Cowboys great Tony Romo describes life as Dallas' quarterback and the pressure Dak Prescott currently faces

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Every NFL season is packed with pressure for the Dallas Cowboys, and 2024 will be no different.

Dak Prescott became the first Cowboys quarterback to lead the NFL outright in touchdown passes (36) in 2023, which earned him Second Team All-Pro honors, but after a deflating 48-32 wild-card round loss to the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers, the pressure is on. Prescott enters a contract year, as does head coach Mike McCarthy and his entire coaching staff. The expectations are heightened after three consecutive 12-win seasons despite owner and general manager Jerry Jones declaring the 2024 iteration of his team in a “get it done with less” situation. 

Not many people on planet Earth can truly understand the pressure Prescott and McCarthy face each year, but retired Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, the team’s all-time leader in passing yards (34,183) and passing touchdowns (348), is one of them. CBS Sports’ lead NFL analyst described how he dealt with what Prescott, his successor, is going through. 

“Playing professional sports is difficult on anyone mentally. It’s taxing because you come up here, and if I say the wrong thing or something, someone gets affected,” Romo said Thursday, via Sports Illustrated Fan Nation. “Now, I’m pretty old, so to me, I’m like, ‘yawn’ … you create a turtle shell over the years and you just be like, ‘Just go play. Just get better. Just go play and win.’ … “A lot’s on the plate for the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys for Dak. He is going to take the brunt of it like most quarterbacks do in any city.  … When you play in the most nationally televised games, more people watch.”

Romo described the intensified spotlight Prescott and the Cowboys face as “a positive.” An understandable mindset to have when there isn’t really anything Dallas’ players can do to decrease the scrutiny they have. Except win the Super Bowl, of course.  

“Things that Jerry [Jones] has helped build are incredible,” Romo said. “That’s a positive for the National Football League. Every player, every coach. Everything. … More eyeballs is a positive thing. I think one area is just getting past that hump that is very difficult. You’re going against great teams every year. It takes a really good combination of coach, player, team and sometimes random amounts of football, which you don’t want to depend on. So much of it is upstairs. You have to be able to handle it. Take it, digest it. Learn from it. Then, go make it your own and become great.”

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