Remember when Tony Romo got hurt in the second game of the 2015 season? Remember the feelings of emptiness creeping in as thoughts of the Dallas Cowboys duplicating the success they had in 2014 withered away? Remember when he returned later that season only to be injured again?
Remember Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel filling in while he was out? Remember Darren McFadden still managing to rush for 1,000 yards despite opposing defenses having nothing to fear from Dallas’ quarterbacks?
Remember when Romo injured his back in the preseason game this summer in Seattle? Remember all of those same old feelings of dread and fear of another lost season returning to your mind?
None of us can forget any of those events or the subsequent thoughts that followed them.
Dak Prescott replaced Tony Romo and finished the preseason game in Seattle and played with a poise well beyond his years. He finished out the preseason in a similar fashion. Yet there was still a nervousness about the approaching regular season. At some point you figure the rookie moments and shaky mistakes are going to catch up with him.
In his NFL debut Prescott nearly defeated the New York Giants. If he had gotten a little more help from his wide receivers in the two-minute drill Dan Bailey would have had an opportunity to try a game winning kick. That has been his only defeat to speak of.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 14, 2016
With each win the whispers grew. What are the Cowboys going to do when Tony Romo is ready to return? Some thought Romo should be traded. Many (including Hall of Fame QBs Troy Aikman and Brett Favre) thought Dak should continue to be the starter after Romo was cleared to resume playing. Early on Jerry Jones continued to say that the job would indeed remain Tony Romo’s.
All roads pointed to Romo and how he felt and how he would eventually decide to approach all of the dynamics of this situation.
"I think Dak knows that I have his back. And I think I know that he has mine."
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) November 16, 2016
Click the link in the tweet above for the video of the press conference. Tony Romo breaks it all down. We got perspective, honesty, reality and 100% class. He spoke of how “soul crushing” it was being sidelined. The potential of how good this team could be wasn’t lost on him and the darkness of not being able to be a part of it is agonizing.
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) November 16, 2016
He spoke of having to deal with the reality of his injury being two and a half or three times longer than he expected it to be. He candidly said that Dak has “earned the right” to be the Cowboys quarterback and remembered being in Dak’s position when he replaced Drew Bledsoe just a few short years ago. This situation could have gone in a completely different direction if Romo wanted to be a diva or emphatically stick to his guns about it being his right to once again be the starting quarterback.
#Romo gave a classy concession speech for the moment, not a final retirement speech forever.
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) November 15, 2016
If Romo had wanted to act a fool about all of this he could have. That’s all I’m saying. If he had walked up to the podium and gotten salty with everyone and made things really awkward it would have been somewhat understandable. It would have been wrong, but it would have been easy to see why he may have. Ed Werder “texting on the hour” week after week has to be irritating.
Tony Romo did none of the above. He hasn’t always gotten the love or been as fully appreciated in Dallas and that’s a shame, but it’s the truth. The least Cowboys fans could do is reflect on all the things he’s done during his time in Big D and then really look at what he just did during this five-minute press conference and wrap your mind around what a consummate professional he’s been during the most gut wrenching time of his career.
The Cowboys are 8-1 and he’s not trying to mess it up in any way. Tony Romo is a class act.