Tony Romo Injury: Cowboys' Season at Risk on MNF If Romo Plays vs. Redskins

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Every time Tony Romo drops back with a broken rib, he's putting the Dallas Cowboys' season on the line. While according to ESPN his punctured lung has healed, that doesn't make him playing on Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins any less ridiculous.

The heroics he displayed last week against the 49ers were admirable. Coming back into the game and orchestrating a comeback with the amount of pain he was in sent a huge message to his team.

The tough-guy routine got them a win in Week 2, and now it's time for him to do what's in the best interest of his team, which is taking a seat and having some faith in Jon Kitna.

The Cowboys had to close out last season with Romo on the sideline and don't want to go down that road again. Romo can wear the protective vest and the Cowboys can rely more heavily on the run, but players are—not so secretly—gunning for Romo's cracked rib.

They obviously don't want the Redskins to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the NFC East, but there is still a lot of football to be played this season.

Romo unknowingly put his health at serious risk by staying in the game last week. There is no reason to play with fire and put Romo in a position to hurt himself. This decision can't be Romo's to make, as he's obviously willing to put winning before his health.

And that's refreshing to see, as odd as that sounds. We constantly hear football players from other eras call this generation of athletes soft, but it's hard to watch Romo's performance last week and justify that.

This isn't about pain, it's about health. The Cowboys will face an uphill battle if they drop a game to the Redskins this week, but their season is over if Romo's cracked rib is made worse.

Jerry Jones is going to be holding his breath every time his franchise quarterback drops back. It's not worth his well-being, the season or one "W."

It's important to look at the bigger picture, and if the organization refuses to go with Kitna this week, it's going to put its shortsightedness on full display.