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Tony Romo Questionable for Sunday's Game against Eagles

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Jon Kitna has been signed as a potential backup for backup Kyle Orton should Romo not recover in time.

Tony Romo Questionable for Sunday's Game against Eagles

With all of the tumultuous ups and downs the Dallas Cowboys have gone through this season, they still control their own destiny. It's pretty simple: Win against the Philadelphia Eagles and earn the NFC East Division Title and a home playoff game. 

Complicating this simple equation is the health of starting quarterback Tony Romo. Romo suffered a herniated disc in his back last Sunday against the Washington Redskins. The prognosis ranged as far as "He's out for the rest of the season" to "he's day-to-day," but regardless, the spotlight has been thrust on backup Kyle Orton. It's looking more and more like Orton will be the starter for what is in essence the NFC East Championship Game.

In his two years with Dallas, Kyle Orton has thrown 15 passes for the Cowboys, completing 12 of them (80 percent!) for 129 yards and a touchdown over three games played. If he falters, and Romo isn't available to back him up, the Cowboys brought in former backup John Kitna, now 41 years old and a math teacher/football coach in the state of Washington.

Orton is saying all of the right things to temper doubts, and the backup's job is to be ready to come in should the starter get injured and not royally fuck things up too badly. But Orton has been largely untested, especially in meaningful games. This is essentially a playoff game, and Orton has never started in one. Say what you will about Tony Romo and his performance during the months of December/January: the man is battle tested and has this experience. This is far from the ideal time to throw a quarterback like this into the ring. 

There are other injuries that could be argued are more impacting than Romo's. Linebacker Sean Lee, who accumulated 99 tackles and four interceptions in 11 games before suffering a neck injury, is out for thus Sunday's game. Lee's absence leaves a huge void in the middle of the field that opponents have been able to exploit over the past four weeks.

But there is a bit of good news coming out from this game. Kitna is getting paid about $53,000 for this week of work, and he'll be donating that game check to the high school where he teaches. That's a lovely bit of generosity from Kitna, but try telling Cowboys fans how nice that is should Kitna be forced into action and fail to lead them to victory.

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