Dak Prescott Reportedly Will Start, Tony Romo to Play in Week 17 vs. Eagles

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2016

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09:   (L-R) Dak Prescott #4, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys talks with injured quarterback Tony Romo #8 prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Despite insistence to the contrary from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, quarterback Tony Romo will reportedly play Sunday in Week 17 versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, rookie Dak Prescott will start, but both Romo and third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez are expected to see the field. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed Romo would play, although he noted it "won't be much."

However, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told reporters "We haven't made those determinations," when asked who would receive snaps under center. 

The 13-2 Cowboys have already wrapped up the NFC's No. 1 seed.

Rapoport reported Thursday that Sanchez was expected to receive the bulk of the snaps. Previously, per Jori Epstein of the Dallas Morning News, Jones said:

We don't feel like any game we'd get from him [Romo] stepping out there running some plays, several plays, a series of plays would be worth the risk. I think we pretty much stay to plan. It wouldn't surprise me to see us get some of the same snaps. ...

... We're just not concerned about him having play time. But sure wouldn't want him to get any time other than playing behind our first.

Romo, 36, was inactive for the team's first nine games of the season due to a preseason back injury, and Prescott thrived, throwing for 3,630 yards, 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions en route to a Pro Bowl selection.

He also set the NFL record for most passing attempts to start a career without an interception (176), surpassing Tom Brady's mark (162).

While Jones initially said Romo would start as soon as he was healthy, he and head coach Jason Garrett decided Prescott was playing too well to sit, taking a page out of Bill Belichick's playbook in 2001 when he stuck with backup Tom Brady over veteran Drew Bledsoe.

Of course, that decision turned out nicely for the New England Patriots.

Romo has often played well when healthy, though he appeared in only six games in 2010 and just four last season. Between 2011-14, Romo threw for at least 3,700 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Prescott is Dallas' starter of the present and future, and any action Romo sees would be prep just in case an injury strikes. Romo is under contract through 2019, but he may be a trade target after this season.

         

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