In a press conference this afternoon, Tony Romo spoke to the media for the first time since being sidelined with a back injury. In an immediately somber tone, he told the gathered media that he would not take questions and had a prepared statement.
For a few moments, as he reflected on the emotional difficulty of dealing with another major injury and feeling like an “outsider” from the team, I began to think that Romo might be announcing his retirement. There was no questioning the sadness in his voice.
“He's earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say…”
This was raw honesty. This wasn't Tony Romo reading the company line but speaking from the heart. He didn't hide from the harsh reality of losing his job, perhaps forever, and the end of his era as the Cowboys quarterback.
Romo will still be on the sideline, and perhaps his Cowboys legacy has another chapter left to be written. However, with every camera pointed at him today, Tony made sure to put the team first.
“I think you all know something magical is happening to our team.”
“Magic” and “Tony Romo” have been in the same sentence many times. While Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are going to get the most credit for this year's success, there is no question that Romo's influence is a huge part of the magic. His attitude and controversy-avoiding handling of this situation have helped facilitate the success of his young teammates.
Once you get past the sad tone he spoke in, Tony Romo's magic was still plain to see. One reason he is so beloved today is that he's never done anything to misrepresent the Dallas Cowboys. He's never chased the spotlight and never shirked blame when it was due. He has lived and breathed the franchise quarterback role as professionally as you can.
Even if he never throws another ball in a Cowboys uniform, Tony showed today how much he still helps this team. He just completed his best pass of 2016; handing the torch to Dak Prescott with every bit of class that was humanly possible.
Whether you've been #TeamDak or #TeamRomo, today should tell you exactly what we all need to do. Let's huddle up, CowboysNation. Say it with me.
One… Two… Three…