Like so many other NFL football fans, I have been wondering what will Tony Romo have to say if he is permanently replaced by Dak Prescott as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Romo recently spoke to the media about his return to the team from his injury. Sports writer, Will Whitmore, wrote, “Romo’s statement demonstrates three behaviors that model what being a great teammate looks like, three selfless choices worth emulating when confronted with the tension of ‘me’ vs, ‘we.'” I want to comment on these three choices
First, Romo choose the truth over perception management. He told the truth about how hard it was not to be playing, about his status as a distraction, and of Prescott deserving to start since the team was winningl. “In speaking honestly about his situation,” noted Whitmore, “instead of covering for his own reputation, Tony Romo chose a narrative in which he can be present for his teammates and help them accomplish what they have set out to achieve together.” “Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage” (Phil 2:3-4 – Message). It takes a real man to put a younger quarterback first, while publicly accepting a diminished role.
Secondly, Romo choose words to build one another up. Romo acknowledged, “He’s (Prescott) earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right.” “Romo did not have initiate addressing the media regarding this situation,” wrote Whitmore, “nor did he have to recognize the exceptional play of Prescott to this point, or his own desire to still be competing…he chose to use his words to strengthen his team, not diminish or undermine it.” “So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault” (Rom. 14:19 – Message). It takes a real man to publicly praise a rookie quarterback, while sitting on the bench.
Thirdly, Romo choose to serve others through a different role. Romo reflected on how he felt when he first took over for veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Saying that “something magical” has happening to the team, he pledged his support to his successor. “Even when the goals of the team override our individual desires,” wrote Whitmore, “we can use our gifts and skills to support one another.” “Be easy on people; you’ll find it a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back – given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity, begets generosity” (Luke 6:38 – Message). It takes a real man to sacrifice his football ambitions, in order to help a much younger man to be successful for the sake of his team.
Most impressive to me were Tony Romo’s concluding remarks. “I feel like we all have two battles, or two enemies going on. One with the man across from you, the second is with the man inside of you. I think once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn’t matter. And I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. ” Jesus tells us, “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you” Matt. 5:48 – Message). It take a real grown up man to be honest about his own inner struggles regarding his competitive ambition before the national sports media.