Jerry Jones never looked forward to the day Tony Romo wouldn’t be part of the Dallas Cowboys. Just a year ago at this time Jones talked about Romo extending his career another five years.
But life without Romo is far more comfortable than Jones ever thought. That is in large part due to Dak Prescott, who filled Romo’s void by putting together arguably the best rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history.
“A lot more comfortable than I ever thought I would be this time last year or beyond not having Romo,” Jones said on Sunday during his ‘State of the Cowboys’ news conference to open training camp.
“So that has everything to do with the year that Dak had and more importantly the way Dak is approaching this year. It is a really good feeling. I am excited about the fans excitement about Dak. All of that makes this a lot more palatable and a lot more comfortable than I thought I would ever be without having Romo in this short a time span not on the team.”
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Romo, who walked away from the game and into CBS Sports’ broadcast booth this offseason, left the Cowboys as the franchise leader in passing yards (34,183), passing touchdowns (248), passer rating (97.1), completion percentage (65.3) and most 3,000-yard passing seasons (seven).
But Prescott is the future and it is bright. Prescott is coming off a season in which he led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record with 3,667 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 104.9 passer rating.
The Cowboys brass at the news conference praised Prescott throughout and are expecting him to become even better in Year 2. They have no concerns about Prescott’s new-found fame that included doing several endorsement deals in the offseason.
“I’m just amazed with how he handles himself,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “I would want to endorse him because he represents everything you want. At the same time, he’s very clear from my understanding with sponsors because I’ve talked to them because he represents some of the same companies that sponsor the Cowboys that are our partners and he’s always very clear with them that football is first. He’s got an insatiable appetite to want to get better.
“He understands more than anybody that teams are going to study his tape, our tape upside down all around in terms of understanding how we were able to have success with Dak. He knows he’s got to take his game to another level. He and Scott [Linehan] and Jason [Garrett] and Wade [Wilson] and the staff have worked hard to get better. He should. Look at any quarterback in the NFL, usually the great ones get better each year. I think he expects that from himself.
“I know he puts in the work. I know he’s a leader. The team responds to him. The team wants to play hard for him. That’s rare. I think he’s going to answer the bell and I think he’s going to be better than he was last year.”