IRVING, Texas — Kyle Orton and Jon Kitna sat at opposite ends of a couch in the Dallas Cowboys’ locker room Wednesday, turned toward each other and stared chatting.
They probably were talking about Dallas’ offense.
Orton will make his first start at quarterback in his two seasons with the Cowboys on Sunday night, unless Tony Romo can recover from a herniated disc. Dallas will be playing a winner-take-all game at home against the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title and a playoff berth.
Romo was nowhere to be seen in any of the public areas at Valley Ranch. He did not practice, and didn’t attend a morning offensive meeting, according to coach Jason Garrett.
“I’m just excited,” Orton said. “I think the guys have got a lot of confidence in me. I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself. I can fall back on my experience. I’ve played a lot of games in this league. I don’t feel I have to do too much with the ball, just get it to 29 (DeMarco Murray), 82 (Jason Witten) and 88 (Dez Bryant).”
Garrett still hasn’t ruled out Romo.
“I saw him briefly today. He’s fighting through it. He’s doing everything he can to get back. He’s going through the rehab process.
“We’ll evaluate him day to day, the same as most players who are injured.”
Asked whether he thought Romo would play Sunday, Garrett said, “We’ll have to see. It seems like he is feeling a little bit better.”
Orton’s most recent start was in Week 17 of 2011 for Kansas City in a 7-3 victory over the Denver Broncos. He had started the season with Denver, but was released after losing the starting job to Tim Tebow, who led the Broncos to the playoffs.