Quarterback Tony Romo has ridden a series of highs and lows since being named the Dallas Cowboys' starter last season. While Dallas' 5-0 start this season has been a high point for Romo, the third-year player will likely have his 50-year-old father, Ramiro, on his mind over the next few weeks.
The Pro Bowl quarterback told the Dallas Morning News before Thursday's practice that his father has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"He's your dad. You've been so close for so long, it can be a scary thing," the paper quoted Romo as saying. "I look forward to the day where we can spend a lot of time together."
Thursday night, two sources close to the QB confirmed to ESPN.com's Matt Mosley that Ramiro Romo was diagnosed with cancer last month. According to the sources, Ramiro will probably undergo surgery later this month.
Tony is close to Ramiro and his wife, Joan. The Romos often play golf together ever since Tony took up the sport in grade school and the father and son talk often on the phone. Tony has been known to call his parents two or three times during a round of golf with friends in Dallas.
"Tony and his dad, they really have a good relationship," tight end Jason Witten told the Dallas Morning News. "I don't think he wants Tony to think a lot about it or want him losing his concentration. But they're best friends, so that makes it harder."
Romo, 27, was quick to point out that his father's news played no role in his six-turnover performance in Monday's 25-24 win over Buffalo. He found out about his father's cancer a few days after the Cowboys' 34-10 win against the Bears on Sept. 23. He then helped lead the Cowboys to a 35-7 win over St. Louis the following Sunday.
"You love your Dad. You just want him to be all right. It's just part of getting older. It's a step in the path of life. Football's football. When you're on the field, that's all you think about," Romo told Mosley.
Later, Romo said he just gave his father a hug when he found out and started praying. Ramiro will seek a second opinion and then decide what type of surgery to have.
Sources indicate that doctors anticipate a speedy recovery for Ramiro, given that the cancer was detected early and the fact he's in excellent physical condition.
Romo's 13 touchdown passes lead the NFC and he set a team record agains the Bills with his fourth 300-yard passing game. Sunday's game against the 5-0 New England Patriots could provide a Super Bowl preview.
Romo's parents are both expected to attend Sunday's Patriots-Cowboys game in Dallas.
ESPN.com NFL writer Matt Mosley contributed to this report.