You admire the competitiveness and the desire to go out and play in what, in the grand scheme for him, is a meaningless game. You love the fact that he wants to take the field with his teammates in a game — the NFL‘s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game — that is special, that not every team or player gets to play in.
But you also have to be careful of the risks of playing in a game that, come September, won’t matter, for the most part, in the big picture.
Careful is just the exact approach that the Dallas Cowboys need to take when deciding whether quarterback Tony Romo — just a few months past surgery for a back cyst — should play in the Cowboys’ preseason opener versus the Miami Dolphins this Sunday in Canton, Ohio.
Romo says his back his fine, but he was just cleared to resume throwing about a month ago. So stepping into full game action, preseason or not, has it risks.
Of course, he would only play one series, which could obviously range from three plays to the high single digits, depending on what happens. But for a team that needs its quarterback healthy to go anywhere this upcoming season, the team would probably be best suited to rest their franchise quarterback.
Romo has only missed extended time once in his career — 2010, with a fractured clavicle — and that injury effectively ended the team’s chances that season, as they crawled to the finish line, winning 6 games, including a dreadful 1-7 start to the season.
In 2011, he played through a cracked rib and punctured lung, an injury that could have been a lot scarier.
Needless to say, the Cowboys need Romo in order to be any good. He was just recently paid $108 million to keep him in Dallas until he retires, and the last thing the team needs is for Romo to aggravate his back injury — a part of the body that is essential to basic movement — and miss time.
Maybe if he does play this Sunday, he’s in for three or four plays and goes out unscathed. But the flip side is he could get hit in the wrong spot, and aggravate the injury.
Right now, playing him seems to not be worth the risk. The team should be careful in how they handle his situation.