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NFL notebook: Romo set to play 1st game since back surgery

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 8:24 p.m.

Tony Romo will play his first game for the Cowboys since undergoing back surgery for a herniated disk last December.

Romo will start in Saturday's exhibition game against the Ravens. Romo missed Dallas' exhibition opener against San Diego as the Cowboys are easing him back into things after his second back surgery in the past two years.

Romo said he gave no thought to skipping the preseason to make sure he stayed healthy, saying the only way to get better at football is to play football.

It will be his first chance to play in a game under new play caller Scott Linehan.

“I think you have to play in the preseason,” Romo said. “Obviously, some people can't, but I do know from my perspective, this game is not something where you can show up and think that you can do it.”

Romo suffered the injury against the Redskins last Dec. 22.

Governor rips NFL, Rice

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, outraged that Ray Rice received only a two-game suspension for a domestic violence arrest, pledged to boycott the league and called on its commissioner to take the issue seriously.

In a scathing letter sent to Roger Goodell, the outspoken Republican governor said the punishment given to the Ravens running back sends the message that it's OK “for professional athletes to beat women, just for the sake of ratings.”

“Taking thugs and wife-beaters off the field may be bad for business, but you are playing games with people's lives,” said LePage, who was beaten by his father when he was young and has made domestic abuse prevention and awareness a priority of his administration.

In a radio interview last week, LePage said he would boycott the league, whose 2014 season kicks off Sept. 4, but he didn't specify what that would involve.

LePage argued that Rice should have received a three-year suspension.

“As a matter of fact, the team should have taken him out in the back shed and taken care of him,” he said.

W.Va. robber sentenced

A Martinsburg, W.Va., man convicted of robbing former player Fulton Walker has been sentenced to more than a dozen years in prison.

Media outlets report 27-year-old Raheim R. Doleman received an 18-year sentence for first-degree robbery and up to 10 years in prison for assault during the commission of a felony.

Doleman and his brother, Roger C. Doleman Jr., were accused of robbing Walker during a home invasion in August 2013. Roger Doleman remains at large.

Walker was a defensive back at West Virginia from 1977 to 1980. He played for the Dolphins and the Raiders.

Jags LB Posluszny out

Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny won't play at Chicago on Thursday night because of a bruised biceps.

The Hopewell and Penn State product will remain in Jacksonville for treatment and could be back at practice soon.

Second-year player Nate Stupar, another former PSU player, is expected to start in Posluszny's place against the Bears.

Also, the Jaguars waived/injured center Matt Stankiewitch, a Penn State product who has a wrist injury and will revert to the team's injured reserve if he clears waivers.

Around the league

Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Brian Cushing were back on the field for the Texans for a joint practice with Atlanta. ... The Patriots acquired injured lineman Jerel Worthy from the Packers in a trade pending a physical for the defensive end.

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