Tony Romo ruled out for remainder of season with back injury, according to reports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have ruled quarterback Tony Romo out for the season. We break down the implications for the NFC East race, and as a potential playoff opponent for the 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers have their own business to handle on Monday Night Football, but in the meantime, there is some fairly huge news. The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly ruled quarterback Tony Romo out for the remainder of the season. The news isn't final yet, but this is pretty big news if it plays out this way. Romo injured his back in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys win over Washington. He finished the game, but a Monday MRI has ended his season.

The Cowboys host the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday (flexed into Sunday Night Football). The winner goes to the playoffs as the NFC East champion, while the loser heads home for the offseason. The Cowboys will now be playing this game with Kyle Orton at the helm.

Dallas still has a ton of skill position talent with guys like Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray and Terrance Williams, but Orton is no Tony Romo. While Romo gets dumped on, people sometimes overlooked the fact that he is a talented quarterback. He has made some awful decisions, but he has also made some huge plays for this Cowboys squad. Orton may have a safer downside, but his upside is nothing like that of Romo.

The Cowboys was already a three-point underdog before this news. It will be interesting to see how oddsmakers adjust for this. The Cowboys will be without Romo and linebacker Sean Lee. They can win this game, particularly given that the Eagles defense is generally not that good. But it will potentially impact the playoff race. The NFC East is winner-take-all this week, and the Cowboys are a potential 49ers playoff opponent in two weeks. There is a lot still left to happen for that matchup to occur, but it's on our radar.

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