April 24, 2014

American football

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dallas quarterback Romo has surgery

DALLAS — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has had season-ending back surgery on an injury suffered in last Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, head coach Jason Garrett said yesterday.

Back-up quarterback Kyle Orton, who has played only two games this season, will start this Sunday’s crucial clash with the Philadelphia Eagles in which the winner will qualify for the NFL playoffs and the loser’s season will be over.

“He’s devastated,” Garrett said of Romo. “He put a lot into this.”

The Cowboys had earlier hoped the standout quarterback would be able to play on Sunday.

“We spent the week exhausting all options — treatment, rehab, all the different things — consulted a lot of people and we felt this was the best decision for him and our organization and we felt it was better to have this done sooner rather than later,” Garrett told reporters. “We felt like the surgery went well and Tony should be able to come home hopefully later today and start his rehabilitation for the 2013-14 season.”

A pair of the National Football League’s most heated rivalries will determine the NFC division winners in the North and East tomorrow.

One thing the NFL absolutely got right in recent years was making all final regular season games between division teams. It’s worked again with the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Dallas Cowboys in the night game, a little while after the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears settle the score in the North.

“Wouldn’t want it any other way,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. “This is what you fight for, an opportunity to be in the playoffs.”

And McCarthy gets back star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who missed seven games and most of an eighth because of a broken left collarbone suffered against the Bears.

“We’re in it,” said Rodgers, who saw the Packers win only twice without him. “You know we have a chance against our rivals, and what a better way than to go down there and get some redemption and host a home playoff game.”

The Eagles have been the more balanced team, with a defence that pretty much improved as the season progressed, and a sensational offence. And they will have their quarterback: Nick Foles has 25 touchdowns and two interceptions, and is healthy.

They also have LeSean McCoy, who can become the first Philadelphia running back to lead the league in rushing since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949.

AP, Reuters

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