Tony Romo played through a herniated disk to keep the Cowboys alive in the playoff race late last season.
The Dallas quarterback now has to show he's fully recovered from back surgery against the team he beat while playing with a punctured lung three years ago.
The 34-year-old Romo would surely prefer to have his playoff victories outnumber his signature medical moments, so the opener Sunday against San Francisco is about more than staying healthy.
Romo goes into his eighth full season as Dallas' starter with just one playoff win, but believing his best years are ahead of him. He's trying to break Dallas' three-year rut of finishing 8-8 and missing the postseason after losing a finale to an NFC East rival.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)