Tony Romo stopped a reporter in the middle of what appeared to be the first question in his first meeting with the media since August.
The Dallas quarterback brought a statement, and he wasn't going to answer any questions Tuesday.
The 36-year-old, who is coming off his fourth back injury in less than four years, conceded the starting job to Dak Prescott, who has led the Cowboys (8-1) to a record-tying eight straight wins and the best record in the NFL.
And a somber Romo didn't hide his disappointment while reading the five-minute statement.
"He's earned the right to be our quarterback," Romo said of the 23-year-old rookie. "As hard as that is for me to say, he's earned that right. He's guided our team to an 8-1 record, and that's hard to do."
Romo, who broke a bone in his back in a preseason game, is expected to be Prescott's backup Sunday at home against Baltimore (5-4). It should be the first time Romo is active since Thanksgiving last year, and the first time in 10 years he isn't the Dallas starter.
"If you think for a second that I don't want to be out there, then you probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning," Romo said. "That hasn't left me. In fact, it may burn now more than ever."
Romo was surprisingly reflective as well, recalling the early days of his career when he was an unheralded free agent fighting to stay on the roster. Now he's the franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns, ahead of Super Bowl winners Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.
But he's also in the same place Drew Bledsoe was in 2006, when Romo replaced him at halftime of a loss to the New York Giants six games into the season and never gave up the starting job.
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