Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Oct 2010

Tony Romo Fractures Clavicle During MNF

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has apparently suffered a fractured clavicle (collarbone) during the first half of the Cowboys-Giants game.

Based on a quick look at comparable injuries, chances are that Romo's out for the season. Most fractured clavicles are season-ending injuries. The best-case scenario -- assuming Romo's clavicle actually is fractured and not just bruised -- has Romo back in about six weeks. One player who was able to come back from a fractured clavicle in about that timeframe is Chad Ochocinco, who did so as a rookie.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 25 Oct 2010

51 comments, Last at 28 Oct 2010, 5:43am by Mr Shush


by Alternator :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 10:26pm

If he's out for the season, the Cowboys weak chances are deader than disco.

by wr (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:08pm

They said 4-6 weeks on Westwood One, and Irvin noted
that Troy Aikman was out 5 weeks when he broke his
collarbone. So Romo shouldn't be out for the season,
but it's definitely time to break out the butter and
jam for the Cowboy's season.

The radio announcers have really been talking a lot about
how down the Cowboys have been since halftime.

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:30pm

Yes, but that timeframe was given by Phil Simms, who tried to get out of answering by saying "I really have no idea" before giving in and throwing a random guess out there. That was pretty bad reporting...

by mcgatman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:52am

Their chances were deader than disco long before this...

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 10:29pm

Wow. just wow. I was guessing clavicle from the way he fell and from his grabbing it, but he looked like he could move around alright on the sideline.

As an aside, dallas cowboys fantasy players have just lost pretty much all their value unless jon kitna owns a time machine and has some cousins who can play offensive line. This reminds me of a few years ago when jake delhomme injured his elbow.

by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 9:50am

I always remembered Kitna being a poor actual QB and a pretty good fantasy QB, cos he can whack in a bunch of yards in garbage time. I can see quite a few 21-40 defeats for the Cowboys, as Kitna aids the opposition with some good field position and then pointless drives against prevent Ds.

by Sander :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:07pm

Witten's value just went up, though. He was clearly Kitna's go-to guy.

by AnonymousYo (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 10:39pm

Is it wrong that the first thing I did when I heard this was reread the Onion Article about Romo bweaking his pinkie-winkie (link in name) and laugh heartily?

by billsfan :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:35am

No. That's a perfectly normal response.

(I also like the Eagles)

by Temo :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:04pm


by Oh Dallas (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:47pm


I don't know what else to say at this point.

by Key19 :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:13am

*butts in as eternal optimist*

Assuming Romo is going to return next season at 100%, this is hardly to be considered a bad thing. 1-15 would surely land us a Top 2 pick in the draft, and we may even luck into a rookie wage scale. So I see it as the chance for us to draft an elite OL prospect at a price that's potentially cheaper than any other Top 10 lineman in recent years.

Also, Wade would hopefully be fired, although the one downside with the Romo injury is that it serves as a Wade crutch. But I feel like Wade going 1-15 would be enough to get the axe. I always hate to root for someone to lose their job, but at this point Wade is completely and utterly useless as a head coach. He doesn't manage games well, he seems unable to discipline the team or coach players to be smart, and the worst part is that his defense just flat-out sucks. I was cool with Wade in recent times when the defense was a very solid unit, but this year they just are horrible.

The O-line clearly needs fixing and the defense is very weak aside from Ware, Spencer, Ratliff, and occasionally Jenkins.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I'd keep Roy around another year. He has been much better this season. He is finally making tough catches (as well as not dropping easy ones) and is our most consistent red zone threat.

Brooking and James really need replacing. Brooking is at the end of the road and James has been an average starter for years. Could really use a force in the middle, and he's not one.

I'd love to comment more on the specific problems on the O-line, D-line, and secondary, but I just don't know enough about any of them to have an educated opinion. All I know is that all three units need improvement, but I couldn't really tell you who's bad or who's good. I like Doug Free a lot but aside from him I don't have an opinion good or bad on anyone.

Barber must go. Simply and utterly ineffective. Felix and Choice are both better options at this point, and Choice deserves to have an opportunity to play.

Anyways, that's it for my Cowboys summary. :P

by Todd M (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 2:21am

I don't know what team you're watching, but Spencer has been terrible this year, and his game against the Giants was abysmal. He consistently rushed up field and was beaten on run plays. The ILB's are both old, but I'd get a safety before I worried about that. Poor safety play has killed the the Cowboys for years (and it also contributes to poor play by the rest of the defense who can't trust that the safety will bail them out).

