Slow recovery hinders Tony Romo

Updated: December 20, 2010, 8:29 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The odds of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to return this season continue to get slimmer.

The Cowboys thought Romo, who suffered a broken left collarbone on Oct. 25, might recover in time to play the final two games of the season. However, owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Sunday that Romo's recovery has taken longer than anticipated.

"I saw him before the [game] and frankly he's still having sensitivity there," Jones said. "If he were healthy, he would practice. If he were healthy, he would practice. We are a little behind where I thought we would be on how healthy he is."

Jones also pointed out that backup quarterback Jon Kitna has a clean bill of health and is playing well enough to win. The 5-9 Cowboys are 4-4 in games started by Kitna, winning four of six since Jason Garrett became the interim head coach.

Romo has done some light throwing during the warm-up portion of practices the past few weeks, but he hasn't put on a pair of shoulder pads since being injured on a hit by New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley.

Jones has said several times that he hopes Romo would be able to play the last two games, but the Cowboys will not rush him if he's at risk of reinjuring the collarbone.

"There is no decision if Romo is hurt," Jones said. "We've never thought about putting him out there hurt. And the fact that Kitna is playing well, healthy, off a win, you've got to think about that as well -- rusty Romo [or] a guy who is playing well enough to win. All of that will have been in the mix. But, as I stand here right before the game, he is not ready to play."

Jones said the Cowboys aren't considering putting Romo on the injured reserve, but the reasoning is that they do not need the roster spot right now.

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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