we'll just evaluate what happened in the game," Garrett said. "Obviously, he was able to play through it and play very well at the end of that ball game."
With Kyle Orton the only other quarterback on the roster, Garrett said the team will probably sign another quarterback this week. Three were scheduled to workout at the team facility on Christmas Eve, including former No. 1 overall pick David Carr, who became a journeyman backup, and former Cardinals starter John Skelton.
Alex Tanney, who had been on the team's practice squad much of the season, was signed by the Cleveland Browns earlier this season.
Orton played in just two games this season, completing 3 of 5 passes. Last season, Orton played in just one game.
"We have Kyle Orton here for a reason," Garrett said. "He understands what his role is each and every week. Right now we have a quarterback who's getting treatment for an injury he had."
--Inside linebacker Sean Lee was not medically cleared by doctors as of Monday after missing the past two games with a sprained neck.
"He's taking it day by day," Garrett said. "A lot of what his evaluation is is what the MRI says, but also how he feels and getting himself to a point where he's comfortable with his movements as a person, as a player and then hopefully with the contact necessary to play the position.
Lee also missed two games in November with a hamstring injury. He returned against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 9, but sustained the neck injury in that game.
There is no structural damage to Lee's neck but it is not strong enough for him to play.
In 11 games this season, Lee has 99 tackles, four interceptions and six pass breakups.