OXNARD, Calif. — Jason Garrett was a little bewildered by getting grilled a week early over whether Tony Romo would play in the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason opener.
The Dallas coach dodged questions on the topic Saturday, a day after the team’s flagship radio station quoted Garrett as saying the Hall of Fame game against Miami next Sunday was “not going to be Tony’s game.”
Pressed several times by reporters, about all Garrett would say was the coaching staff hadn’t decided the playing rotation.
“I don’t want to get into the hypotheticals,” Garrett said flatly when asked about the comments to the radio station. “We’ll talk about how each of our 90 players will or will not play in those games next week.”
The Cowboys have an extra preseason game, and Garrett suggested to the radio station that the starters were more likely to debut in the second game against Oakland.
Even if Romo plays, it will only be a handful of snaps. His most important preseason game is the fourth one this year — Aug. 24 against Cincinnati.
But Romo just signed the richest contract in franchise history — six years, $108 million with $55 million guaranteed, or $3 million more than Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco got from Baltimore. And Romo didn’t take a real snap the entire offseason after having a cyst removed from his back.
Thus the varying questions for Garrett on what he hopes to get out of the preseason and how many games are ideal for the starters.
“Well, we have five, and so what we’re going to do is try to get our players ready as best we can with those five preseason games,” Garrett said. “The balance is to get your team ready, your starters ready, evaluate your young guys — that’s a really important thing so you cut your team down the right way. And obviously avoiding injuries is an important part of the preseason.”