The Tony Romo report broke late Monday afternoon. As word leaked into the NovaCare that Dallas’ starting quarterback could miss Sunday night’s game with a back injury, the Eagles had to modify their approach. But it wasn’t as if they just started ripping up the game plan. In fact, they are still preparing as if Romo will start for the Cowboys.
“It really wasn’t Earth-shattering,” said Davis. “Most of the time when injuries happen early in the week, [the reaction is] not that drastic because there is still a possibility he’s playing. Now, do we say, ‘OK, let’s take maybe a longer look at Kyle Orton?’ Absolutely. That’s probably the biggest shift, we may have to play a different guy, but we’re going to prepare for their offense and all their weapons. He’s one man of 11 out there — he’s the main guy, but he’s also a guy we’ll prepare equally for.”
ESPN is reporting that Romo will miss the rest of the season with a herniated disc in his back. Ed Werder added this on Tuesday:
Source says Tony Romo got epidural injection for herniated disk. Takes 2-3 days to determine effect of shot. Source very skeptical QB plays
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) December 24, 2013
Dallas owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show that Romo has not been ruled out for Sunday's game, and is going through treatment with the hopes of being healthy enough to play on Sunday night. The cloudier the Cowboys can make the situation, the better from a strategical standpoint. Suggesting that Romo may still start could be pure gamesmanship. The Eagles are prepping for Romo just in case.
"You always prepare for their starters to start and be at their best, and from there you work," said Davis. "This week we'll say, 'OK, let's put a lot of emphasis on Orton as the backup because we know it's a proposition that we have no control over, we have to be prepared for both.
"I don't think the offense changes too much with one or the other.We're prepared for both of them and we're prepared to get the Dallas Cowboys' absolute best no matter who is at quarterback."
The Eagles have to guard against overconfidence in this spot. As we saw in the Minnesota game, even a down-on-their-luck team operating without their star player can be a handful if you're not sharp.
"I think we learned a valuable lesson against Minnesota and it's fresh in our mind," said Davis. "Not that we took them lightly but we know we have to step up no matter who plays. It has to be at our absolute peak."