As the Eagles begin their preparation for Sunday's winner-take-all NFC East showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, things have taken an unexpected turn. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a back injury.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been ruled out the rest of the season due to his back injury, per league source. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2013
Romo appeared to tweak his back in the Cowboys' 24-23 win over Washington on Sunday, but he did not leave the game. He was scheduled to have an MRI on his back Monday. Romo has a 9-6 career record against the Eagles, throwing for 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
If the report is true, veteran backup Kyle Orton will lead the Cowboys on Sunday night. Orton is 1-1 in his career against the Eagles, throwing for 388 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. Orton hasn't started a game since 2011, and has never appeared in a playoff game.
Earlier Monday, head coach Chip Kelly spoke about the challenge of facing a quarterback of Romo's caliber.
"He's one of the really, really, really good quarterbacks we've seen, and I said that the first time we played him," Kelly said. "If you're a fan of just quarterback play, he's pretty special. We've got our work cut out for him, but it's a challenge we're excited to go against."
Update: Eagles general manager Howie Roseman reacted to the news of Romo's injury on his weekly radio show on SportsRadio 94WIP on Monday evening.
"I was on my way here, so I don't know exactly what's going on, but obviously I've seen the reports," Roseman said. "We have to focus on this game. It doesn't change our preparation or our plan for this game. We have a big challenge this week going into Dallas and obviously we're excited about that."
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has also met with reporters to discuss his quarterback's injury. According to Garrett, Romo has injured his back (though no specifics were given), but the Cowboys have not yet ruled him out for Sunday's game.
"We have not made that determination at all at this point," said Garrett. "Like with other players, after a game you just want to see what the injury is, and we've done that with Tony and we want to get him involved in treatment as quickly as we can, and we've started that process."
"I don't want to get into the medical part of it, but I'll tell you what his status is going forward- he's going to get treatment each day, he's been getting treatment all day today, he'll continue to get it and we'll evaluate on a day-by-day basis and we'll see what his status is Wednesday and for this coming week."
The latest reports are indicating that Romo has suffered a herniated disk, which would require surgery. Garrett did say that Dallas planned to add a veteran quarterback to the roster this week.