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Fantasy Fallout: Tony Romo (broken finger) to miss 4 weeks

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Michael Blunda

Fantasy owners of Cowboys QB Tony Romo took a big blow Monday when it was revealed that their top QB has a broken pinkie on his throwing hand and is expected to miss up to four weeks. Dallas has a bye in Week 10, so it's likely that Romo will miss the next three games and then return for the Week 11 contest at Washington.

This injury will have a fairly significant effect on all of the Cowboys' key fantasy players. With the 40-year-old Brad Johnson set to take over at QB, Dallas will have to change up its offensive game plan, as Johnson won't be able to make the deep throws that Romo did. Owners looking to replace Romo in their lineup probably can find better options on the waiver wire than Johnson, who isn't likely to post prolific stats.

The guy whose numbers could suffer most is WR Terrell Owens — and we all know what happens when T.O. isn't happy. Owens' routes will probably need to be cut down as a result of the QB switch, with the downfield patterns kept to a minimum. He still should see plenty of short and intermediate targets, but will that be enough to keep him satisfied? It'll be interesting to see.

Johnson's presence shouldn't put a huge dent into the production of TE Jason Witten, who likely will be a frequent target in the modified offense. He might not continue racking up 80-plus yards per game, but he definitely should still be a weekly fantasy start.

Finally, you can expect RB Marion Barber, who was already getting 22.5 touches per contest, to touch the ball 25-30 times in each game Johnson is under center. With the Cowboys' offense likely to get simpler — and change-of-pace back Felix Jones sidelined with a hamstring injury — Barber will be needed more than ever in both the running and short passing game. He'll have to deal with defenses stacking the box against him, but his sheer number of touches should equate to solid numbers.

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