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Garrett: Romo has 'cartilage thing'

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team sent medical documentation to the NFL to help clarify the extent of Tony Romo's rib injury suffered earlier in the season and why it had not been listed on the team's injury report.

After last week's victory over the Chicago Bears, Romo said he has played part of the season with a broken rib, but Garrett confirmed Monday what sources said Friday: Romo did not suffer a fracture and instead had a cartilage issue.

According to the league, the matter is still under review, but Garrett said, "it seems like a non-issue."

"There never was a fracture with his ribs," Garrett said. "He's been dealing with that cartilage thing again for probably a number of years."

In 2008, Romo suffered a cartilage injury against the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2011, he played through a broken rib and punctured lung suffered in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's just cartilage," Romo said Monday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "You end up having these issues with it really for your career. When you have stuff that happened when you were younger, they just kind of pop up from time to time. As you get older, you just deal with those things."

Romo has been listed on the injury report every week this season because of his surgically repaired back. A source said Romo suffered the cartilage injury this season in the first quarter of the Oct. 12 win against the Seattle Seahawks when he was hit by linebacker Bobby Wagner. Romo needed time to catch his breath did not miss a play in the game.

"The biggest issue with Tony has been his back, coming back from the surgery and when he got hurt again where he fractured the two transverse processes in his back," Garrett said. "That's been the issue for Tony. He's dealt with ribs [and] a lot of other things like all quarterbacks do throughout his career and this year as well. But the biggest issue for Tony, the reason he missed time in practice, has been the back issue."