Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has conversations with players all the time about their role and what is expected of them.
And while he acknowledged the talk he had with veteran quarterback Tony Romo was tougher because of the successes and personal relationship they have forged over the years, the tenor was same as with any player at any position.
He told Romo he didn't do anything to lose his job, but the decision to stick with rookie sensation Dak Prescott was in the best interest of the football team.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
And that's the basis for all the decisions they make.
"Yeah, we’re very clear and open with our players about their roles and what their roles are," Garrett said. "We are just very direct with them and honest and we try to outline what the expectations are."
Garrett said Romo's role was no different than any other backup and his job now is to prepare himself to play. The Cowboys expect him to serve as Prescott's backup Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens after missing the first nine games of the season with a fractured bone in his back.
"Prepare to play," Garrett said of Romo's role. "We’re hopeful that he can practice well this week and be the backup quarterback and he has to prepare to play. That’s job No. 1. And obviously be a positive influence on our football team, which he will be. Again, we’re focusing on today and Tony and I have a really good understanding of where his focus is right now. And we’re excited to see him back out on the practice field for more extended work getting ready for the Ravens."
Garrett said he didn't think it was necessary for Romo to come out and concede the starting job in a speech on Tuesday. But it was keeping with the type of player and person Romo has been during his time with the Cowboys.
"I don’t want to go line for line on what he said," Garrett said. "I thought he handled himself really well. Doesn’t surprise me one bit, doesn’t surprise our coaching staff or his teammates one bit. Tony’s a great person. He’s a fantastic person. He’s been a fantastic football player for our team for a long time. He’s got great respect from his coaches, great respect from his teammates.
“But again, the biggest thing is us focusing on today and the approach we need to take. We had good meetings and good walk-throughs this morning. We need to have a good practice in getting ready for the Ravens on Sunday. Tony understands that."