Why the Cowboys wait on Tony Romo

IRVING, Texas -- There are reasons why Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones are saying Tony Romo could play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles despite a back injury.

Near the top of the list is the competitive advantage. The Cowboys want to make the Eagles believe Romo could play for as long as they can. Since the inactives are not due until 90 minutes before the game, you can expect the Cowboys to take all the time necessary before making a decision, unless there is a decided downturn in Romo’s health.

Garrett said Romo and Orton are similar style quarterbacks. In a way he’s correct. Both can stay in the pocket and make all the throws. Romo, however, has more improvisation to his game and can elude trouble. With a bad back, that makes that iffy.

But the Cowboys do not feel the need to give the Eagles any kind of advantage by knowing Orton will be their quarterback in the NFC East matchup. Garrett is following the same protocol he has laid out on injuries all season. He has called Romo “day to day” because he calls every injured player “day to day.” The quarterback is the most important player on the team, but Garrett will not change how he has approached injury talk all season. He does not want to set Romo apart from how he has talked this season about Sean Lee, Morris Claiborne, DeMarcus Ware or Jason Hatcher.

Another reason Garrett has taken that approach is what happened last week with wide receiver Terrance Williams.

The rookie did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of a hamstring injury but was able to work on Friday. He played against the Washington Redskins and had four catches, including the second-biggest play of the winning drive -- a 51-yard grab.

“You’ve got to be careful making these proclamations about the future in regard to injury,” Garrett said. “You got to take them day by day and make your best evaluation.”

And he does not view a hamstring strain different than a reported herniated disk that will require surgery, as a source told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

“I think an injury is an injury,” Garrett said. “And the availability of the player, and based on the information that you have, again, getting feedback from him and the medical staff, you just try to make your best judgments.”

So we wait.

Merry Christmas to all.