I agree that they need to give Choice more of a shot, but they also just need to come up with a better run scheme. The delayed draw off-tackle to the left only works so many times.

The thing is, even with Kitna at QB, this team should win *some* games (although hell, they should have won games with Romo...). I don't think 1-15 is a realistic possibility. I hate commenting on something that as an outsider, I really can only speculate on, but the lack of leadership is ridiculous. When things get tough for the Cowboys, they fold. The defense looked like hell as soon as Romo went down. Credit the Giants, but I don't think the Cowboys helped the matter. I really think they need a guy who can grab the team by the throat and say "get your heads out of your ---, we are not losing this game." I understand the whole "lead by example," but at some point, you need a vocal guy who can rally the troops. I like Ware, Witten, and Romo as much as the next guy, but that kind of leadership doesn't help when things go south.

by jbrown (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 2:51am

I say this as a fan of all Texas football and I want to see them do well, but I can't think of a more backwards built team than the Cowboys. Just look at all of the resources tied up in WR, TE, RB and LB compared to the line on either side of the ball. I have to think this is the epitome of Jerryball, as the skill players are the high profile guys who get media attention but don't necessarily create a winning team.

Every time an announcer rants about how much "talent" Dallas has for how bad they are playing, this is keeps popping up in my head. They really look like the opposite of a Parcells built team

by t.d. :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 3:24am

LB is fine, if you're talking Ware. Pass rush is one of the most important fundamentals of winning football

by ChaosOnion :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 9:10am

Brooking looked really old last night.

by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 9:54am

That may be why they drafted that rookie fella Lee.

A front 7 of Ratliff, Spears, Olshansky, Ware, Spencer, Bradie James and Whatever his first name is Lee should be among the best front 7s in the league on paper.

Standard "football isn't played on paper otherwise I'd fax us a 28-0 win" caveat applies.

by Temo :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:18am

Spear, Olshansky and James suck.

by Key19 :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:59pm

Probably a case of me noticing him when he does something good and being largely unaware of everything else. I'll have to pay more attention to Spencer I guess.

by Oh Dallas (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:37pm

I don't think you were off on Spencer. Not sure if he's played quite as well this year, but he's certainly far from a terrible player.

Seemed like he gambled more last night; abandoning contain on the outside and trying to get inside quick. I guess for pass rush reasons relating to the score, but I'm not sure. I'd have to watch the game again to get a better idea.

by andrew :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:16pm

Jon Kitna looks like he's going to challenge Brad Johnson for the "worst cowboys backup QB ever" title.

by Treima6 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:02am

He was competent enough to find Dez Bryant for a couple of garbage time TDs, and Bryant did a fantastic job showing off his athleticism and getting nice YAC opportunities even when the coverage was solid.

I was surprised that Roy Williams was effectively removed from the Cowboys equation. I thought for sure we'd see Kitna target his former Lions' teammate a few times.

by some guy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:06am

Really????? Dude, Brad was god awful. Kitna didnt do anything stupid, and from what I remember he was pretty good as recently as 2006. Typing that out made me worry about myself. Whatever, for some reason I still defend him.

by MurphyZero :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 7:43am

Kitna is a QB that lead a team to 28 or more points in a 7 point loss. He is not spectacular, but is competent enough to lead scoring drives repeatedly during a game, particularly against prevent defenses towards the end of the game. Dallas going 1-15 is definitely not a given, but not improbable either. I can see something between 4-12 and 7-9 in Dallas' future.

by andrew :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 8:42am

Kitna played better after I wrote that. The first few series were godawful, I don't think a receiver was within 5 yards of where the ball went.

by Dean :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 9:07am

I have Babe Laufenberg holding on line 1 for you.

EDIT: Which would have been much more interesting if a bunch of other people hadn't posted it below last night.

by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 4:51pm

Jon Kitna looks like he's going to challenge Brad Johnson for the "worst cowboys backup QB ever" title.

