IRVING, Texas (AP) – Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is expected to miss about two months with a broken left collarbone, though he won’t need surgery.
The loss of Romo in Sunday’s 20-10 victory at Philadelphia means the defending NFC East champion Cowboys (2-0) will be without their starting quarterback and All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant possibly through October. Bryant suffered a broken foot in the Cowboys’ season-opening victory over the New York Giants.
Coach Jason Garrett said Monday that tests revealed no ligament damage for Romo after the second broken collarbone of his career. The other was in 2010, and he missed the final 10 games of the season. However, Dallas was out of playoff contention before he could have returned.
The most optimistic time frame for Romo’s return is during a two-game Florida swing on Nov. 15 (Tampa Bay) and Nov. 22 (Miami). Otherwise, his absence could approach three months if he skips a short week for the Thanksgiving home game against Carolina and returns Dec. 7 at Washington.
Dallas hosts Atlanta (2-0) on Sunday.
Brandon Weeden replaced Romo against the Eagles and threw a clinching 42-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in the fourth quarter.
Weeden started in place of Romo once last season after the Dallas started sustained a back injury, losing to Arizona. It was Weeden’s eighth straight loss as a starter going back to his two-year stint with Cleveland after the Browns drafted him late in the first round in 2012.
“The NFL really is about adversity,” Romo said. “It’s about how you handle it, how you approach it individually and collectively as a team.”
The Cowboys passed a tough test.
Kyle Wilber returned a blocked punt 26 yards for a touchdown, Weeden connected with Williams for the late TD and the Cowboys overcame a franchise-record 18 penalties in their 10th consecutive regular season road win.
“Whenever you have a coaching staff that doesn’t panic, the players see it’s not as bad as things seem,” Williams said.
The Eagles (0-2) were favorites to take the division title away from Dallas, but they look more like a team that will contend for the top pick in the draft than the playoffs.
DeMarco Murray, last year’s NFL rushing champion as a member of the Cowboys, had 2 yards rushing on 13 carries for Philadelphia in his first game against his former team. Quarterback Sam Bradford had three turnovers, including an interception in the end zone. Philadelphia had 21 total yards in the first half and finished with 226.
“All I’m worried about is winning,” Murray said. “I’m not worried about rushing yards or touchdowns. We have to find a way to get it done. It’s as simple as that.”
Romo was knocked out of the game in the third quarter when Jordan Hicks sacked him. Fletcher Cox recovered Romo’s fumble and Bradford drove the offense to the Cowboys 3 before Sean Lee intercepted his pass in the end zone.
Some observations after the Cowboys beat the Eagles for the fourth straight time in Philadelphia:
SAM’S STRUGGLES: Bradford finished 23 of 37 for 224 yards and one TD along with two interceptions. He lost a fumble when center Jason Kelce snapped the ball early in a shotgun formation. “We’re all really frustrated,” Bradford said. “We have to establish our rhythm.”
WEEDEN’S TIME: Weeden, who finished 7 of 7 for 73 yards, started 15 games for Cleveland in 2012 as a 29-year-old rookie. He threw two interceptions in a 28-17 loss to Arizona last year in his only start for Dallas. Overall, he’s 5-16 as a starter. “I know how to prepare, having Tony around will help and you just don’t put added pressure on yourself,” Weeden said.
NOWHERE TO RUN: The Eagles had 7 yards rushing on 17 carries. Murray has 11 yards on 21 runs in two games. Coach Chip Kelly blamed the offensive line, which has two new starters because he released two-time Pro Bowl left guard Evan Mathis and right guard Todd Herremans. Allen Barbre replaced Mathis and Andrew Gardner took over for Herremans. “Too much penetration upfront,” Kelly said. “We just didn’t block.”
REPLACING DEMARCO: Joseph Randle had 51 yards rushing on 18 carries, Darren McFadden had 31 yards on 10 carries and the Cowboys finished with 109 on the ground. Lance Dunbar caught three passes for 45 yards and Randle and McFadden combined for three catches for 35 yards.
INJURY UPDATE: Eagles LB Kiko Alonso hurt his left knee in the second quarter and didn’t return. Alonso missed last season after tearing his left ACL. LB Mychal Kendricks didn’t return after a hamstring injury. Kelly said he won’t have an update until Monday. LG Ronald Leary was out for Dallas. Mackenzy Bernadeau started and then rotated with rookie La’el Collins.