It’s about time professional athletes quit perceiving themselves as kings and start acting…well, professional.

In the era of players taking their talents ‘elsewhere,’ whining about getting hit too often and partying so hard that they get kicked off of the team and into rehab, I find myself thinking there simply aren’t any genuine athletes left in professional sports.

This week, one man changed my mind about that.

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett hugs quarterback Tony Romo (9) after the Cowboys defeated the New York Giants, 27-26, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Tony Romo is a veteran quarterback who has played for the Dallas Cowboys since he entered the league in 2003. He’s had his fair share of injuries, but he has always bounced back and has always led his team.

Romo suffered a back injury during preseason this year — he was expected to be out 10 weeks, and with a rookie quarterback drafted in the fourth round as Romo’s backup, the Cowboys’ season looked as if it may be over before it even began.

In the midst of despair, however, something magical happened.

Led by rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot, the Cowboys started winning, and winning, and winning.

The team — who was expected to flounder until their quarterback came out of injured reserve — found themselves reserving seats at the playoffs as they sit on top of the NFL standings, with a record of 8-1.

This is obviously great for the Cowboys, who have struggled for the last few years to have a winning season, but now Romo is back and ready to play.

SPORTS FBN-COWBOYS-BROWNS 10 FT
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) signals touchdown after running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) scores in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 in FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

ESPN has had a field day with the continual story. Sports announcers haven’t stopped talking about the conflict that Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett is facing.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Romo ended the conversation.

He restored my faith that there are still real men in the NFL, and that genuine people really do exist in professional sports.

“You see football is a meritocracy,” Romo said. “You aren’t handed anything. You earn everything every single day, over and over again.”

Romo humbly admitted that what matters is not who’s taking the snaps behind the center but whether or not Dallas is being successful.

“(Prescott) has earned the right to be our quarterback,” Romo said.

With those words, Romo communicated a simple yet profound message. He will stand up for what is right, and he will stand behind Prescott in full support.

Number nine doesn’t plan on throwing in the towel though. Romo sent the message loud and clear: He supports Prescott, but he still wants to play.

“If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, then you’ve probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning,” Romo said.

Thank you, Tony Romo, for being the leader the Dallas Cowboys, and all of us, need you to be.

“I feel like we all have two battles or two enemies going on, Romo said in conclusion of the press conference. “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. I think that is what we are all trying to do.”

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