Cowboys put Romo on season-ending IR

IRVING, Texas — With time running out on this season, the Dallas Cowboys told injured quarterback Tony Romo he might as well rest up for next season.

Romo went on injured reserve Tuesday, eliminating any chance of him playing Saturday night at Arizona or in the season finale at Philadelphia. He's been out since breaking his left collarbone Oct. 25.

"When you just start doing the math on it and say, 'Where is he with this injury? Where is he physically functioning? Where is he being able to take a hit? And then, how much practice time you need to have any player be ready to play in a game?'" interim coach Jason Garrett said. "We just felt when we factored all those things together, it just made sense to make this move."

It seemed silly for the Cowboys to take any chances since they can't make the playoffs and are guaranteed a losing record, though they kept the option open by carrying him on the active roster the last eight weeks. Garrett said having this weekend as a target for a return helped Romo with his recovery.

On Sunday, team owner Jerry Jones said Romo was "still having sensitivity there" and not ready to play. Garrett indicated Romo would try to practice Tuesday, but the move was announced before the club even hit the field.

Jon Kitna will start the final two games. Garrett said he wouldn't use second-year backup Stephen McGee unless Kitna is hurt.

Kitna is 4-4 since taking over for Romo, including 4-2 since Garrett replaced fired coach Wade Phillips. Record aside, Kitna's statistics are quite similar to Romo's this season.

"Our team has certainly responded to him," Garrett said. "He's a very driven guy. He loves to play football. He's very competitive. He'll look at the positive things and build on them and try to correct some of the things he doesn't like. It's an ongoing process. He embraces it every day."

There's no threat of a QB controversy because Kitna will be 39 next season and Romo remains the face of the franchise. Kitna knows the drill.

"I signed a contract to be the backup to Tony and that's my job," he said. "I'm supposed to play as well as I can if I get a chance to play. We've been consistent the last six weeks. That's what you want."


Cincinnati has placed Terrell Owens on season-ending injured reserve a day after the receiver had surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee.

The Bengals didn't make a corresponding move Tuesday to replace him on the roster.

Owens hurt the knee a couple weeks ago but kept playing. He aggravated it on the opening drive of a 19-17 win over Cleveland on Sunday, then hobbled off the field and didn't return. He finishes the season with 72 catches for 983 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns.

Dr. James Andrews operated on the knee Monday in Birmingham, Ala. The surgery will force him to miss his "The T.Ocho Show" with teammate Chad Ochocinco on the Versus cable network Tuesday night.

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