After a back injury during the Dallas Cowboys’ pre-season this year, quarterback Tony Romo literally sat on the sidelines and watched a promising young rookie named Dak Prescott take his team to a current 8-1 standing.
But instead of reacting out of jealousy or insecurity, Romo has been the embodiment of Tim McGraw‘s “Humble and Kind,” reflecting sportsmanship, gratitude, and a genuine love of the game.
“It’s a dark place, probably darker than it’s ever been,” Romo said in a press conference yesterday. “It’s in that moment that you find out who you really are and what you’re really about.
“He’s earned the right to be our quarterback,” Romo said in regards to Prescott. “I was that kid once, stepping in, having to prove yourself. It really is an incredible time in your life.”
“And if I remember one thing from back then, it’s the people that helped me along when I was young. And if I can be that to Dak, I’ve tried to be, and I will be going forward.
“I think you all know something magical is happening to our team,” Romo continued. “I’m not going to allow this situation to negatively affect Dak or this football team by becoming a constant distraction. I think Dak knows that I have his back, and I think I know that he has mine.
“Ultimately, it’s about the team….I can remember when I was a kid just starting out and wanting to be a part of something bigger than myself. For every high school kid or college player, there’s greatness in being the kind of teammate who truly wants to be part of a team.
“Everyone wants to be the reason they’re winning or losing. Every single one of us wants to be that person. But there are special moments that come from a shared commitment, to play a role while doing it together. That’s what you remember. Not your stats or your prestige, but the relationships and the achievement that you created through a group.
“It’s hard to do, but there’s great joy in that. And all the while, your desire burns to be the best you’ve ever been. You can be both. I’ve figured that out in this process. That’s what separates sports from everything else. It’s why we love it; it’s why we trust it; it’s why I still want to play and compete.
“I feel like we all have two enemies going on: one with the man across from you; the second is with the man inside you. I think once you control the one inside you, the one across from you really doesn’t matter. That’s what we’re all trying to do.”
Watch Romo’s entire statement here: