Tony Romo spoke to the media on Tuesday and delivered a prepared statement acknowledging that rookie quarterback Dak Prescott deserves to remain the starter.
It was truly surreal scene, with Romo pausing for moments to maintain composure. He has been Dallas' starting quarterback since 2006. Prescott got the opportunity to start when Romo went down with fractured vertebrae during preseason.
Now that the rookie has led the Cowboys to an 8-1 record, the franchise can't justify giving the job back to Romo. And no one understands that as accutely as the 10-year starter.
Some excerpts from his comments, via USA TODAY Sports:
To say the first half of the season has been emotional would be a huge understatement. Getting hurt when you feel you have the best team you’ve ever had was a soul-crushing moment to me.
You see football’s a meritocracy, you aren’t handed anything. You earn everything, every single day. Over and over again, you have to prove it. That’s the way the NFL, that’s the way football works.
A great example of this is Dak Prescott, and what he’s done. He’s earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right. He’s guided our team to an 8-1 record, and that’s hard to do.
If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, then you probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning. That hasn’t left me, in fact it may burn more now than ever.
I think we all know something magical is happening to our team. I’m not going to allow this situation to negatively affect Dak or this football team by becoming a constant distraction. I think Dak knows that I have his back, and I think I know that he has mine. Ultimately it’s about the team. It’s what we’ve preached our entire lives.
Romo reiterates that he wants to continue playing, but in reality, he'll need to look outside of Dallas for that opportunity.
The moment also marks a shift in the Redskins vs. Cowboys rivalry. Romo had long been the face of the enemy in Washington. He holds a career 11-9 record in the 20 games he's faced the Redskins.
But with Prescott at the helm for the beginning of a long career, Dallas could prove a more formidable opponent than in the Romo years.
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