Jerry Jones: Tony Romo needs to play

OXNARD, Calif. – Tony Romo will play Saturday night against the San Diego Chargers.

Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones agree on that. They both said Wednesday that Romo will definitely play against the Chargers despite two starting offensive linemen being sidelined by injury.

“He needs to play, and he will play,” Jones said. “If this is signing off on it, I will sign off on it.”

How much will Romo play? That’s a subject that will be discussed by the Cowboys’ decision-makers in the coming days.

Jones initially said that he didn’t expect Romo’s playing time to be affected by the injuries, echoing Phillips’ comments from earlier in the day. However, Jones left a lot of wiggle room, something Romo might not have while being protected by two backups Saturday night.

“It’s something that will be discussed and I’m sure is under consideration,” Jones said. “It definitely will be measured beforehand. Yes, it will be discussed.

“But the way that works is usually is [to] determine how far you go past a series or two series by how it’s going and whether we’ve got the protection. In this case, is the way we’re moving the ball enough for that situation or that night? All of that is a work in progress or pretty fluid as you get a couple of series in. Always is, and will be particularly sensitive with [Marc] Colombo out.”

Jones expressed complete confidence in guard Montrae Holland, who has 48 career starts. The Cowboys aren’t concerned about Holland being able to fill in for Kyle Kosier while the left guard recovers from an MCL sprain expected to sideline him from four to six weeks.

“[Robert] Brewster, here’s a horse of a different color,” Jones said, referring to the 2009 third-round pick slated to start at right tackle against the Chargers. “This is a guy who is a rookie, for all intents and purposes. We better keep an eye on that one right there. There will probably be some additional help.”

There is a possibility that Alex Barron, the swing tackle with 74 career starts, will be able to play. He’s been sidelined since the Aug. 8 preseason opener due to a sprained ankle, but he’s expected to practice Thursday. Jones said Barron might get limited time at left tackle instead of starting at right tackle.

One thing that Jones was certain about is where the blame should fall if Romo does get beaten up behind a patchwork offensive line.

“Um, strictly Wade,” Jones said with a toothy smile.