Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/26/11
IRVING, Texas There seems to be no doubt Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will play with a bruised throwing hand in Sunday's winner-take-all game against the Giants. The only question is how effective he will be. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the swelling in Romo's right hand had gone down Monday, but the proof will come when Romo returns to practice Wednesday. "Can I take a snap? That's the first thing you have to evaluate," Garrett said. "And then how is he gripping it? How accurate is he when he's throwing it? Does everything have to be perfect for him to throw it well? Because as you know that position is a spontaneous one and he's certainly a spontaneous quarterback. We'll evaluate all those things as the week goes on." Romo was knocked out of Saturday's 20-7 loss to the Eagles in the first quarter when his hand got crunched by Jason Babin's helmet. After initial X-rays proved negative, Romo appeared willing to re-enter the game. But with the Eagles game rendered meaningless in the playoff race, Romo spent the rest of the game on the sideline with his hand bandaged. More tests have been done since the Eagles game and all have come back negative, Garrett said. The real test is whether Romo can grip a football, but that's not a result Garrett was willing to share Monday. "He has a relatively firm handshake," said a grinning Garrett, who is typically evasive regarding injuries. However, Garrett was encouraged by how Romo's hand looked on Monday. "It looks like it's getting better," Garrett said. "It looks like the swelling is going down and we're hopeful that he can practice on Wednesday." Getting Romo healthy is critical with Sunday's game at the Giants determining the NFC East title and the final playoff spot in the NFC. Backup Stephen McGee has little playing experience and was elevated from third-string in mid-season because of a back injury to veteran Jon Kitna. Garrett repeatedly said functionality is the only concern with Romo, since there seems to be no doubt he will fight through the injury to play. Romo won games this year playing with cracked ribs and a punctured lung. "He's a tough guy," Garrett said. "He's played through injury throughout his career. He's played through injury this year. He's a great competitor." Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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