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I’ve never been much of a Tony Romo fan.

But I never had more respect for the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback than I did watching him Tuesday at Ford Center.

Against his own self-interest, he admitted rookie quarterback, Dak Prescott, has earned the opportunity to lead the Cowboys after leading them to an 8-1 start.

I don’t know if the team wrote his statement and made him read it or if he did. Either way, I have nothing but respect for Romo standing up to the podium and handing his team over to the rookie.

As I watched him struggle through his statement, I appreciated and truly believed he didn’t want to be a distraction to the team. I truly believed he was making his statement so the team could move forward.

I’ve seen similar situations where the starter wouldn’t make that statement, and they would still fight to get their position back, but I appreciate Romo for conceding. He was put in an unfortunate situation when he got injured in the preseason, and then on top of that, his prognosis went from a three-week recovery to 10 weeks.

He even admitted how it was hard for him to sit back and watch Prescott lead the team and do so well, when he felt like that should’ve been him. And that’s what I most appreciated from Romo: He admitted his true feelings.

He didn’t act like the typical athlete and say something like, “All I care about is winning, with or without me.”

Throughout his career, I loathed Romo because it seemed like he would consistently fumble the ball, throw an interception or drop a snap for a game-winning field goal at the most important point in the game.

It was so frustrating, because he had so much talent, but he could never get over the hump when it counted most. In 10 years as the starting quarterback for the Cowboys, he went just 2-4 in the playoffs.

We should also remember, although many fans were disappointed in him, Romo did a lot more than he was supposed to.

He started his career as an undrafted rookie out of Eastern Illinois University and signed with the Cowboys in 2003 as a backup quarterback. He first earned an opportunity in 2006 when then quarterback Drew Bledsoe was yanked at halftime of a game and coach Bill Parcells decided to play Romo, who would remain the starter for the next 10 years. It’s not everyday that an undrafted rookie becomes a franchise quarterback, and although he disappointed me numerous times, I have to respect all that he’s done.

Romo played 149 games for the Cowboys and logged 34,154 yards and 247 touchdowns with a 65.3 completion percentage.

I hope Romo gets another shot with another team in need of a quarterback, because I think he has more to offer. Most of all, I hope he gets that Super Bowl monkey off his back — he deserves it.

@Lopezselby31

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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