Very few franchises are fortunate enough to transition from one franchise quarterback to another without any bridges or stopgaps. The Dallas Cowboys achieved that feat when they pivoted to 2016 fourth-round pick Dak Prescott at the expense of Tony Romo, who had quarterbacked the team for the previous decade.
Nobody could have expected Prescott taking the reins from Romo as a rookie, but Romo suffered a compression fracture of his L1 vertebrae in preseason. It was only a 6-10 week recovery, but the Prescott-led Cowboys were seven games into an 11-game winning streak by the time Romo was healthy enough to return.
How could Dallas have justified pulling Prescott for Romo after the young QB and rookie rusher Ezekiel Elliott spearheaded a fourth-quarter comeback against the Steelers? Yes, we're referring to that game. Unfortunately for Romo, there was no turning back for the Cowboys. It was Dak's team.
Prescott and Romo's relationship never fractured during the transition.
That might come as a surprise when you remember a 19-year-old Prescott, a big Cowboys fan, tweeting that he was done with Romo while at Mississippi State.
Dak Prescott trash-talking Cowboys QBTony Romo while at Mississippi State is still hilarious
Credit to Fox Sports' David Helman for digging deep into the archives. The irony and hilarity in Prescott supplanting Romo as the Cowboys' QB1 and becoming the face of the franchise and one of the faces of the NFL is all-time stuff.
"I get when fans are upset. I get it," Prescott said of critical fans on social media this week, via The Athletic's Jon Machota. "I was once there. … I laugh at it because I understand it’s an angry fan.”
Yes, Dak was once there and it's pretty clear he was fed up with Romo's interceptions, which is pretty relatable for Cowboys fans.
While Romo brought needed stability to the quarterback position for Dallas, he had a maddening propensity for turning the ball over. In fact, Romo threw nine or more interceptions in eight of his 10 seasons as the starter. He twice threw 19 picks in a season and tossed seven in four games in 2015 before an injury ended his season.
It's really Prescott's hashtags that send these tweets over the top.
To add more irony to this, Prescott went on to become one of the best QBs in league history in terms of taking care of the football. He's sixth all-time with a 2.66 TD:INT ratio. Only Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Justin Herbert have a better ratio. That's impressive company.
It's just peak comedy. What more is there to say?