Romo to Serve as Lead NFL Analyst for CBS

Tony Romo is leaving the football field, but he isn’t leaving the game…

Following the Dallas Cowboys’ officially release of the 36-year-old quarterback, the 4-time Pro Bowler who will become the lead NFL analyst for CBS, it was announced Tuesday.

Tony Romo

“It was a very difficult decision. I went back and forth a number of times,” said Romo in a conference call with ESPN.

Romo said the Houston Texans were at the top of his wish list if he kept playing, but the CBS offer was too good to pass up.

“It really had nothing to do with the Texans and everything to do with CBS,” Romo said. “I felt like it was the right decision. My wife would tell you we’ve had a lot of late nights. It was nice to have some clarity.”

But Romo hasn’t officially said he’s retiring.

“Do I envision playing football? Absolutely not,” he said. “Do I expect to get some calls? Yes, that’s the reality.”

One NFL executive told ESPN via text message that “Romo is now every team’s emergency backup QB in case your starter gets hurt” and that those teams would have to “pay him to come out of ‘retirement.'”

Romo said: “You never say never,” but added that “there’s no part of me that wants to play.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wishes Romo and his family “nothing but the best.”

“As an organization, we did what he asked us to do in terms of his release, and we wanted to do what was ultimately in his best interest and in the best interest of his family,” Jones said in a statement.

“Tony has been a wonderful representative of the Cowboys organization for 14 years, and he left everything he had on the field. He will leave us with many great memories and a legacy of being, truly, one of the greatest players in Cowboys history. We are thrilled for him and his family that he will be able to continue working as a professional in the game he so dearly loves. He is a young man who is just getting started on a long journey in life. All the best my friend.”

With CBS, Romo will become the No. 1 color commentator — replacing former NFL quarterback Phil Simms — alongside play-by-play veteran Jim Nantz. He also had drawn interest from Fox and NBC.

“Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true,” Romo said in a statement. “I have always known that once my playing career was over I wanted to become a broadcaster. I am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with Jim as I learn the craft and convey to fans my passion for this great game.”

Romo said on the conference call that he expects his new broadcasting job to be difficult, but “I’ve got to attack this just like football.”

The Cowboys’ move to make Romo a post-June 1 release designation softens the blow against the salary cap this season. Instead of counting $24.7 million against the cap in 2017, Romo would count $10.7 million this year and $8.9 million in 2018. The Cowboys would gain $14 million in cap space this season, but it would not become available until June 2. The Cowboys will carry $19.6 million in dead money for the 2017 season, $8.9 million in 2018 and $3.2 million in 2019.

Romo’s decision came down to his health, sources close to the situation told ESPN. Romo, who turns 37 on April 21, believes his family and his health are paramount. He was limited to playing in parts of just five games over the past two seasons because of collarbone and back injuries, and he suffered a compression fracture in his back in August that led the way to Dak Prescott‘s emergence.

Prescott posted his thanks to Romo on Instagram.

Romo now will get to spend more time with his family while retaining a strong connection to the game.

As the network’s No. 1 color commentator for the NFL, Romo will work with Nantz on Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening games. He also will be in line to work CBS’s coverage of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in February 2019.

Romo — a scratch golfer — also could wind up working on CBS’s golf coverage down the line, sources told ESPN, but he first wants to focus on football.

“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “He will bring the same passion, enthusiasm and knowledge that he displayed on the field to the broadcast booth. He brings a fresh and insightful perspective to our viewers having just stepped off the field. We know Tony will quickly develop into a terrific analyst, and alongside Jim Nantz, will become a must-listen for fans each week.”

CBS said it was discussing future options for Simms, who served nearly 20 years as the network’s lead NFL analyst.

Romo stepping away from the game affects numerous NFL teams since the market for Romo was expected to be robust. Romo no longer will be a consideration for the Texans and Denver Broncos — unless he were to unexpectedly return from the broadcast booth to the playing field.

However, a source directly involved told ESPN’s Ed Werder, “He’s done. It’s over. This was a no-brainer.”

