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Gut Feelings: When Does Tony Romo Make His Return In 2016?

A lot of different opinions are floating around in regards to Tony Romo. So, what is the gut feeling on Romo's return?

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Watching the Dallas Cowboys play football is a lot like watching HBO's Game of Thrones. Don't get too excited about your favorite character because they may be taken from you in the next episode. That's exactly what Cowboys' fans are suffering through again as Tony Romo looks to miss some time with a compression fracture. Of course, after watching Romo be lost twice in one season, the narrative has shifted from the anticipation of his return to is this the end of the Romo Rollercoaster that we've had the privilege of being on for a decade now?

Nobody feels sorry for you in the National Football League, what it is is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. Still, as excited as some have become to see the regular season debut of Dak Prescott, this is still a team who's best chances to do anything significant come from Tony Romo playing. It's more than understandable to be optimistic after what we've seen from Prescott in the preseason but note that the game is about to get a lot more difficult for the rookie signal-caller.

A lot of opinions have been surfacing over the past week about when you may expect Tony Romo to make his triumphant return to the lineup. You got some of the major media outlets sticking with the 6-10 week initial prognosis. You got inside the Star guys like Bryan Broaddus who deem this a short-term thing. You even have doctors from outside the situation weighing in with their two cents on the matter. With all these opinions and no clear answers. What's a few more gut feelings to add to the mix?

When do you expect to see Tony Romo back on the field?

Joey Ickes

After the bye...Broken bones take six weeks to heal. And bones that are structural don't permit playing until they are fully healed. Because he can't do high impact conditioning until he's healed he'll take another two or three weeks to be ready.

Two weeks of pre-season plus six weeks of regular season points to week 7, which is the bye. So he'll be back after the bye.
Danny Phantom
Tony Romo returns on Thanksgiving day against the Redskins. Yeah, that's longer than most people expect, but there will be a couple factors that drag this thing out. Dak Prescott will be playing well, especially as the season progresses. You want Romo healthy, but you also want him moving around well and making the throws. I think the extra time will help him and with a backup that is performing well, the team will have the luxury of waiting until the right moment.

Plus, the Cowboys have a tendency to just be a part of the theatrics. What's more theatrical that Romo returning to the big stage in front of a national audience?
Jim Scott
My initial thought was the same as Joey's, after the bye. But O.C.C's article makes some really good points and the guy showed an outstanding structural understanding of what happened to Romo's back, which impressed me regarding his expertise.

I think that if the Medical Source is correct and the MRI revealed a fracture that was too small to detect on X-ray, you'll see Romo back at the early end of the time frame: week 5 against Cincinnati. If not, then I'll stick with my original estimate and say after the bye.
I agree with the thinking that he should come back after the bye since that would be 9 weeks from the injury but judging from his past it would seem that he will push to come back sooner. If it were up to him I think he'd be back Week 5 against the Bengals, which would be only 6 weeks from the injury.

No clue how the coaching staff/front office will handle it but I'm guessing they will want to be conservative considering that he got re-injured soon after coming back last year despite not being 100% yet. If I had to bet I'd go with him coming back the first game after the bye.
Tom Ryle
I hate to say it, but I am afraid the team might weigh how the team is doing with Dak. So I am really hoping he is able to keep the offense going so Dallas stays very strong in the division race. I think the longer Romo waits, the better for his health. I'd like to see him out until at least after the bye week.

But if the team struggles a bit, he might come back on the early end of things, and that frankly worries me, a lot.

A lot will obviously depend on what the Cowboys' record will look like at the time a decision needs to be made about Romo. If the Cowboys are solidly on a playoff course, the team might hold off on bringing Romo back quickly, but if things don't go so well, the team might be tempted to pull another 2015 and bring back Romo early to save the season. For me, I'll fall in line with after the bye week.

I hope they learned their lesson in 2015 when they brought Romo back too early, and he quickly re-injured himself. Bones heal at their own pace, and there's no way to rush the healing process, not even if you're the most valuable sports franchise in the world.

Looking at these opinions, the majority believe that Tony Romo is going to take all the way until the bye but that's assuming that Dak Prescott is playing well enough to keep them where they need to be. We've seen exactly what this team was without Tony Romo and it wasn't pretty.

If a guy like David Carr says this is a two-week injury, maybe it is. I distinctly remember that Carr was beaten up so badly over his tenure with the Texans but he never had back issues as bad as Tony Romo. Still, with all that said, this seems like something that Tony Romo is going to recover from quickly. If everyone close to the situation or at least a lot closer than us say that he's going to be out closer to the 4-6 week timetable, I expect Tony Romo to show up the first week of October. Whether he plays against Chip Kelly's 49ers or Marvin Lewis' Cincinnati Bengals will remain to be seen. Romo is the ultimate warrior and he'll be out there (probably taking cortisone shots) when he's damn-well ready. He'll be ready a lot sooner than many may be comfortable with.

What say you BTB? When does the wily veteran see the field?

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