As the Dallas Cowboys prepared to face the Green Bay Packers and hot quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, they have the good fortune of having veteran Tony Romo running the scout-team offense.
If there is anybody who can get the defense ready for everything that Rodgers brings, it’s the Cowboys all-time leader passer, who still can throw from the pocket and on the move with precision.
Romo was replaced by rookie Dak Prescott because of injuries and chemistry, not because of a declining ability.
He’s giving the team a great look in practice as they get ready to face Rodgers on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
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“Tony’s ball is out so fast, a lot like Rodgers,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “The ball is out so quick, so explosively so you got to stay up and break on those. But the added dimension he brings with this feet, his mobility, it’s unique.”
It’s another example of the classy way Romo has handled losing his starting job and another example of the team-first mindset that has helped propel the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the NFC East title..
“It’s not a surprise,’” coach Jason Garrett said. “Anybody who knows Tony Romo knows that that’s what he’s all about. He’s a great person first and foremost. And he’s put so much into this throughout his career. It’s been a challenging situation for him. But he’s handled it like a professional, publicly, privately. He’s done everything he can to help our football team. Maybe more than anything else, he’s getting himself prepared to play if called upon. And that’s an important thing in the role that he’s in. I think he’s handled it really, really well. I think it’s benefited our football team.”
The Cowboys opened the season hoping that Romo’s return from season-long injuries in 2015 would be the foundation of their success this season.
But that was before he suffered a fractured bone in his back in the third preseason game, forcing him to miss the first nine games of the season. Prescott took the reigns and never looked back, prompting Romo to concede the starting job in the best interest of team chemistry.
He’s showed that team-first attitude in practice all season as a member of the scout team and he is doing the same this week in practice.
“First of all he is all about the team,” vice president Stephen Jones said. “He is first class. There is no question anybody in his shoes got to feel deep down, a level of disappointment. He was so excited about this football. So my hats off to him in terms of the way he has handled this as a leader and as somebody who puts the team first. He has been great."