Romo is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He has a career record of 78-49 but never was able to get the Cowboys past the divisional round in four playoff appearances. His 34,183 passing yards and 248 touchdown passes are the most in team history. Romo also holds team records for 300-yard passing games (46), games with multiple touchdown passes (79) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (38). In 2012, he threw for a club-record 4,903 yards, and on Oct. 6, 2013, against the Broncos, he threw for a franchise-record 506 yards. He has the NFL record with a touchdown pass in 41 straight road games.

“Tony Romo has a unique combination of athletic ability, arm talent, vision, and instincts for the game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a statement. “What separates Tony from many other players, however, is a rare competitive spirit. Tony loves to play. Tony loves to compete. The best ones always do. In practice. During games. On the field. Off the field. Tony competes to the end in everything that he does. That relentless spirit that Tony plays with is contagious. He makes his teammates better. He makes his coaches better. He makes his team better.”

 

Gonzalez to Serve as “Legends Captain” at 2017 NFL Pro Bowl

Tony Gonzalez is making a legend(s)dary return to the National Football League

The NFL has announced that the 40-year-old part-Mexican American former NFL tight end will serve as one of four “Legends Captains” at the 2017 Pro Bowl.

Tony Gonzalez

“Some of my favorite NFL memories were from my Pro Bowl trips,” said Gonzalez, via NFL.com. “One thing that made my Pro Bowl experiences so special was getting to share them with my family. Pro Bowl Week in Orlando brings that to a whole new level, and I’m excited to be a part of this event that brings together the entire football community — players, coaches, families and fans — to celebrate the game’s best.”

After a three-year switch to a draft format, the Pro Bowl will return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC style for 2017.

Each conference will be led by two “Legends Captains” — one offensive and one defensive. Jerome Bettis (offense) and Ray Lewis (defense) will lead the AFC, while Gonzalez (offense) and Charles Woodson (defense) will lead the NFC.

During Pro Bowl Week, the four “Legends Captains” will serve as mentors for the Pro Bowl players, coach practices and be present on the sidelines on game day.

In his 12 seasons (1997-2008) with the Kansas City Chiefs, Gonzalez compiled 916 receptions for 10,940 yards receiving and 76 touchdowns. Gonzalez still holds Chiefs franchise records in each of the three categories. The 6x First-team All-pro then played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2009-2013.

Gonzalez appeared in 14 Pro Bowls during his 17-year NFL career and ranks as the all-time leader in Pro Bowl receptions (42) and touchdowns (6).

Romo Rallies the Dallas Cowboys in Final Minutes to Beat the New York Giants

Tony Romo has a giant(s) second half to lead his team to victory…

The 34-year-old Mexican American Dallas Cowboys quarterback made critical plays in the second half to beat the New York Giants on Sunday night.

Tony Romo

Romo threw two touchdown passes to Dez Bryant, the winner from 13 yards with 1:01 remaining, lifting the Cowboys to a comeback 31-28 victory.

“You gain an understanding that you’re never really out of it,” Romo said. “You are comfortable being in uncomfortable situations. That comes from having been through it and going out and finding a way to win. Once you do that a few times, the team can believe in that.”

Romo could’ve written a book on winning drives while staging this one; he never was pressured in leading the Cowboys 80 yards to the winning score.

“Any time you’re afforded the amount of time at the end of the game, it’s huge,” he said. “They (the offensive line) are a special group of guys who work their butts off and deserve a lot of credit for this game and this season.”

Romo threw for two TDs in the third quarter and Barry Church‘s interception helped turn things around for the Cowboys. But the Giants (3-8), trailing 24-21, staged a 93-yard drive capped by Adrien Robinson‘s first career TD catch. That 1-yard score with 3 minutes remaining could’ve snapped New York’s slide that now stands at six losses.

Dallas (8-3) roared back. Romo found Bryant in the back of the end zone to win it, setting up an NFC East showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving Day for first place.

“Now we have another challenge coming up real quick,” Romo said. “Philly is playing great football so we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight to win that game.”

Dallas, which was treated to chants of “Let’s Go Cowboys!” in the second half from hundreds of fans in Cowboys garb, is 5-0 on the road. New York was eliminated from division contention.

Romo was 18-of-26 for 275 yards and never appeared bothered by back problems that sidelined him for one of the Cowboys’ defeats this year.