Tony Romo's lung appears to be OK, but is he worth starting this week?
By: Athlon Sports | 9/23/11, 1:10 PM EDT
The good news for Cowboys fans and fantasy owners alike is that it appears Tony Romo's lung has healed, increasing his chances of playing Monday night against the Redskins. This, however, does not guarantee that he will play because it doesn't change the fact that his rib is still broken. Just ask DeAngelo Hall.
Still, early indications are that Romo plans on suiting up and being under center for the Cowboys' home opener in the Jerry Dome. So the question all Romo owners are asking is this — should you play No. 9 this week?
With a second CT scan earlier this week showing the small puncture in his lung has healed, Romo has already cleared the biggest health-related hurdle facing him. While the rib is still broken, it's more a matter of pain tolerance than anything as to whether he will play or not.
However, since there's still some question that he will actually play and this is a Monday night game, the uncertainty may be too much for some owners to bear, and they may wish to look elsewhere to be on the safe side or for peace of mind. Who knows, maybe Rex Grossman is still available in your league? And raise your hand if you thought you would even think about Sexy Rexy as your fantasy starter this year.
Then again, we've already seen what Romo can do with a broken rib (not to mention a collapsed lung) — just ask the 49ers. So it may not be so much a matter of how effective Romo can be, broken rib and all. It's how effective can he be when several of his big weapons are also hurt.
First, Miles Austin is expected to miss at least the next two games with a hurt hammy, so that's one wide receiver gone. Dez Bryant practiced for the first time Friday since missing the 49ers game and his status is questionable at best for this week. Add to that Felix Jones' lingering shoulder injury, which at a minimum figures to limit him, and there will be a lot of people looking at their game program to figure out who's on the field when the Cowboys have the ball.
Tight end Jason Witten will figure even more prominently than usual in the offensive game plan, while receivers Kevin Ogletree, Jesse Holley and Laurent Robinson are the only healthy ones listed on the depth chart.
For those of who you may not be familiar with these gentleman, allow me to enlighten you. Ogletree has 14 career catches in three years, Holley owes his spot on the team to Michael Irvin's reality show, and Robinson was with the Cowboys earlier this season, but then released because of, wait for it, a hamstring injury.
At running back, the Cowboys appear to be in far better shape, but the options there aren't without question marks either. DeMarco Murray is a rookie who has yet to make any sort of impact in his first two games, while Tashard Choice is a veteran who has seemingly fallen behind the rookie on the depth chart. Most likely the two will share the load in the backfield, but with the issues at receiver, the Cowboys will need production in the running game to have any chance of beating the Redskins.
So when you add it all up — uncertain playing status + missing weapons + motivated opponent — you get one conclusion: bench Tony Romo this week (unless your only other option is Kerry Collins or Tavaris Jackson). Look at it this way, at least it won't hurt you to laugh or cry after the fact. The same can't be said for Romo.
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