Jerry Jones Says Tony Romo Won’t Start Unless Dak Prescott Is Unavailable
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed Dak Prescott would remain the starting quarterback and the team wouldn’t turn to Tony Romo, even amidst some struggles from the rookie.
“We’ve seen Dak have bad series and we’ve seen him come back and right the ship,” Jones noted, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, adding that he expects Prescott to do the same following a rough night against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Jones also confirmed Romo would only step in at quarterback if Prescott were unable to play:
Jerry asked if Dak’s entertainment news of the day ineffectiveness would be factor in going back to Romo: “No, no, no. Not at all.” Said it’d take Dak not being available
Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 12, 2016
Head coach Jason Garrett offered support for his young quarterback as well.
We feel good about Prescottplaying quarterback for us right now, he told David Helmanof DallasCowboys.com.
Prescott struggled in the team’s 10-7 loss to the Giants, finishing 17-of-37 for 165 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. But Jones’ confidence in Prescott remains high, as he toldJudy Battista of NFL.com:
He’s got 13 NFL ballgames at a high level under his belt and what’s he got, four interceptions now? Four? So four interceptions. I feel good about our quarterback and I like where we are at the quarterback position. We should have asked and wanted him to make the drive that might have won this thing for us tonight. I don’t want to make excuses. Most of what happened to us tonight was a well-coachedNew York Giantsdefense.
For the season, Prescott has thrown for 3,139 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions, adding 218 rushing yards and five additional scores on the ground. He’s led the Cowboys to an 11-2 record, the best mark in the NFL, with both losses coming against the Giants.
And in the process, he’s earned the trust of the team’s owner, head coach and his teammates.
“What hes been able to do this year and accomplish, he just continues to answer the bell every step of the way,” veteran tight endJason Witten told Helman. “Hes been really good in the huddle, even when we had some adversity tonight. It just says a lot about who he is as a person.”
Dez Bryant was quick to deflect the blame away from Prescott as well.
“It wasnt our best night,” he noted. “We all made mistakes, and were going to go back in and fix them. Dont try to single him out.”
But despite the repeated votes of confidence for Prescott, the Cowboys find themselves in a unique position with Romo on the bench. The veteran quarterback would still be the starter had he not suffered a back injury in the preseason that cost him more than half the year, making him a far better option than any other backup in the NFL.
If Prescott continues to struggle down the stretch and the Cowboys start losing games, it may be tough to keep Romo on the bench. While one bad game won’t start a quarterback controversy, a string of them inevitably will.
Prescott, to his credit, has put the onus on himself to improve his play.
“Not much has to be said to me,” he told the team’s website. “Im hard on myself and Im my biggest critic. Thats the way it is for a lot of those guys. Its all about moving forward.”
If the Cowboys take a step back heading into the playoffs, however, they will have to decide whether Prescott or Romo is best equipped to lead them to a Super Bowl title.
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