Romo a doubt for Cowboys

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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The biggest brand in the NFL will roll into Wembley on Sunday, but whether their star quarterback is ready to play remains to be seen.

The Dallas Cowboys are preparing to face the Jackonsville Jaguars in the third NFL game in London this season, hoping that Tony Romo can take his place under centre.

The 34-year-old missed last weekend’s 28-17 loss to Arizona with a back injury, but is listed as ‘probable’ to play on Sunday after taking part in practice this week.

Romo has said the pain has eased, and is optimistic about being able to take part.

“You want to make sure you can functionally do what you’re used to doing,” he said in a press conference. “If you’re waiting to feel great to play in every game, you’re only going to play in a couple of games a year.

“You don’t take for granted that you get to play this game for a living. It’s special and any time you miss a game it’s hard.”

The Cowboys may have lost two in a row, but with a 6-3 record they are strongly favoured to beat a Jacksonville team still deep in a rebuilding process, with a 1-8 record among the worst in the league.

That said, the Jaguars are third in the league in sacks, and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is aware of the risks of starting Romo if he is still suffering.

“They have good individual guys who can rush and they have that mentality to rush the passer,” he said of Jacksonville. “They are very good as individual rushers and when they work in games they do a good job of getting up the field and affecting the passing game.

“Independent of the health of the quarterback you want to make sure you protect against these guys and it’s a good challenge for our front.

“We would never put a player in harm’s way. Obviously its a very physical sport we play and guys are always putting themselves on the line but the medical staff will clear the player regardless of who the player is and we’ll make the right decision as a coaching staff.”

Romo is only one part of the immense star power that Cowboys bring. Known as ‘America’s team’ back home, they pride themselves on being the biggest name in the sport, even if the results have not matched of late, with the last of their five Super Bowl crowns coming in 1995.

Romo continues to divide opinion, seen by some as part of the problem, but the team have full faith in their quarterback, as evidenced by the six-year 108million US dollar contract he signed last year.

He is just one part of an impressive offensive line-up that also features receiver Dez Bryant, running back DeMarco Murray and tight end Jason Witten, and the rebuilding Jaguars face a tall order in keeping them quiet even if Romo ends up on the sidelines.

The Jaguars are playing the second of the three games they committed to play in London over the space of three years, a move aimed at building a fan base in the capital, but any new converts will need to remain patient as the rebuilding job continues with a young squad.

However, general manager David Caldwell is optimistic they will be in a different position when they return to London to face the Buffalo Bills next October.

“The benefits of these young guys is they’re seeing everything for the first time,” Caldwell said. “You’re aware, too, that they’re seeing it for the first time so this time next year we shouldn’t be having this conversation.

“We won’t be as patient with some of the mistakes that they’re making right now, so you have to live with a little bit of a roller coaster.”

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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