Read more at nopuntintendedsports.wordpress.com
The Dallas Cowboys have had a very unique and unpredictable season, especially with regards to the quarterback position. Tony Romo, the franchise quarterback, suffered a back injury during preseason and was expected to be out for ten weeks. After Romo suffered an injury last year as well, the Cowboys struggled and fell short of the playoffs. Romo's worst nightmare came true again, and the team was in a very difficult situation.
The rookie backup to Romo, Dak Prescott, had big shoes to fill. The Cowboys began the season with low expectations and little hope, especially after losing their first game of the season by one point to their division rivals the Giants.
But then something clicked. Dak Prescott proved himself to the league and has had an incredible season from then on. He has led the Cowboys to nine straight wins and counting, giving them the best record in the NFL currently. He has broke numerous rookie records and is a strong contender for rookie of the year. With the help of rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys have cruised through the first 10 games of their schedule, and their playoff hopes look very promising.
One would hear this story and think of it as a fairy tale ending, which it is for everyone except Tony Romo. Romo received the news he was cleared to play last week, so the Cowboys had a difficult decision to make: whether to play their franchise QB or keep the momentum going with Prescott. They ultimately chose to play Prescott, and Romo addressed the press on Tuesday.
Romo has every right to be upset about his situation. What happened to him is very unfortunate, but his response to the decision amazed me.
In his press conference, Romo came out with a piece of paper, something he had written, and decided to read it to the press. In this speech, Romo shared the emotional rollercoaster he has endured throughout the first half of the season. He shared the struggles he has endured and the frustrations as well.
He then mentioned Dak Prescott, and did so in a very respectable way.
"He's earned the right to be our quarterback," said Romo. "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."
Romo could have easily complained about how hard his life is, and claimed that he earned that position, but instead, he became the bigger person and told the truth. The world knows how much Romo loves to compete, but he also loves his team and would do anything for them.
"If you think for a second that I don't want to be out there," said Romo "Then you've probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning."
Romo continued to share something even more wonderful.
"I was that kid once," said Romo "Stepping in having to prove yourself. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. It really is an incredible time in your life. And if I remember one thing from back then, it's the people that helped me along when I was young, and I can be that to Dak, I've tried to be, and I will be going forward."
Tony Romo is the definition of a team player. Not only does Romo respect the decision because it is in the best interest of the team, but he also chose to support Prescott and mentor him along the way. Romo will go down as an elite quarterback for many reasons, but this attitude is what makes him great. There are so many athletes in the world that selfishly put themselves above the team, but Romo is different. He could not have done or said it any better than he did.
He finished the speech by sharing something he has learned through all of this.
He said, "I feel like we all have two battles and two enemies going on. One with the man across from you. The second is with the man inside of you. I think once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn't matter."
People can criticize and dislike Romo as a football player, but after this, you cannot dismiss the good in him. It takes a lot of courage and respect to do what he did, and he made the right decision. I am not worried about Romo's future because he is a great quarterback and will continue to have a great career. Injuries are simply part of the game, and he is working through it and could not be handling it any better. Major props to you, Tony.
Published by Lia Assimakopoulos