Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman has always been one of Tony Romo’s biggest fans and supporters.
The three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback has gone on record saying that Romo is more talented than he was.
But Aikman has long supported the decision by the Cowboys to stick with rookie sensation Dak Prescott over Romo when he returned from a fractured bone in his back that caused him to miss the first nine games.
Aikman, the lead analyst for Fox NFL, remains bullish on the young quarterback.
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Aikman had his strongest words yet for Prescott on Sirius XM NFL Radio Wednesday, calling the fourth-round pick the most impressive young quarterback he’s ever seen. He said there is nothing he doesn’t like about Prescott and says he has checked all the boxes.
According to Aikman, Prescott will be the Cowboys quarterback for a long time.
“I’m absolutely amazed with him,” said Aikman to show host Pat Kirwan. “There is nothing I don’t like about him. He was regarded as a project coming out of Mississippi State as a fourth rounder. He had never taken snaps under center. He had never run play action. He wasn’t even expected to the backup. He was going to be a long-term project. After a few injuries, all of sudden he steps in.”
Aikman acknowledges he was initially skeptical about Prescott heading into the season opener. He thought the Cowboys needed to tap the brakes a little bit with the excitement about a young quarterback.
But that was before he met him leading up to the 20-19 season opening loss to the New York Giants and before he watched him play.
“He walked into that room. I never felt the presence of a young quarterback like I did with him,” said Aikman of interacting with Prescott in the pre-production meeting before the game. “I said this was the most impressive young player I’ve ever been around at the position. I really believed he was going to go out and play well. Before halftime of the game in his first start I was no longer looking at him and viewing him as a rookie. My analysis was along the lines of a veteran quarterback. It spoke volumes how he carried himself.”
Prescott went to on win 11 straight games, making it an easy decision for the Cowboys to stick with him once Romo returned to health. Aikman agreed with the move then and now.
“He has passed every test,” Aikman said. “He has been through some tough ones too. He won on the road at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has won at Lambeau Field. He has won when they they were down 14 against the San Francisco. He has done it throwing the football. He has done it running the football.”
Under the direction of Prescott, the Cowboys (12-2) are tied with the New England Patriots for the best record in the NFL.
Aikman likes that Prescott is a team player and is universally liked throughout the locker room.
“I think one of the greatest compliments about him is his offensive linemen came out and said they ‘love playing for him’,” Aikman said. “You don’t hear that a lot. These lineman love playing for him. You even hear defensive guys saying that about him. He is one of the guys in the locker room. They go out there and play hard for him.”
Aikman said that Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott have brought buzz to the Cowboys with their youth, excitement and energy. They are the foundation of this magical run.
But he kept coming back to Prescott because of how he has handled everything under the microscope as the quarterback of America’s team.
His record-setting performance in the 26-20 victory against the Tampa Bay last Sunday when he completed 32 of 36 passes for 279 yards in the wake of controversial comments from owner Jerry Jones was most impressive to Aikman.
Prescott’s completion percentage of 88.9 percent was the best in team history and the second-best in NFL history for a quarterback with at least 30 attempts.
“Even this past week when owner Jerry Jones is coming saying what a great story it would be if Tony Romo led them to the Super Bowl in the postseason,” Aikman began. “Yet he is having to answer those questions. And he goes out there and plays brilliantly against Tampa Bay. He is unflappable. I’m impressed by him. As we know, he has a lot of good things around him. That helps. But for a young quarterback to step into this game and do the things he has been able to do, I’m impressed. I do think he is the future. I think he will be the quarterback for a long time.”