Shutdown Corner - NFL

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo(notes) suffered a fractured clavicle on a crushing hit during the team's Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants. It is unknown how long the injury will sideline the Cowboys signal caller, but if surgery is required the average recovery time is nine weeks. Early reports suggest Romo will be out 8-10 weeks.

Jon Kitna(notes) took over at quarterback for Dallas.

Romo was injured on the Cowboys' first offensive snap of the second quarter. Giants linebacker Michael Boley(notes) ran through the line untouched and got to Romo a split second before the quarterback released a 14-yard completion to Miles Austin(notes). Romo's shoulder hit the turf hard as Boely drove him into the ground. He lay motionless on the field for a few seconds before medical personnel attended to him.

X-rays taken later showed a broken collarbone. Romo came out of the locker room in the second half wearing a sling for his left arm. 

[Photos: Tony Romo in action]  

It won't be until Tuesday morning, at the earliest, that Romo's injury can be seriously evaluated. Fractured can mean many things. Is it hairline? Is it snapped in half? Where is the fracture? If it's closer to the shoulder, that's good news for Romo. If it's farther away, he could be out for the season.

For Romo, it's devastating news. For the Cowboys, it's another huge blow during what has been one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Romo's injury all but ends any chance Dallas had at making a run to the playoffs. Even with him, it would have been difficult. Only one 1-5 team in NFL history has ever qualified for the postseason. Romo's injury won't sink the Cowboys only because their ship was already at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

[Rewind: Tony Romo gives up golf shot for football]

At the start of the season, Dallas was hoping to become the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Now the team is on track to post its worst record in 20 years. How quickly things can change in the NFL.

[Related: Players confused by NFL crackdown on hard hits]

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