Tony Romo's right hand didn't look very good after he smacked it on Jason Babin's helmet early on in the Dallas Cowboys' loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve. It was noticeably swollen, leaving one to wonder just how badly Romo's hand was hurt.
As it turns out, it sounds like Romo's hand is just fine. ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer reported today that Romo was able to practice without a brace or a wrap, a tell-tale sign that he is going to be good to go for Dallas' showdown with the New York Giants on Sunday.
That's obviously a huge relief for the Cowboys, as Sunday's game will determine who gets to go to the playoffs as the NFC East champion. Seeing as how Romo has been one of the very best quarterbacks in the NFC this season, having him under center is imperative.
No doubt some will still be concerned about Romo's wounded hand heading into Sunday's contest. It may not be broken, but it is bruised and is an easy target for the Giants' pass rushers. Even if he is able to stay out of harm's way, a less-than-100-percent Romo is hardly ideal.
This is true, but I would advise people not to worry themselves too much over Romo's hand. He played through a fractured rib and a punctured lung earlier this season, so I think he can handle a mere bruised hand.
To boot, Romo threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns the last time he faced the Giants, and that kind of production is more or less par for the course when it comes to New York's defense.
Besides, the Cowboys have other more pressing concerns heading into Sunday's showdown.
Personally, what I'm worried about is which Cowboys team is going to show up. There are times when they look like one of the best teams in the NFC, but they have a way of wilting in high-pressure situations. That applies to the guys on the field, but we've also seen Jason Garrett make a few too many mental mistakes.
On the field, the Cowboys need to be concerned about keeping tabs on Pro Bowl quarterback Eli Manning. He didn't play spectacular football against them in Dallas earlier this month, but he did lead the Giants on a comeback that stunned the Cowboys. Manning has tended to be money late in games this season.
The Cowboys also found out the hard way just how dangerous Jason Pierre-Paul is the last time they played the Giants. He had two sacks, one of which was for a safety. The Cowboys can ill afford to let him assert himself again, especially given the vulnerability of Romo's hand.
Beyond these concerns, we could also talk about how Felix Jones needs to show up and take some pressure off Romo. And of course, it must be pointed out that Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee and DeMarcus Ware are also playing hurt.
All things considered, Romo's hand is one of many concerns for the Cowboys. It is not their primary concern, nor is it even a secondary concern.
Romo may be hurt, but his status could be a lot worse.