x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Quarterback Romo should be good to go for NFC East finale for Dallas

Swelling on bruised hand is subsiding and his teammates happy to see him back in practice.

Tony Romo has shown progress after he injured his throwing hand against a defender's helmet in the opening series on Saturday.
Tony Romo has shown progress after he injured his throwing hand against a defender's helmet in the opening series on Saturday.

DALLAS // Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, said he expects to play in Sunday's night's showdown with the New York Giants for the NFC East championship and spot in the play-offs.

Romo has been limited in practice this week because of his still-swollen, bruised right hand, though he did throw several passes. He said the swelling was subsiding more each day and that he expects to play.

He does not anticipate wearing a glove in the game.

"Today was good. I was able to do some things with the ball that we weren't sure about, so it was a good start to the week," Romo said after Wednesday's practice.

"We are going to keep working on it and get all the treatment and stuff. We should be good to go for this weekend."

His coach, Jason Garrett, was more reserved about Romo's availability. "It seemed like he was able to throw the ball OK, but he still needs to make some progress with that thing," Garrett said.

"Typically, he gets a full complement of reps; he didn't get all the reps."

A match-up of 8-7 teams, the signs point to Sunday's win-or-go-home game following the pattern that has defined both the Giants and Cowboys this season - play to the final whistle for the NFC title, and a home game in the first round of the play-offs the following weekend.

Tight end Jason Witten and receiver Laurent Robinson said the passes Romo threw in practice were good.

Witten is one of the quarterback's best friends; they have been teammates in Dallas throughout their nine NFL seasons. "Tony did good. I thought he was throwing the ball well. I couldn't tell any difference," Witten said.

"From the receiving end of it, he was as good as he always is.

"I would be hard pressed to see him not playing. Anyone who knows what he is about, knows he's going to play."

Romo got hurt on the opening series last Saturday against Philadelphia when he banged his throwing hand against the helmet of a defender while following through on a pass.

He never returned to the game. "He has progressed since the game, so we'll see how he responds to the work he got," Garrett said.

"I thought he had a good day. He seemed fairly functional with the stuff that he was able to do."

Stephen McGee, who finished Saturday's game, also took snaps with the first-team offence.

"I'm happy he's back, he threw well in practice," defensive end Jason Hatcher said. "I wouldn't have no other guy than Romo right now. Very happy he's back."