|It looks like Tony Romo will play. Will DeAngelo Hall be ready? (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
The punctured lung Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered during an overtime win over the 49ers last Sunday has healed, sources tell ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins. This is the latest confirmation of what most people suspected anyway: Romo will be on the field Monday night when the Cowboys host the Redskins in Jerry Dome's season opener.
Romo still has a fractured rib and as recently as Thursday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was noncommittal about his quarterback's chances to play this week.
"Tony certainly had his examination [Thursday] and everything is on go as we would hoped it would be and expected it to be relative to his lung status," Jones said on ESPN's NFL 32. "That still doesn't necessarily mean he's going to play Monday night, but still that's on go. …
"He threw around a few balls today but that was it. He really didn't practice," Jones continued. "So we'll ease up on him here this week. He'll have the game plan and a feel for what we want to do out there and we'll see how it is when we get to game day."
The Associated Press reports that Romo wasn't on the field at the start of Cowboys' practice Friday, giving backup quarterback Jon Kitna another day of work with the starters. Romo hasn't practiced since leading Dallas to a comeback win over the 49ers on Sunday.
Coach Jason Garrett hasn't said whether Romo must practice before playing against Washington; the Cowboys have another practice Saturday and a walkthrough Sunday.
Still, barring a setback, there's no reason to believe that Romo won't be under center. "I fully expect him to play," Kitna said.
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This must make DeAngelo Hall very happy. The Redskins cornerback said earlier this week that he plans to target Romo's ribs.
"Absolutely. I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," Hall said. "Romo's ribs -- I'm going to be asking for some corner blitzes. If I know Felix Jones' shoulder's hurt, I'm not going to cut him. I'm definitely going to try to hit him up high, so that's just part of it. If you know something's wrong with an opponent, you're going to try to target in on that. We're going to try to definitely get as many hats on that team as possible."
This prompted CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman to point out that Hall is an idiot. And ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth, no doubt stifling uncontrollable laughter as the words left his mouth, offered this: “That’s the first time you’re ever going to hit anybody. Good for you. That’s great. That’s awesome."
Schlereth continued: “You know, it’s funny, the further you get away from the football, the more talking goes on, right? Receivers and cornerbacks always seem to be getting into these verbal battles, and they’re the only guys that never actually hit anybody. So good for you. You know what, we’re all looking forward to you going out there and dispensing justice. I can’t wait to watch it.”
Perhaps Hall can take some lessons in humility from Cowboys wide receiver Jesse Holley, who hooked up with Romo for the 77-yard pass play in San Francisco that set up the winning field goal. Holley appeared on ESPN Radio Dallas earlier this week to talk about the catch and his his NFL journey (via SportsRadioInterviews.com).
"Just three years ago I was working security from 11 at night until 7 in the morning and selling cell phones in the day time. To be on stage at Candlestick Park, Cowboys and 49ers, making a key play to help your team get a victory, that’s … you can’t write that up. … It really shows if you continue to be faithful and obedient and work hard that good things will happen to you."
As for what Holley told Romo on the sidelines before The Play, it's pretty simple:
“The whole time he is talking I am over talking him saying ‘I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready.’ He’s going ‘I know. I know, but on the…’ I said ‘I am ready. I am ready.’ I kept telling him and I said in my head ‘I am ready.’ …
"When we got on the plane I asked him [Tony Romo] about that particular play because he called a play in the huddle that wasn’t the play call that coach Garrett called in the headset. I asked him ‘What made you change the play?’ He said well you told me that you were ready? I felt like you had one in you, so I changed it.”
In other Cowboys injury-related news, the AP reports that receiver Dez Bryant returned Friday for the first time since injuring a thigh in the opener. Running back Felix Jones (shoulder) and center Phil Costa (knee) also returned after missing practice Thursday. Receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) remains out.
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