(The Sports Xchange) - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is officially a backup and said on Tuesday that rookie Dak Prescott deserves to be the starter for the 8-1 team.
Romo made the declaration while reading from a five-minute statement at the Cowboys' facility. He didn't take questions and said it was in "the best interests of my team" not to do so.
The 36-year-old Romo is now recovered from an August back injury that opened the door for Prescott to become the starter. The Mississippi State product has taken advantage of the situation and led Dallas to the best record in the NFL through nine games.
Here is the full video:
"He has earned the right to be our quarterback," Romo said. "As hard as that is for me to say, he's earned that right. He has guided our team to an 8-1 record and that's hard to do.
"If you think for a second I don't want to be out there, then you probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning."
NFL Power Rankings: Week 11
NFL Power Rankings: Week 11
31. 49ers (1-8)
Last Week: 31
Make that eight straight losses now for the 49ers, who host the Patriots on Sunday, and will feel the wrath of a Pats team coming off a loss.
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
30. Bears (2-7)
Last Week: 28
After a one-week anomaly, the Bears all hate Jay Cutler again. With Alshon Jeffery now suspended for the next four games, there's not much hope in Chicago.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
29. Jets (3-7)
Last Week: 30
Bryce Petty threw his first career touchdown, but all signs point to him not being an NFL-ready quarterback -- while the other option is an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick, who still leads the NFL in interceptions.
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
27. Panthers (3-6)
Last Week: 20
The Super Bowl hangover continues for last year's runner-up, as they're now firmly out of the playoff picture.
(Photo by Chris Rodier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
25. Rams (4-6)
Last Week: 26
For the second time this season, the Rams won a game in which they failed to score a touchdown. Not exactly a recipe for long-term success, though.
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
24. Buccaneers (4-5)
Last Week: 23
Tampa Bay blew out the Bears in Week 10, and while their season won't result in a playoff berth, it's been a fun step forward.
(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
21. Chargers (4-6)
Last Week: 15
They're far from the bottom of the league in terms of talent, but the Chargers just have too much to overcome to compete with the best teams in the league. They're prone to slip-ups, and dropping a crucial one to Miami last week may have crushed their playoff hopes already.
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
17. Steelers (4-5)
Last Week: 13
There's not a lot of shame in losing to the 8-1 Cowboys, but with Ben Roethlisberger and other Steelers vet worried about the team's dedication, we're officially worried about how far Pittsburgh can go despite all of its offensive weapons.
(Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
16. Dolphins (5-4)
Last Week: 24
That's four straight wins now for Miami, who now takes over as the second-best team in the AFC East. With a little luck, they could position themselves for a late-season push.
(Photo via Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
15. Bills (4-5)
Last Week: 12
Buffalo saw Miami pass them in the AFC East during the bye week. They already face an uphill battle to get to the postseason -- where no Rex Ryan team has played since 2010.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
14. Packers (4-5)
Last Week: 9
What's wrong with the Packers? Their record has now dipped below .500 after a brutal loss to Tennessee, making it three straight losses where they've allowed at least 31 points in each game.
(Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
13. Vikings (5-4)
Last Week: 10
It's clear that Minnesota's early-season dominance was a mirage, but now they'll be forced to prove that they're playoff caliber in the weeks ahead.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
12. Cardinals (4-4-1)
Last Week: 11
They beat San Francisco at home, but 23-20 is way too close for comfort against a team that hasn't won since Week 1.
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
11. Eagles (5-4)
Last Week: 16
The Eagles beat an impressive Falcons team, proving that they're a legitimate threat to even the better squads when they leave the door open. If Carson Wentz can finish his rookie season strong, Philadelphia will be in the conversation until the end.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
10. Redskins (5-3-1)
Last Week: 18
That pesky tie has Washington a shade off New York's pace, for the top Wild Card spot, but still maintain control as the last team in. With a strong second half, they'll be in the postseason for a second straight year -- something the franchise hasn't done in more than 20 years.
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
9. Giants (6-3)
Last Week: 14
At 6-3, and with the Bears and Browns up next the Giants are positioning themselves for their first postseason appearance since 2011 -- and it's well-known how dangerous they can be once they're in it.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
8. Falcons (6-4)
Last Week: 6
Atlanta has its fanbase on edge, given how it faired in the second half last year, but a bye week should help preparation ahead of a matchup with an inconsistent Cardinals team in Week 12.
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
6. Broncos (7-3)
Last Week: 7
The offense remains a concern, but Denver's defense remains championship caliber. They marched to a Lombardi Trophy last year in similar fashion, so who are we to doubt them this season?
(Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
4. Chiefs (7-2)
Last Week: 4
Kansas City just keeps on rolling, this time with a come-from-behind win on the road against Carolina. They'll need to take care of business this week against the Buccaneers, but a crucial matchup awaits in Week 12 against the Broncos on Sunday night.
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
3. Patriots (7-2)
Last Week: 1
New England finally looked vulnerable against the Seahawks in Foxboro, and their road could become a bit more challenging than expected if Rob Gronkowski misses any significant amount of time.
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
2. Seahawks (6-2-1)
Last Week: 5
They pulled off something nobody had done this season by beating Tom Brady in Foxboro. Seattle has separated itself from the pack in the NFC West, and only one team stands in their way from being considered the unanimous conference favorites.
(Photo by Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
1. Cowboys (8-1)
Last Week: 2
The only thing that can stop the Cowboys is themselves. With Tony Romo back active this week, will Jerry Jones be able to resist the urge to unseat his rookie quarterback on an eight-game win streak?
(Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
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Romo appeared emotional at times during his statement and reflected on different parts of his career.
He bemoaned not being able to play on what he called the best Cowboys' team during his 14-season tenure and emphasized that he is going to be fully supportive of Prescott.
"I think you all know something magical is happening to our team," Romo said. "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."
Romo, who has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, suffered a compression fracture in his back on Aug. 25 when taking a hit from Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril.
Dallas didn't place Romo on injured reserve in case he made a swift recovery. But the back didn't heal as rapidly as either Romo or the team would have liked.
It was a painful situation both physically and emotionally for Romo.
"To say the first half of this season has been emotional would be a huge understatement," Romo said. "Getting hurt when you feel like you have the best team you've ever had was a soul-crushing moment for me.
"To then learn it's not three or four weeks but 10 is another blow. And throughout it all, you have a tremendous amount of guilt on having let your teammates, fans and organization down.
"After all, they are depending on you to bring them a championship. That's what quarterbacks are supposed to do. That's how we're judged. I love that. I still do."