By Nick Shook
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We’ve heard plenty to the contrary, but according to Dak Prescott, things are gravy between he and Tony Romo.
The successor to Romo said as much on Saturday.
“Me and Tony, we’ve always been great throughout this whole situation, before the situation when I came in (as the starter),” Prescott said Saturday in Arlington, per the team’s website. “So nothing’s ever changed. That’s something I’m very thankful were able to manage of keeping our relationship the same throughout everything that was going on.
“I hope he’s happy. He made the decision to retire; he’s had a great career. He’s got some big shoes for me to fill to try to come in and do a good job for the Cowboys.”
Prescott didn’t just fill them in 2016, he outright stole them and wore them so hard, he needed a new pair. Romo’s recent retirement — when everyone knows he still has enough left to play at a fairly high level for multiple seasons — should serve as enough of an example that Prescott has the starting job locked down in Dallas.
There was some questions about the Romo/Prescott dynamic recently, though, including Romo reportedly having some uneasy feelings about how his job was taken from him, and Romo creating some distance between he and Jason Garrett. But with Romo now off to the broadcast booth and the issue resolved (barring major injury to an active quarterback), everything seems fine between the two.
Great. End of story, right? Well, that’s where we turn to Prescott and his future.
Fresh off that memorable rookie season, Prescott now faces the reality that teams will have a full season on film on the quarterback. He won’t get a kid-gloves introduction to the NFL in year two — not with the expectations now on his shoulders after a 13-3 season. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan did a fantastic job of acclimating Prescott to the pro game (he had a lot of help thanks to a great line and fantastic rookie season from Ezekiel Elliott), but the stakes are higher in 2017, because of the 2016 result (a loss in the divisional playoffs), the expectations and yes, even the departure of Romo.
Prescott doesn’t simply escape Romo’s shadow after one season. It will take multiple seasons of success for Dallas to officially leave Romo in the past — no matter how good their relationship is, or how amicable they are in public.