Call it a last-ditch effort or whatever you want, but make no mistake, when Tony Romo has a plate put over his clavicle soon, it's being done because the Tony Romo window with the Dallas Cowboys is closing in a hurry.
Romo has broken the bone three times since the 2010 season including twice this past season in a span of 10 weeks that kept Romo out for all but four games as the Cowboys struggled to a 4-12 record. He'll be 36 years old when the 2016 season begins, and it's becoming clearer each year that his window is closing and, in turn, the Cowboys' window is closing as well.
It isn't a common procedure given the fact the clavicle is the easiest bone in the body to break, but once there's a break it makes it more likely for subsequent ones. Romo likely returned too soon from his Week 2 break in 2015 before playing a game-plus and breaking it again.
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Here's the thing about the procedure — if the collarbone is steel or titanium or whatever it is, it obviously won't break. But a hit similar to the two he took this year would displace pressure to either side of the plate and make adjoining bones and ligaments more vulnerable. I'm no doctor, but I did get an A in Anatomy and Physiology in college, and the scapula and humerus would likely take longer to heal when broken. The surgery is expected to take 6-8 weeks to get a full recovery, meaning Romo will be ready for the team's offseason program.
So is it risky? Yeah, it is. But at this point in Romo's career timeline, it's necessary as long as he's on board with it, and he most definitely is.