IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys’ decision to place Tony Romo on injured reserve was long overdue.
After Romo suffered a broken left collarbone on Oct. 25 against the New York Giants, he was given a six-to-eight-week recovery time. That was six to eight weeks for the bone to sufficiently heal, not for him to be 100 percent ready to play in the NFL again.
The Cowboys decided against surgery because of where the break was located. Doctors could not insert a plate to stabilize the fracture and possibly speed up the recovery time. As recently as Dec. 5, Romo said he could not sleep on his side because pain remained in his shoulder. With the inactivity came a loss of strength. He would not have been able to protect himself if he returned to the field.
Although the Cowboys were not officially eliminated from the playoffs until their loss to Philadelphia, the chances were remote given the tiebreaking hurdles they would have had to clear. But once it became clear that the postseason was not a realistic option, the Cowboys should have placed Romo on IR.
The Cowboys could have brought in a developmental quarterback, poached a team’s practice squad for a different position or looked to the UFL for an unknown guy to see whether they could unearth a gem, as they did with Andrew Sendejo.
The NFL is about talent acquisition, as Bill Parcells used to say, and the Cowboys missed out on a chance to acquire and evaluate by waiting too long to make this move.