Meanwhile, back in reality, Kitna ought to be considerably above replacement level. Above average may be a stretch, but I see him being an average NFL QB in this situation. And this is coming from a Redskins fan.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 10/28/2010 - 5:43am

Really tough to say. Kitna may still be about average, but he's 38 years old and the last time we can say with confidence that he was on that sort of level is 2007. His conventional stats look pretty putrid so far, but of course that was against an excellent pass defense and DVOA actually sees that as a good performance. I guess we'll find out. Rationally, I should want him to play well and help the Cowboys beat the Colts. Back in the real world, I hate the Cowboys way too much to root for them against anyone.

by Tighthead (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:27pm

Jeff Garcia would be better than Kitna

by Pass to Set Up ... :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:56pm

Plays with a similar style—scrambling about waiting for things to develop, not real disciplined but able to sling the ball.

by Dave OConnell (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:41pm

Worst Dallas backup ever? How quickly we forget about Babe Laufenberg:

24-67, 279 yards, 1 TD, 6 INT

-Dave O'Connell

by Oh Dallas (not verified) :: Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:45pm

Yes, but Laufenberg is the best CBS 11 sports reporter.

Does that count for anything?

by Razorback Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:28am

Does anyone have J.P. Losman's phone number?

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:35am

Jamracus Russell will play for purple drnak.

by jbrown (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 2:45am

Wow when you are a former Raider and Raiderjoe rips on you, it's officially over

by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 10/27/2010 - 4:42am

No, if you're a CURRENT Raider and rj rips you, that's bad. The onl;y former Raiders he likes are the guys who retired in black and silver.

by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:48am

Why rush him back given the current Cowboy record? Unless he can clear ever possible medical test, I'd sit him the rest of the year.

by Joe T. :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 7:22am

I'm guessing they sit him a week or two before making a determination about putting him on IR, just to see how things shake out. But at 1-5, if his injury is to the extent of the initial reports, I think IR is in his future.

I never like to see anybody injured, but I enjoyed the ensuing team meltdown.

by td (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:42am

As a Cowboys fan who has been hoping they'd can Wade for three seasons, this is a good outcome. They were f*cked this season, anyway (they already lost the easier games on the schedule), and they're talented enough to be right there with the right coach. Plus, they could be in line for a really great draft pick (they were worse than the Giants and Eagles even with a healthy Romo this year)

by BlueStarDude :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 7:04am

Time to start the off-season To Do list:

1. Brian Schottenheimer
2. David Harris
3. Marcel Dareus
. . .

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 7:24am

Is Harris not fairly likely to get franchised, assuming they don't work out a long term deal first?

by BlueStarDude :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 8:00am

Probably. He might even be a restricted free agent. This defense just needs a major infusion of talent, and that's not going to happen with Jerry calling the shots anyway. So it's wish lists and that's it.

by Oh Dallas (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 9:54am

I wonder if they should be more inclined to draft Patrick Peterson/Prince Amukamara. I don't watch college football, and my knowledge of these players is basically limited to preliminary rankings by websites. But Newman isn't getting any younger, and Scandrick's 2008 season is moving further away.

by Temo :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:22am

If you want to start with a positional list:

1. HC
2. S
3. OT
4. DE
5. CB
6. ILB
7. OLB

by Oh Dallas (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:51am

Not a bad start. I think OT is too high, and OG needs to be added in place of OLB. Too bad GM can't be on this list, but I keep hoping that each year Stephen's voice is louder than the rest.

by Temo :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 11:02am

I'm not a big fan of Columbo. I think OLB needs depth, but I can OG needing depth as well.

by Oh Dallas (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:38pm

Oh, well I agree that they need to find Colombo's replacement this off-season. Victor Butler has shown enough flashes, Carolina/first Philly games last year and training camp this year, that I think he could be a competent backup. It looked like he and Brandon Williams played more in the second half. I have to re-watch the game to see how they performed.

I actually think depth at ILB is a bigger concern than OLB. Sean Lee looks like a good prospect, and he can permanently replace Brooking next season. James is an adequate starter, even though he is painful in coverage outside of recognizing screens. Maybe Jason Williams' light can come on? I don't know. These will be all be good questions for the next coaching staff.

by Temo :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 1:50pm

I think ILB is terrible right now, but honestly I've been saying that forever. And the ILB position doesn't seem to matter nearly as much as the others.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 2:43pm

the rest

Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.

by slipknottin :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 11:54am

Does anyone have a breakdown of Olshansky's contract? Does he get paid per tackle?

He sure seemed awfully pleased with himself every time he made a tackle after a couple yard gain

by Junior (not verified) :: Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:01pm

Will the NFL now adopt the "Romo Rule" where if a QB's shoulders touch the ground on any given play it's a 15 yard penalty, or does Romo not have enough stature?