Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo held a press conference on Tuesday essentially announcing that rookie quarterback Dak Prescott will remain the team’s starter under center.
“He’s earned the right to be our quarterback,” Romo said. “As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right. He’s guided the team to an 8-1 record and that’s hard to do.”
Romo handled the situation with class and demonstrated that he values the team over himself.
“What is clear is that I was that kid once, stepping in, having to prove yourself,” Romo continued. “I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. It really is an incredible time in your life. If I remember one thing from back then, it’s the people who helped me along when I was young, and if I can be that to Dak, I’ve tried to be, and I will be going forward.”
“I think Dak knows that I have his back and I think I know that he has mine. Ultimately, it’s about the team, that’s what we’ve preached our entire lives.”
You definitely have to feel for Romo, but doesn’t this feel like a scene out of the 1999 film “Any Given Sunday?” In fact, the entire Cowboys season closely parallels the context of the Oliver Stone flick.
The Cowboys had a lot of promise going into the year with Tony Romo returning from his season-ending injury last year. They still had a top offensive line and drafted possibly one of the top running back prospects in the last five years. All Tony had to do was stay healthy and this team would be destined to make a deep playoff push.
Unfortunately, Brittle Bone Disease came into play again and Romo went down in the preseason.
Enter Dak Prescott.
To the sports enthusiast, a standout at Mississippi State, Prescott finished 3rd in SEC history in total yards and 4th in total touchdowns. To the casual fan, Dak was a relatively unknown 4th round draft pick that would ultimately back up Romo until he retired, and then have an opportunity to compete for a potential starting job.
Let’s look at the parallels in the movie “Any Given Sunday.” Jack “Cap” Rooney (played by Dennis Quaid) was the long-time franchise quarterback for a historic franchise that had recently underperformed and was fighting to make the playoffs again. When an injury forces Rooney to be sidelined, and then backup Tyler Cherubini goes down, the Sharks must trust the services of unknown Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx).
Now this is not a movie review so long story short, Beamen plays well, forcing the tough decision to keep him as the starter or give the job back to Rooney once he is deemed healthy.
This sounds familiar…
There are many other parallels that you can draw between the styles of play, rookie vs. veteran, speed vs. pocket presence, etc. When it comes down to it, Beamen finished the movie as the starter and Prescott will now finish the season as the starter in Dallas.
Maybe Quaid has some valuable advice for Romo. No doubt they can talk over some of the similarities on the golf course, at this point maybe Romo has his eyes set on the Senior Tour?
If he does have some football left in him, which I think he does, will see him on the field in a Cowboys uniform again? I don’t think so, aside from, God forbid, Prescott goes down with an injury. It will be interesting to see, however, if the Cowboys make a deep run in the playoffs, and find themselves down by multiple scores with Prescott playing very poorly, he is a rookie still remember; does Garrett throw Romo back in there and let the veteran ride the Big D off into the distant Stars?
Garrett came out on Wednesday saying that he does not want Prescott looking over his shoulder, but they have adjusted practice a bit to give Romo some first-team reps just to keep him focused and mentally prepared if they need him.
Sounds to me like Garrett has thought about the aforementioned situation.
When it’s all said and done, good for Romo on understanding the magic that is happening in Dallas right now. That magic still includes him, just in a different role. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out, but I think one team next season will be very happy when Tony Romo is in their training camp.