Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tony Romo has accepted his role as a backup and does everything he can to help rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
“Make no mistake, he’s really wonderful about this,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3 FM The Fan. “Tony is going to have serious options [when his playing days are over], and of course, he’s a young man relatively speaking. Tony has the ability to be a great – I’m not talking about a good one – a great offensive coordinator. He has an eye and an understanding about offensive football that’s exceptional. As a matter of fact, two years ago I sat down with him and I said, ‘I really want you in the process as we really get into picking a quarterback for the future because I don’t want you to leave your career without having the benefit of you helping us get this quarterback and getting him ready to go.’ And, of course, his eyes just lit up and he said, ‘Boy, I’m your man. And I think I can pick one as good as anybody.’”
That’s a reason, Jones said, that Prescott won’t look over his shoulder.
Jones reaffirmed Romo will serve as Prescott’s backup Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Romo has not dressed for a game since last Thanksgiving when he fractured his left collarbone for a second time in 2015 and went on injured reserve.
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Romo practiced in full all three days last week but was inactive for Sunday’s victory over the Steelers.
Jones was reminded a team has never won the Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback. He replied with a reminder of his own that most teams play more than one quarterback a season because of injury.
“In all of my time in football and in sport either playing it or being with the Cowboys, you’ve always had to have the use of another quarterback at some point during the season,” Jones said. “You don’t want that, and you don’t want that with a young, strong, healthy quarterback in Dak Prescott, but that’s the reason you have backup quarterbacks. I paid a lot of money for a backup quarterback, as you well know. And this, by the way, is going to be the record for having paid this for the backup quarterback. Seriously, to even mention a player that I paid a lot for in the same breath as Tony Romo is ridiculous. You want to see Tony Romo, look at Ben Roethlisberger put up over 400 yards against us the other day. That’s what you get if Tony Romo comes out there for us.”
Romo makes $8.5 million in base salary and earned $6.6 million in bonuses. But the Cowboys could need Romo to play before the season ends.
“Obviously, we don’t rule that out. That’d be madness,” Jones said. “If you rule that out, then why would you ever even have a real commitment to a backup quarterback. Think about that a minute. We have a team that is getting better, feeling better about itself. It’s gaining really confidence and being able to handle adversity. Boy, it’s just like any decision but even more importantly to have Tony Romo able to step in at the right time when you would need him is absolutely unthinkable in a positive way.”