Tony Romo delivered an emotional statement to media on Tuesday, saying that Dak Prescott has “earned the right” to be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Romo called his preseason injury “soul crushing,” spoke of the guilt he felt for letting his “teammates, fans and organization down,” and said that he will help Prescott in any way possible and “have his back.”
Those words would be difficult for any quarterback to say, especially one who’s 36 and on the tail end of his career.
“It was genuine,” Fort Worth Star Telegram Cowboys writer Clarence Hill Jr. said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It was certainly him trying to explain his feelings about what he’s gone through from the injury to now getting benched in favor of Dak Prescott, and certainly it was a class-act (statement). I think he earned a lot of respect with what he said (Tuesday). But it almost felt like a retirement more so than a guy just getting benched.”
Not that Romo is actually retiring. In fact, although Prescott has led the Cowboys (8-1) to eight straight wins, Hill believes that Romo will be in Dallas next season.
“I think he’ll play for us next year,” Hill said. “I just think the whole tenor of the event felt more like a goodbye and a retirement more so than somebody just getting benched. It was so full of media over someone who was essentially just getting benched. But I see him playing next year. There’s no way (he’ll leave or retire). Romo spent too much time in the offseason working to come back from last year’s injury, the fractured collarbone. He had the surgery and then worked to get back from a broken bone in his back to try to come back and help his team. There’s no way he’s walking away. He still wants to play. He still wants to compete for a Super Bowl.”
If Romo were to leave, however, Hill believes it would be to join a team that is a quarterback away from winning it all.
“If he goes somewhere, it’s going to be to a team that he has a chance to win a Super Bowl with,” Hill said. “Maybe a team like Denver or maybe even somewhere like the Jets. There’s way he’s going to go to a rebuilding project, no way he would be anywhere close to (a team like) Cleveland.”
A four-time Pro Bowler, Romo has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 34,154 yards, 247 touchdowns and 117 interceptions in his career. He has led the Cowboys to the playoffs four times, most recently in 2014.
Dallas plays each of its next two games at home: against Baltimore (5-4) this Sunday and against Washington (5-3-1) on Thursday, Nov. 24.
Kickoff this Sunday is at 1 p.m. ET.