The Washington Post

Cowboys, Tony Romo consider an opener without Jason Witten

Jason Witten suffered a lacerated spleen in an Aug. 13 game against the Raiders. (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t tipping their hand about whether tight end Jason Witten will play in the season opener tonight against the New York Giants.

Witten, who hasn’t missed a game since he was a rookie, underwent a CT scan Tuesday to determine how well his lacerated spleen — is healing. The Cowboys weren’t divulging the results or saying whether Witten would play. He was listed as doubtful Tuesday and now is a game-time decision. More significant may be the the fact that, for the Cowboys’ next game, Sept. 16, he is certain to be cleared to play. Pro Football Talk, citing an unnamed league source, reported that Witten is fine but unlikely to play tonight.

However, ESPN reports that Witten has “persistently” told the Cowboys that he would sign a medical waiver in order to play tonight. It remains to be seen whether the Cowboys will agree.

The prospect of going Witten-less tonight wouldn’t bode particularly well for Tony Romo.

Without Witten, the Cowboys would lose a significant component of their offense as well as valued protection for Romo against the Giants’ pass rush. They ran formations with two or more tight ends 53 percent of the time last season and, with Witten out, they’d use John Phillips, who has caught all of 22 passes in the NFL, and rookie James Hanna. The Cowboys on Tuesday ruled out Colin Cochart, the tight end they picked up off waivers over the weekend.

“I don’t think you’re ever really able to replace him,” Romo said of Witten earlier this week.

And, if Romo wants a boost of self-confidence, he shouldn’t look at the New York Post front today (via Will Brinson and the Newseum).

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP


Witten listed as doubtful for tonight

Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, Mathias Kiwanuka among the question marks

Jerry Jones, Kiwanuka and the war of words

Witten out with “serious injury”

Witten reportedly will miss rest of preseason with spleen injury

NFC East preview: Who will win the division?

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.


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