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NFL notebook: Romo not out for certain

Associated Press Dallas owner Jerry Jones says the Cowboys aren’t ruling Tony Romo out of a winner-take-all game against Philadelphia because doctors could clear him after treating his back injury. Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that his quarterback has proven he can play with pain but won’t if doctors advise against it. The Cowboys (8-7) and Eagles (9-6) are playing Sunday night in Dallas’ third straight season finale against an NFC East rival with the division title and a playoff berth on the line. Romo was the starter in losses to the New York Giants two years ago and Redskins last season. He injured his back in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 24-23 win at Washington. Kyle Orton, who hasn’t started a game since 2011, is the backup. Jones said he had lengthy discussions with Romo and his doctors Monday about getting the 33-year-old ready to play. The owner wouldn’t discuss the details of Romo’s injury. “If you know Tony, you can’t imagine what a competitor he is, and he doesn’t want to miss a snap,” Jones said. “He was very disappointed, particularly disappointed for his team, repeated over and over again, ‘Jerry, I can’t tell you how badly I feel relative to you and relative to my teammates.”’ Romo didn’t miss a game in 2011 after breaking his ribs in Week 2 against San Francisco. He was heavily padded and medicated the next week against Washington and did enough to get the Cowboys an 18-16 win. “Tony will play with all the pain,” Jones said. “But his doctor has to clear him.” If Romo isn’t cleared, Orton will make his first start since the 2011 season finale for Kansas City against Denver, the team that waived him earlier that year after making Tim Tebow the starter. Orton signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Cowboys that offseason — an investment that Jones says was for just the scenario facing Dallas now.

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Pryor retracts comments

Terrelle Pryor backed off comments his agent made accusing the Oakland Raiders of putting him in a position to fail by putting him back in the starting lineup for Sunday’s season finale against Denver.

Agent Jerome Stanley told CSN Bay Area on Monday night he believed coach Dennis Allen hopes Pryor struggles as the starter on Sunday to justify the decision to play Matt McGloin the past five weeks — even after Pryor recovered from a sprained knee.

The Raiders (4-11) lost all five games after McGloin won his debut start in place on an injured Pryor, extending their streak of non-winning seasons to 11.

Pryor apologized on Twitter and in a conversation with Allen for the comments shortly after they came out.

Agent defends Melton

The agent for Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton says his client didn’t start an altercation at a Dallas-area bar that led to the NFL player’s arrest.

Agent Jordan Woy released a statement Tuesday that said several independent witnesses said Melton did not physically start the incident early Sunday in Grapevine.

Police said Melton became belligerent, refused to leave and punched the manager of the sports bar in the face and bit his arm. The nearly 300-pound Melton, who is from Grapevine, was charged with assault and public intoxication. He was freed on bond.

Woy said he plans to defend Melton.

Melton has been sidelined since September after suffering a knee injury against Pittsburgh.

Manuel’s status unclear

Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel has resumed practicing, though it’s not clear whether he’ll play in Buffalo’s season finale at New England this weekend.

Coach Doug Marrone was non-committal about Manuel’s chances after the first-round draft pick tested his injured left knee Tuesday. Marrone wants to review the practice video and evaluate Manuel’s mobility once the Bills (6-9) return to practice Thursday following a day off.

Manuel was hurt in a 27-20 win at Jacksonville on Dec. 15. He had swelling in his knee, which forced him to sit out a 19-0 win over Miami last weekend.

Manuel and backup Thad Lewis split snaps during the portion of practice open to the media.

Falcons’ lineman out

Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters will undergo season-ending Achilles surgery after getting injured in Monday’s loss at San Francisco.

Coach Mike Smith said Tuesday that Peters suffered a non-contact injury and likely will be sidelined until the start of the 2014 season.

Peters, a pending unrestricted free agent, was drafted in the third round of 2010 out of Kentucky. The fourth-year starter tweeted that he plans to “come back stronger than ever” next year.

Smith says that rookie safety Zeke Motta, a seventh-round pick from Notre Dame, will go on the reserved injured list after undergoing neck surgery Sunday to repair his first cervical.

Peters has nine career sacks, including five this season, and has started 53 out of 56 games.

Motta started one game, two weeks ago against Washington.

Watt to have nose fixed

J.J. Watt’s penchant for violent collisions left a deep gash on the bridge of his nose that required six stitches in Week 4. Each time he’s played since, the wound has been reopened, resulting in a permanent — and ugly — mark on the Texans star’s face.

Now that the season is winding down, the 2012 Defensive Player of the Yearsays he’ll look into having plastic surgery to repair the injury. He’s considering the procedure mostly at the prodding of his mother, Connie Watt.

“She hates it,” Watt said.

The injury has left an obvious indentation and bright red mark across the top of his nose. When it first happened, he was seen on the sideline with blood gushing from the gash and down both sides of his face. Though he’d already received stitches to close the wound by the time he entered the locker room after that game, he still had blood crusted all over his face and uniform.

Watt said he got it stitched back up in the two games after the initial injury. But that didn’t stop it from breaking open and bleeding every time he played, so he finally gave up and stopped having it repaired game after game.

He acknowledged that it is “very painful” each time it gets hit, but that it’s fine as long as nothing touches it.

He got a different helmet before Sunday’s game against Denver and said that made the situation a little better.

He plans to use the helmet again when Houston (2-13) looks to end a franchise-record 13-game losing streak Sunday at Tennessee.


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