PITTSBURGH – Tony Romo stood near his locker after the latest Dallas Cowboys win he’d watched from the sideline Sunday, smiling and chatting with team executive Stephen Jones when the team’s present and future quarterback walked by in a towel.

As Jones offered rookie quarterback Dak Prescott a congratulatory handshake, Romo nodded slowly, eventually tapping Jones’ shoulder to deliver a message that could be read on Romo’s lips from across the room: “He’s the man.”

Nearby, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects Romo to be active as Prescott’s backup next week against the Baltimore Ravens – a demotion that increasingly became an inevitability in recent weeks, with Dallas on a winning streak that reached eight with Sunday’s 35-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Prescott playing beyond his years.

“I think the longer (Prescott) plays like this, the more we have a chance to have another win,” Jones told reporters. “Everybody here wants to do only really one thing, is win. There’s nobody that would introduce any other issue or any other consideration other than do whatever it takes to win the game. So, today, to be able to come out of here with a win just obliterates any thought about any of the issues that you might have as to who’s out on the field.”

It’s not the return Romo, 36, or anyone else probably expected when a hit from Seattle Seahawks end Cliff Avril in an Aug. 25 exhibition game left Romo with a broken bone in his back. But Prescott’s play – and the Cowboys’ success – all but assured the decision.

Prescott was sensational under fire Sunday, rebounding from an early strip-sack and some wayward throws to complete 22 of 32 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns, including 50-yard score to Dez Bryant after sidestepping a blitz and three completions on the winning drive after Pittsburgh scored a go-ahead touchdown with 42 seconds to play.

Jones said he has spoken extensively with Romo about the team, including on Saturday as the two watched Jones’ grandson’s football game.

“Consequently, there’s nobody happier for our success, because it’s his success, and good things will happen for him,” Jones said of Romo.

After the season, that probably means Romo getting a second chance elsewhere after 14 years in Dallas, whether through a trade or otherwise. For now, starting next week, he’s the Cowboys’ new No. 2 quarterback.

“He’s ready. He had a great week. He practiced all three days. He hadn’t done that in about 18 months, two years,” Jones said of Romo, who has played in just four games since the start of last season because of injuries.

“He practiced all three days, didn’t have any lingering negative things from that, and really was able to … use every aspect of his leverage, of everything he needs to do to make his throws. He didn’t have any lingering effects from it – that’s great news for us, and certainly look forward to having him on the roster.”

PHOTOS | Dak Prescott

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